Friday, September 25, 2009

Toledo, España: Land of Marzipan & Swords

Today we (the group) went to Toledo for a day trip. It was awesome! Toledo is a great town. It's history is old - like seriously old (it has a cathedral), but it also has a modern enough feel that you know you're not in the dark ages. Great shopping, great food, great sights.

We took a tour of the cathedral, which was enormous. There was a crypt (sp?) with dead religious people burried there. I wonder who is there. The decoration was intensely ornamented. Very extravagant and incredible. I was amazed that people would feel that strongly and invest that much money in their religion. Everything was gold or gold plated, or enamel, or another elaborate design. We could only take pictures of the outside of the building.

From there, we went to see El Greco's most famous painting. No pictures allowed. It was pretty neat. Interesting how he painted several individual scenes in the same painting. We walked around they church a bit that was connected with the El Greco room, but we all left when we saw the obnoxious pro-life propaganda.

After, we went to see the Museo Safardi (sp?) - Jewish museum. The tiny building contained a brief history of the expulsion of the Jews from nearly every corner of the planted. At first there was a general movement into Spain, but then Queen Isabella expelled the Jew too. :-(
The synagogue connected to the museum seemed odd. Well, it's just that it wasn't Jewish. We walked in and found a monk. And a nun. They were wearing crosses with Stars of David in the middle. They said they are Catholic but that they also embrace Jewish tradition. (???) We asked if they were like the Jews for Jesus, but they said no. We were confused. We're still confused. The two religions have very different fundamental beliefs...

The building itself was alright. Nothing like the cathedral. Instead, it had some ornamentation in some sections. Other sections were left plain white; it looked like someone had decided not to finish decorating.


About the shopping in Toledo... Yes! Toledo is adorable - super touristy and awesome history. Every store had a great collection of swords - full size - displayed in the windows. They also had mini ones. I remembered that Mr. Haan had asked for El Cid's sword, so I looked, but they did not have one like that. I'll have to keep looking. Many stores also had fans. I bought a fan. Hand-painted. Really beautiful.

Marzipan was also a big thing in Toledo. There were like a million marzipan stores. I elected to to buy any in an effort to conserve my teeth. Well, that's not true. I didn't think about my teeth until just now because I just brushed them.


When we got back to Madrid, I went to dinner with Sima, Beth, and Katie. We ate at a tapas place. Yum. The food was delicious. I ordered a glass of tinto de verano with a sirloin/bleu cheese tapa. Also got a tortilla española to split (despite the eggs, it was worth it), some bread/goat cheese/reddish sauce dish, and more. My desert was a crepe with dulce de leche and whipped cream. Here's a picture:

I feel bad for my friends who are eating in dining halls.

I also found a pet shop today!! So, naturally, I had to go in. I bought a little thing of dog treats for Miss Maddie Beagle, the cutest dog ever. I got the same kind that Mus eats, so I think Maddie will like them. :-)

I'm still sick. I'm running out of kleenex and can't find a place to buy any. I'm running low on mucinex too - only like 2.5 days worth Sudafed and claritin just aren't the same. Mucinex kicks...well, it kicks snot I guess. hahahaha. Ok, I think that's enough for now. Bye.


  1. have you seen any of Gaudi's architecture? i know you were interested in that.
    btw, my cousin works for vodafone in india. ill see if he can hook you up ;)

  2. No, Gaudi's architecture is in Barcelona. I'm planning to go there around December 18-22. I can't wait! For now though, I'm working on planning my trips to Granada, Paris, and somewhere for the december break.

    Really? For vodafone? I would love some help. I think it's okay for now, but any advice would be welcome. Thanks much!