My European tour, Part 18, Toledo, Spain

Hola ! Renxkyoko Iglesias aqui.

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I’m almost done with my Euro travelogue.  But I’m afraid after this, I won’t have anything to talk about anymore. In fact, even right now that I have a specific topic , my mind is still  blank. I feel it’s travel overload. I’ve been staring at the monitor for 2 days now, y’know.  Oh, but I think I had a lovely Valentine’s Day post, if I may say so myself.  I ;ve been rereading it, and everytime I do, I laugh. Hahaha * cough *.  It’s like I’m laughing at my own jokes.  Oh, Newsflash,  I actually had a date on Valentine’s Day.  Heh. I wasn’t really complete  zero, you know.  =_= ”

Oh, and one blogger got interested in my old  Valentine post, and her comment  made  me revisit   that one. .  Homigash !  It was a Valentine’s rant ! ! I’ll save you the time and just copy  here a part of that stupid post.  Ah. Sweet Ren ain’t so sweet , at all.

Here it is…..

I’m quite annoyed at the star rating feature here.  Why do we need to be rated anyway? I don’t really want that thing on my space.  On my previous blog, some reader rated my work as 1 star. I think that’s so rude. It’s like telling me my work is pure crap. Well, it is, but you , whoever you are, don’t have to rub it  in. WTF !  This isn’t a grammar test, nor a writing  one.  These are  my random thoughts , and  crappy or not,  this is my freakin’  blog and I can freakin’ write whatever I freakin’ feel like writing, so don’t freakin’ judge me.  I’m sure you’re no  freakin’ Pulitzer Prize winner either, whoever you are.

This is all for now.  Not in the mood to write anything else.  I have headache .

I  was such a sensitive fool.  I got a 1 star rating and went berserk.  Anger issues  much, methinks.

Oh, well.  Anyway, here’s Toledo, Spain.

Toledo is located in central Spain, and is the capital of the province of Toledo and   the autonomous region of Castille- La Mancha.

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Ah, La Mancha !  I’d like to believe everyone reading this has at least heard of  the play Man of La Mancha ?  This play was originally a manuscript of  author/soldier/actor/tax collector, named Miguel de Cervantes who had been imprisoned in Toledo for  heresy, ( together with his manservant)        ,    during the Spanish Inquisition . Well, no, not for heresy, but for foreclosing a monastery ! ! !  Ahahaha ! Anyway  the play is about a man who has read so many books about chivalry and injustice that he  loses his mind. Then, after renaming himself as Don Quixote de la Mancha, and  together with his manservant, Sancho Panza, he  embarks on a quest for his dream .  He is the ultimate symbol of a knight in shining armor.  One of the most memorable songs in the musical play,  is the song The Impossible Dream. To dream, the impossible dream…..To fight, the unbeatable foe. To bear , with unbearable sorrow….. la la la.  The lyrics are just so beautiful and meaningful.    I watched the movie version of this ( starring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren, in our  collection of musical  movies at home  ) and I think , this is one of the most touching and heartfelt  story that I’ve ever seen and read, a story that is simply magical and  makes one believe again  in the innate goodness of man  and nobility of the human mind.

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The man on the horse is Don Quixote with Sancho Panza, his manservant, the top middle statue is Miguel de Cervantes, the author, the two women statues on the left and right are just one character, as  Dulcinea, his  virgin dream maiden, the damsel in distress,  and as   Aldonza, actually a prostitute  in a rundown inn which, he, in his addled mind, sees as a castle.

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.Toledo was declared a World Heritage site. No new building can be constructed and all buildings are preserved.

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The one on the right is the Alcazar ( Arabic  for castle -palace ) and the one on the left is the Cathedral.

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.The center of Toledo has several  entrances. I don’t lknow what the name of this entrance is. Do you notice the Muslim influence on the design of the entrance? It’s kind of Arabesque, Moorish, or whatever they call that design.

