I had a reasonably busy and somewhat chaotic day. I was up early and walking to the train station shortly after 8. Madrid is fairly dead at that time of the morning. I stored the bulk of my luggage at the Atocha station and had some breakfast before catching a medium speed train to Toledo.
Toledo, Spain's former capital with 3500 years of history, was declared a town of Historical Heritage for Humanity in 1986. The train ride was just 35 minutes. The central historic portion of Toledo is relatively small and close to the train station, so naturally I spent the whole day on foot. Although, it was a short day because I had to catch the train back to Madrid around 5pm.
Toledo is like a giant maze with tiny streets going in every direction left, right, up, and down. So, it was fun to just wander around to see what I could find and that's what I spent most of my time at, stopping into to the odd place here and there for a close up look.
At the end of the day I headed for the train station to catch my train, but I did find time for a beer first near the station. This gave the day an interesting turn. A fellow on a bicycle joined me for a beer and we got talking. He was riding from Seville in southern Spain back to his home in Hamburg, Germany. That's a 5000 km distance which he expects to cover in 3 months. Last year he road from Italy to Hamburg, a 3000 km distance in 2 months. What was surprising was that he's been to Calgary to run the marathon and to attend the stampede. Yup, small world.
Once I got back to the Atocha station I grabbed my luggage then took the subway to the Chamartin station to catch my train the Lisbon. My train didn't leave until 10:45 pm, so I had a lot of waiting around with nothing too exciting happening. I would have stayed in Toledo longer but all the later trains back to Madrid where full.
At the Chamartin station I decided to make arrangements to head to Barcelona after Lisbon. It's a good thing I did, because it was hard to find a spot on the Lisbon to Madrid train (only one per day). I ended up having to go with a more expensive single sleeper option and I can only stay in Lisbon 2 days, otherwise I would have to stay much longer.
Anyway, that's about it for now. Here's a few photos from Toledo.
This is the Tajo river which surrounds central Toledo on 3 sides.
This is the Cathedral.
A view of central Toldedo from the north side. Note the escalator on the side of the hill for those who don't want to walk up the steep and narrow streets.
The Bisagra Gate. At one time this was the only entrance into the city.
Some examples of the narrow streets.
This is the Iglesia de los Jesuitas. After touring the inside I went up to the area between the towers for a better view of the city.
A site I saw at other churches in Spain. They have machines with light bulbs in them instead of having candles in the church that people can light.
I saw this in Paris as well. That is, a quad runner the is licensed for street use. I guess it makes sense for the narrow streets.
One of many interesting windows in Toledo.
The fellow biking to Hamburg from Seville.
My train at the Toledo station.