Toledo and Madrid

Our Last Day of Touring -Toledo, then Madrid – May 25, 2017

We left Granada this morning to travel to Toledo for lunch and a tour of the city. There are 2,000 years of history in Toledo, a mix of three cultures, Muslim, Christian and Jewish. On the way, we passed through an area north of Granada that has been a wine-growing region for claret, a mix of red and green grapes since 800 BC. We passed many vineyards, all perfectly maintained. We also saw a couple of castles, in particular the famous castle noted in Cervantes’ Man of La Mancha,” including the windmills. Note the “ancient” construction crane.

We arrived near Toledo for a photo opportunity on the way in, which was spectacular. Our lunch was at a restaurant that caters to many busloads of tourists at once, and there were at least four buses there when we arrived. It was adequate and allowed us to move on to visit Toledo, again. The streets were shaded, as they were in Granada. However, it turns out that it was not for providing shade, as we thought. The fabric was hung to mark the way (along with flower petals) for a huge Catholic celebration on July 11, La Fiesta de Corpus Christi. We will be missing that! This was the same reason for the fabric in Granada. Ooops!

Because we did a half day tour there a week ago, we didn’t go into the same sites with the group and guide. It was very hot today, 39C, about 95F, which made us a bit sluggish. Back to the bus and on to Madrid for the end of this trip. Three and a half weeks go by and it is so difficult to remember where you were or when. Once home and after massive amounts of laundry and jet lag sleep, I will put the daily blogs and more pictures together in a book for us. It will trigger the memories of what we did and when.

Miami will be a nice break on the way back tomorrow. We are having a Shabbat dinner at a friend’s house and a day to catch up before returning home on the 28th. I hope Dino and Pancho remember us.

As a final comment about our vacation, we enjoyed Morocco, its exoticness and history. Our timing could not have been better, except for the unusual sand storm. We had sun and mild temperatures every day, which was a gift. Madrid was amazing. We could live there in a heartbeat. The energy and charm of the city was intoxicating. Andalusia was very interesting, filled with thousands of years of history, conquests, re-conquests and ruins. It makes the Western Hemisphere look like a baby in diapers. Looking back, we would have taken a different trip through Andalusia, with better hotels and smaller tour groups. We would recommend the cooking class, though. Spain is a wonderful destination. If it has suffered from the financial crisis of the past couple of years, you would never know. Next time, maybe include Portugal?

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