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Toledo was the capital of the Spanish Empire before Madrid.  It was the place where Muslims, Jews and Catholics coexisted. during the Middle Ages., before the Jews and Muslims were expelled at the start of the 15th century.  Below is the oldest synagogue still standing, built in 1180., called  Santa Maria la Blanca, formerly  Ibn Shushan Synagogue.  This building is unique because it was constructed  under the Catholic  kingdom of Castille, by Islamic architects for Jewish use.

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.Interior of the synagogue.

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.The Cathedral.

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Cathedral’s interior

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You know what, the real thing is more jaw-dropping.

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.The city of Toledo is surrounded by walls.

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The photo above…. this kind of building with painted on faux windows, and doors are very common in Europe. I’ve seen this in Florence, too.

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.Not sure, but I think above photo is the oldest police station in Europe.

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.Random me.

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.The photo above….. just showing you how narrow the streets are.  It’s actually charming.

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.

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.One of the more notable citizens of Toledo  who lived or were born here was EL GRECO.  He was a Byzantine painter whose paintings had a modernistic feel to them .

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.We went to see his paintings and there’s an interesting story behind the above photo. Our tour guide was particularly effusive in his story telling. It’s a pity I’ve forgotten what it’s all about , ha ha.

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* ponders*

You know, the difference between a Protestant cross and a Catholic Cross is that the latter has an image in it and  Catholics call it Crucifix.  Speaking of which , I have a funny picture of a speeding Catholic driver.

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.Ha ha ha… I , myself, have a Rosary hanging in my car.

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It may seem boring, but , believe it or not, Toledo is one of the most beautiful places  I’ve visited in Europe.  Oh, by the way, Toledo used to be the the top sword maker in the whole of Europe since Roman times. They still make the stuff, but only ceremonial ones.. They now make handcrafted gold jewelries. We visited one such craft shop and bought several pairs of handmade gold earings and necklaces….they’re  beautiful with such intricate and delicate designs.

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This is all for now.

Burgos and Bilbao, Spain are next.

.With song in my heart, I say, hasta la vista… chau and Paz. La di da…..

63 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! Don Quixote de La Mancha! Back when I was a kid back in Chile, my teacher made us rehearse the lines of the story and the rhymes for a song. It’s a story that will last many many lifetimes 🙂

    The city is amazing, so much preserved history here with so much beautiful art. Of course, though even more lovely is the writer of this post, awesome photos 🙂

    Reply

  2. hello, Ren.. interesting tale of your travel, as usual and wonderful pics, yes! you sound like you had a grand time. you look relaxed in the photos, too. Toledo seems an excellent place to visit. thanks for sharing. warm regards, dear… 🙂

    Reply

    • Hi, Ate,

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but as time goes by, I’m starting to lose the memories. Good thing I have tons of photos ( that I don’t get to post here coz I have no idea anymore what they are … I should have written something , like a caption or something )
      I tell you, though, I don’t remember much anymore but I thought then Toledo was one of the most beautiful places in Europe.

      Reply

      • yes, i understand, memories fade and the sensations and feelings are no longer the same as time goes by. but Toledo looks elegant and charming from this end, dear. i love their narrow streets and pavements and the buildings look well-maintained… is shouldn’t wonder you thought of Toledo as one of the most beautiful places in that part. 🙂 have a good weekend ahead.

        Reply

  3. very artistic talaga ang pagkakagawa ng mga old churches, and were built to last din talaga.

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    • You should have seen the interior ! ! I couldn’t take photos because it was too dark in there ! I just bought a brochure of the church and the interiors. I think I’ll just go to Kinko’s and have that brochure photocopied into a disc.

      Reply

  4. Don Quijote de la Mancha que hace caca y no se Mancha.
    Don Quixote from la Mancha ( the Stain) who does shit and don’t Stain( se Mancha)

    Reply

  5. The narrow street in the photo is so similar to other places in Europe. There is one just like it in Tallinn/Estonia, Helsinki/Finland… Beautiful photos!

