For most travellers Toledo is a perfect day trip from Madrid, either by train, bus or car. It takes between 1-2 hours depending on your transportation, but here at ‘Our Leap Of Faith’, we are all for the ‘slow’ method of Travel so have decided to drive the few Km out of the City to This Jawdropping Paradise!
Our base for the next couple of days is the Riverside Campsite, Camping El Greco (N39.8647370 W4.046820) just a few minutes walk from one of the many entrance’s to the walled old City of Toledo and it’s historic center, the magnificent ‘Puente de San Martin’, a 14th-century bridge that has five arches. The main and the biggest arch has a story entailed to it.
This arch was not strong enough at the time of its construction. The engineer confided in his wife as he couldn’t risk his reputation by sharing it with someone else, unbeknownst of the fact that his very wife would save him by furtively setting fire to the scaffolds around the arch. When it collapsed to the ground, the engineer started his calculations again and this time came up with an arch that is still standing.
Plus its a UNESCO World Heritage Site to boot, so you do really need a reason not to visit !
The old city is a melting pot of Jewish, Islamic and Christian cultures, and this blend influences many of the buildings you see around.
Emperor Carlos V once said in 1556 that Toledo is “a place where the sun never sets” and he might just be onto something……
The architecture of this walled town is very unique in Spain and likely due to being described as the “City of the Three Cultures”, having been influenced by a historical co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews before 1085.
After 5 minutes walking in the Old City of Toledo, we were lost……
Michele and I are somewhere in the medieval walls, in a labyrinth of winding pedestrian streets where we were lost, it doesn’t matter when you are lost in between the magnificent old stone building and quiet cobblestone streets that are telling history from decades of time.
Toldedo has been known all over the world for its steel industry. The town’s steel industry dates back to the Roman times (around 500 BC) when it became the standard source for weaponry for Roman armies.
Meandering down the beautiful cobblestone streets amongst all of the swords and bracelets for sale in every window, I guess knife crime isnt a problem as every other shop sold knives or swords.
Sadly today its alot more touristy with every possible GoT replica swords on sale at an astromical price, but I do wonder how you get a weapon like that though customs ?
But who cares, a quick coffee stop and a consult of the tourist Map and were ready to go again or so we thought, I’ve got to say that this city is really so beautiful.
Mesmerized, we put the map away and just walked, cause sometimes that’s the right thing to do…..
Strolling fairly aimliessly around and bumping into Cathedral of Toledo, the Mirador del Valle, The Monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes and Puente de San Martin, its just a feast for anyone with a love of historic buildings !