Sunday, October 24, 2010

Toledo's Treasures and dinner for the records - The Fruchters Day 6

Toledo. The name itself conjures image of Spain's glorious past. Of sword-wielding knights fighting the battles of the reconquista. A short AVE trip from Madrid (a half-hour ride from Atocha puts you an enjoyable 20 minute walk from the old city gates) and our adventure continued down the labyrinthine streets surrounded by walls that seem to whisper the legends and stories of bygone days. From the outer walls and the spectacular vistas over the Tajo river to the Alcazar building perched high atop the rest of the city, Bruno led us through the maze of sites that can so easily confuse.  Highlights included the Cathedral, San Juan de los Reyes (where the freed christian prisoners' irons still hang from the walls) and the Synagogues. A city of three cultures which is no doubt unique in the world.

On getting back to Madrid we said goodbye to Bruno and stopped for a few minutes to visit the Atocha station, admiring its iron construction and saying hello to the turtles in the gardens. In the evening we had the opportunity to eat at one of Madrid's most famous restaurants: Botin. Touristy it is, but the Guinness record listed oldest-restaurant-in-the-world still makes a great meal. It's a good reminder that just because something becomes a tourist attraction, it doesn't necessarily become a tourist trap: and I'm glad to report that the roast suckling pig for which they are famous is still a wonderful dish and a great way to say goodbye to our time in the Spanish capital.

NExt up: heading into Andalucia, with a stop in Cordoba on our way to our hotel in Sevilla.

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