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    • I find the narrow streets really charming, Ms. Fae. yes, that’s what I notice about the streets in Europe. They are very narrow. My eyes are so used to wide streets .

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  6. Lovely narrative, as always !
    Let me get a little rich, and I will hire you as a professional traveller 😉

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    • Let me know when you want to travel and I’ll send you a few helpful tips….. oh, tips will be one of my topics when I’m done.

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      • Awesome ! In a year or so, but you definitely are going to be my guide 🙂

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        • Ha ha Why don’t you just print my travel posts and staple them. lol !

          One thing, one important thing, you have to read up on the places you want to see in order to appreciate them. ( unless you have a travel guide. Even so, it’s really important to know and get familiar with the places thru your reading ) Otherwise, they will only look as just old buildings.

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          • I will do that for sure 😉
            And you are right about getting familiar with what one is going to see part. It is probably why people do not enjoy much. A bit of history and geography on the sides, makes a wonderful 6 course meal. I will keep that in mind !!!

            Reply

  7. Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on February 21, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    bah humbag, people don’t know what they are talking about! your blog is lovely, dear Ren!!! I have had lots of bad comments, they make me angry, and I want make some sort of snarky remark, but then I go and check their blog out and I laugh. because their blog is just as bad as mine.
    I had one reader say: “Who let you even have blog? you should delete it!” and I admit it, the entry wasn’t my best work, but I had gotten mad and checked his out. His was worse.
    there are critics out there, and some should just keep their opinions to themselves 🙂
    but Ren, my dear your blog is great!!!
    HUGS!!!

    Reply

    • I know, right? Don’t read, just leave, and never come back, lol ! Nooooo ! Come backkkkk ! ! ! Ha ha ha

      nah, I think that was a particular bad day for me. It was Valentine’s day, and since my boss knew I didn’t have a BF, she scheduled me to work on Valentine’s day…. just myself, alone… I was the only one that day, can you believe it ? Unfortunately, I was invited out just one day before… and there was no one to cover for me at work… yeah, that’s what happened. I got roses, though.

      Reply

      • Posted by ~REBECCA DAWN~ on February 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm

        roses!!! aww! I got one ecard from a reader. yep that was the extent of my valentines!!! sad.

        Reply

        • The roses I was referring too was like 2 years ago… but guess what, I got 12 roses this Valentines. Ah, I’m drying them properly now… * gonna take pictures of them later* At least I didn’t get chocos, teddy bears, and heart shaped pillows this year.

          Reply

  8. Great post as always…

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  9. I always love your pictures……

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  10. Fantastic! love the cathedral, what a wonderful place Toledo is. Can you imagine such a haven for coexisting religions in the modern world, there must be some.

    For what it’s worth you have never and will never be a one star blogger in my eyes, and my eyes are brown.

    Reply

    • the interior of the cathedral is amazing.

      It’s true about the coexistence. It’s a pity the Queen or King then decided to convert them or else… get expelled from the country of their birth.

      Awww, thanks , and my eyes are dark brown, ….. I’d like to say black eyes, but there’s no such thing as black eyes,, really.

      Reply

  11. Toledo was a lovely city! Then again, I just love old architecture and buildings with history. This is why I always like going to Europe. There’s so much to see and it’s so beautiful.

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  12. lucky you…
    i wish i would be there somehow and someday…..

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  13. that was a funny rant you had back then 🙂 nice pictures as always…

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  14. Love your photos! That creative brain of yours has plenty in there to stir up more posts. Ease up the pressure and the brilliance will stream out 😉 BTW, nothing like a good rant!

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    • I know, huh. But I know I’m starting to blabber. I mean, blah, blah, blah. I can’t seem to write on one specific topic, unlike the other bloggers. My mind wanders………

      Reply

  15. More amazing photographs. I’ve never been there, but I wish I had 😦

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  16. Your work is ambrosia for my soul.
    Thank you.

