Saturday, June 1, 2013

HOLY TOLEDO!

This is considered Day 3 of our trip.(yesterday, day 2 was a bit of a blur after an overnight flight) although I do seem to remember a brief tour of Madrid and having our tour guide introduce us to a light supper of assorted "tapas". Quite honestly, I would have been quite content to just have a nice cup of tea and some hot buttered toast before "hitting the sack". I will tell you though it was a very early night for this weary traveller...I must be getting old!
It is amazing what a few hours sleep, a hot shower and a change of clothes will do to brighten your spirits though and this morning we were ready to enjoy all that Spain has to offer us.

I'm not sure if you can read the circled part of our itinerary but we did a walking tour of the ancient city of Toledo. Toledo used to be the capital of Spain at one time and has a wonderful rich cultural heritage and history. Before Queen Isabella had her way the Arabs, Jews, and Catholics all lived together in peace and harmony. The people of Toledo were known for their tolerance of each other's differences. There are still16 Cathedrals and many Synagogues, and it has been declared a Unesco World Heritage site.
We visited the Church of Santo Tome, home to one of El Greco's most famous paintings, The Burial Of Count Orgaz.

Unfortunately we were not allowed cameras in this area, so I have had to find one online. This is courtesy of the online Wall Street Journal.

We wandered the old cobbled streets and markets, that were still decorated from the celebration of Corpus Christi. Many banners and tapestries and flowers were still evident as well as entertainers and crowds of people.

The metal-working industry has historically been Toledo's economic base, with a great tradition in the manufacturing of swords and knives and a significant production of razor blades, medical devices and electrical products. Soap and toothpaste industries, flour milling, glass and ceramics have also been important. Another thing that Toledo is known for is it's marzapan.
I brought my own soap and toothpaste and really had no need for flour or ceramics today, but being a quilter and needleworker this appealed to me...

The next item was not a necessity but...well since when is necessity the only reason to shop?

This lovely bracelet is made on site by local artisans. The red box? Well, no the bracelet did not come in it, did I mention the city was famous for their marzipan? Spain is in a lot trouble economically you know, and even though I knew I would have to sacrifice my body to help out the local economy, I did try to do my part, so we ate lunch in a lovely outdoor cafe and then treated ourselves to a box of El Foro's famous marzipan treats. The very friendly lady who served me asked if I wanted it gift wrapped; uhh let me think about that...No thank you I politely declined!

Yes there are three missing from the box, and yes Mr. O had one...you do the math, and that's all I'm going to say on that subject!

All the shops were so eye catching. Even something as simple as the doors and it's hardware were a work of art.

The floor of a synagogue was also picture worthy

Can't you almost see a quilt in there somewhere? The pattern is lovely and on a more whimsical note, although I hope it is not sacrilegious but the little symbols in the squares look like little snowmen heads.
We had a lazy drive back to Madrid and rested up a bit before going out for a lovely supper at a restaurant owned by none other than Madrid born Placido Domingo! The restaurant had such charm and character and although Placido was not there to entertain he did have some wonderful operatic singers entertain us at our table during supper. Absolutely magical!
Unfortunately I forgot to move the pics from the camera to the IPad and it is getting quite late and we have another full day tomorrow that starts with a fabulous. breakfast buffet at seven,so I really do need my beauty sleep...
Buenas Noches.

P.s. in case any of you are wondering, yes there are 4 quilt shops in Madrid but the closest one was over an hours walk one way, and no I did not go, but the tour is young yet...
P.p.s yes our luggage showed up!

3 comments:

regan said...

Fantastic post, Wendy! I'm so jealous! And I can't believe there were ANY marzipan left in the box to photograph! LOL That is some kindof willpower!!! :o) Can't wait to see more of your fabulous vaca! Thanks for sharing!

JoAnne said...

I'm glad to hear about your luggage! Fabulous photos! I love the "snowmen" blocks! Have fun!

Sue W. said...

I want to add "Batman" to your title. I guess that dates me doesn't it? I'm glad to hear that your luggage caught up with you. Looking forward to touring along with you.

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