Everything is Uphill
26.05.2016 - 27.05.2016
Toledo is an incredibly well-preserved ancient city perched on top of a hill. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and wandering the narrow streets it is easy to imagine every era this city has experienced- from the Visigoths to the Moors to the Christians of the Spanish Inquisition. The city maintains its walls and gates - walls which kept the city from ever falling (other than to prolonged siege).
We stayed at the Hotel Mayoral, which is outside the walls and within walking distance of the series of escalators that ferry people up to the top. This keeps the city nearly car-free (except for buses, taxis, and early morning deliveries). At the top, it's a short walk up to the main plaza, Plaza Zocodover. The plaza is the center of the city and is the place to ask for when you (inevitably) get lost.
We got lost. The city was celebrating Corpus Christie, and there were fuschia flowers and decorations throughout. The streets twist and turn and there are so many plazas and churches. We stopped to eat tapas and eventually found our way back to the square. We took the wrong escalator down and ended up walking all the way back down. We ended up at the beautiful Bisagra gate and wandered along the walls back to the hotel.
We headed back for a siesta and then the kids and I decided to go find a park where we could run and play. At 8 o'clock, it was still light out and the park (across the street from the Bisagra gate), was filled with people. Parents and kids, teenagers and couples strolling along the shaded paths. The restaurants and cafes were full and it was a beautiful night. The kids found some other kids to play with and they put together some elaborate war game while I relaxed on the benches and took in the scene.
When we got home at 10, they insisted they weren't tired. Five minutes after lights out, we were all snoring. In the morning, I woke up my early bird kid and we went back up to the city while the other two slept. In the mornings, there are no people and you have the whole place to yourself. All the vendors were delivering their goods to the stores, and we scored some fresh marzipan from São Tomé, a bakery services by the local nuns. Delish. Though our legs were tired, I really wanted to see the Cathedral, which is reportedly one of the best in Spain. Adam was a good sport - he let me take pictures and then we found chocolate croissants. A great morning in a great city.