Fourth trip: Toledo

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Remember the abono joven? The one where you can travel by bus, metro and train around Madrid for 20 euros per month? This little card will also get you for free to Toledo. You just have to take the bus at Intercambiador de Plaza Elíptica, which happens to be at my metro line. Easy does it!*

Two girls from my studies asked me to go with them, but they hopped on at Getafe. So I was meeting someone at Plaza Elíptica, but I had no idea what she looked like. I asked the wrong person the first time. I’m meeting new people all the time, so it’s nothing new to me.

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Me and the girl I just met waited in Toledo for three other girls to arrive. My classmates had a filming assignment and the waiter let us film. He even put a chair in the right position to film! For the first time, we left a little tip. Tips are included in the bill here, so usually you don’t leave a tip. At least, that’s what my Spanish friends told me.

Next, we went to Museo de Santa Cruz. It’s an old hospital, now used as an art museum. I had never seen a painting with a Veronica Cloth before and here there were several. A lot of the wooden panels were damaged, so you could see where they had attached them. On top of it all, they had works by El Greco. It was interesting to see the architecture of the building, it was the first time I visited an old hospital like this.

We came across a museum for black magic (Museo de la España Mágica). It’s an Islamic cave dating back to the tenth century. I said that we could throw a coin in the water to bring good luck. Later, I tried to look up where this tradition came from and I found that water used to be hard to come by, so people often treated wells as holy or magic places. Coins and clothes can carry diseases and it’s a way of cleansing them with the clean water. It would bring good luck and it’s only this tradition that’s left. I like how this piece of information explains why the Islamic cave was made into a museum for magic. If you go there, there are some more signs explaning this… But I won’t spoil what they were.

After this, I visited the church (Catedral de Santa María de Toledo). There was a room dedicated to all of the cardinals and the architecture was mesmerizing. Spain is so rich in its arts and architecture, it’s like heaven to me.

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Speaking about heaven, did you know the marzipan (marzapanes) in Toledo is made by nuns? Try to find a place where you can see them prepare it!

There were many more buildings to visit. None of us expected Toledo to be this big and I guess we’ll all have to go back again to visit the rest. For example, to see the Roman Baths, a Mosque or a Synagogue. Maybe you’ll read about this in a little while (;!

* Unfortunately, there are some requirements for the abono joven (something about being joven– young). Check it here.

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