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  17. What the hell, Ren? Why we go the same places and I don’t know any of this stuff??? haha. I had no idea Toledo had anything to do with Don Quixote. Didn’t see that statue, clueless. Dang, I would’ve been really hardcore into Toledo if I knew that! And your pictures are way better than mine too! All I got is a few sword pics and one of a bakery where these little nun dolls were posed making donuts. Ah well! Toledo was cool – spent my last full day in Europe there before flying back (same with you?). It’s a bittersweet feeling at the end of a big trip, isn’t it? Don’t worry about coming up with more stuff to write about – you can always just ramble and people will read it and enjoy it. Actually, I think I’d like that more than any sort of coherent essay. Yeah, just ramble Ren. You have a gift for it. : D

    Peaces Nene!

    Reply

    • Oppa, the play, Man of La Mancha is supposed to have taken place in that area. Toledo is a part of La mancha. The author of the play, Cervantes, was incarcerated in Toledo, at Alcazar. It’s now a military academy or something, not sure.

      You’ve been to Toledo and all you have to show for it is a photo of a bakery ? Ha ha ha That’s really funny, ! Oh, wait, I SAW THAT BAKERY ! ! !

      No, we flew back from Paris.

      I know. It’s a bittersweet feeling.

      How is it going, Oppa?

      Reply

  18. Wonderful and fascinating post 😀

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  19. Posted by jalal michael sabbagh.http://gravatar.com/jmsabbagh86@gmail.com on March 1, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Lovely post about Toledo ,beautiful history,rich culture.(l just want to say about who ever wrote that post being free to write and say whatever he or she want in his blog…EVERY plate flows with what in it) .Life is a great teacher to write about..Have a nice weekend .jalal

    Reply

  20. Posted by JK Bevill - Lost Creek Publishing on March 1, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Beautiful photographs and thank you for all your likes!

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    • Aaarg, the photos are too amatuerish… not even focused properly…. that;s what happens when we have to keep pace with the tour guide who walks so fast.

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  21. I agree about the star rating: If people don’t like what I write, they should just stop reading my blog..(and don’t bother handing out 1-star ratings):)

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    • I know , right. I didn’t know we could take that off until someone pointed it out to me. So, now, it’s gone, and I’m happy, lol. That star rating doesn’t make sense at all.

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  22. Posted by ladyotaku on March 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Just believe in the power on friggin’ karma! haha! Your blog gives me inspiration to daydream more about travelling. My fave pictures would be the swords…and the rosary…haha!

    Reply

  23. I loved how detailed your blog is! So I nominated you for the “very inspiring blog” award. Keep it up! (:

    http://olivethepeople.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/the-very-inspiring-blog-award/#comment-626

    Reply

  24. Another great adventure!! I love your photography! You are super-creative, so even after you finish this Euro trip series, I know you will be posting some more great articles.

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    • Oh, by the way, the walls with painted on faux windows and doors remind me of the old Looney Tunes cartoons where they would draw a door on a rock wall, then run through it. 🙂

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      • Ahahaha ! Right ! I remember them ! ! The Road Runner and Tom and Jerry. They don’t make this kind of cartoons anymore. Now it’s The family Guy and The Simpsons. Too realistic.

        Reply

    • OMG, my photogarphy ! Aaargh. Good photographers will laugh me out of their league. I couldn’t even focus properly ( especially if we were actually walking and trying to keep up with the tour guide. There was no time to stop and focus. I just clicked and clicked and chose the most decent i could find to post here. )

      Reply

  25. If you’re looking to visit Toledo on a budget you should definitely check out Be Your Guide Toledo, a mobile device application (aplicaciones desarrollo) that was developed specifically for the city of Toledo! It’s free to download in the app store and is the only one of its kind on the market. Being from the city of Toledo themselves, Nexora Solutions felt that this would be a great opportunity to share the wealth our city has to offer the world. It works offline too, so even if you’re traveling and don’t have an international plan you can use all of the features. It also provides user reviews of local pubs and restaurants to ensure that you have the best experience possible.

    Check out the full features at http://www.beyourguidetoledo.es/ !

    Reply

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