Today I took a day trip out of Barcelona and made my way to Toledo. I booked a ticket on the fast train which cost about $36.50(AUD) for a return trip. It’s a 30 minute train road from Madrid-Puerta de Atocha station. From my hotel I got on the Metro and traveled a few stops before walking the rest of the way to the Atocha station. I had given myself about 5 hours in Toledo and didn’t go with any plans on things I had to see.

I was more interested in just going and having a look around. Exploring and seeing what I came across. Which was fun and man did the time go by quick. After getting off the train I walked out of the station and picked a direction. I ended up heading right and finding signs pointing to the City Centre so continued walking that way. I came across an old turreted wall and walked up the hill alongside it. It’s just beautiful and in every actual meaning of the word, awesome; to see these structures and places that have stood and witnessed so much history.

After winding around the wall I came into an entrance which led me into the old city and the centre of these walls. I popped my head into a souvenir shop checking out obviously the swords. I picked up a few trinkets, something for my Niece and my Mum. I also did get a little sword – a letter opener type thing you could say. How could I not try to buy a sword in Toledo. The goal is to pack it in my suitcase and get it to Croatia. If I can get it there, that is where it will live. (I just have Italy to go through to get there.) I feel that trying to bring it back into Australia could be potentially trickier. I did get stopped by the train security on my way out of Toledo because of it on the bag scan and my details taken. So it’s noted somewhere that I bought a little sword. I did choose a cheap little one incase I did/do have to dump it at some point. Until then, it can stay wrapped up with the other trinkets and with it’s receipt.

The guy in the shop was great. He had better English than I have Spanish, and made an effort to tell me about some of the traditional techniques still used to manufacture some of the items. He was good, cos I was probably going to buy something anyway, but his attempt to educate me and provide me with extra information was appreciated and a good sales tactic.

I continued walking around, weaving myself in between the narrow cobbled streets. The sheer number of feet that walked on these paths. It’s mind blowing. As I walked I was intrigued by this little side street and I turned to head down it, as I approached I came across the Bruja’s Wichcraft Museum and decided that sounded like something interesting to check out.
On it’s own this museum cost about $8(AUD) and took about an hour to go through. It’s a single level with items grouped and put together to help tell a bit of a narrative. They do also partner with some other exhibitions around Toledo and you can purchase a pass to all 5 museums for $19EURO. I opted just for the one as I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to take advantage of the others.

Some of the others included Ancient Instruments of Torture (that would of been interesting), Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions, and Catapults and other military bits. If you give yourself more time than I did in Toledo it might be worth checking some of the others out too.

It was nice to see something a bit different that I could move freely through at my own pace. There were some people who had entered the exhibition earlier than me, and some that came in when I was about half way through so there was never any crossing over with anybody else. The museum is designed to flow through a bit of a path so it’s good for moving people through the exhibition. Some of the most interesting items on display were the torture devices and the travel dildo set. It was great to read the information on some of the poisons and herbal remedies that were also used.

After passing through it was getting close to hunger time so I went off in search of some vegan food in Toledo. There are a few options and my timing is spot on to go check out a place that just opened. Eating before 1pm can be a challenge in Spain if you’re a bit picky. Lots of places don’t open until then and some close between 4pm and 7pm. I’ll post about this meal in the VEGAN EATS: Madrid blog post coming soon.

By the time I ate it was almost time for me to start making my way back to the train station to head back to Madrid. I just took myself for a bit of an extended wander and turned a few more cobbled street corners. Of course I bumped into a church. I then made my way back down from the old city centre and back to the station.

Once back in Madrid, I got back on the Metro to get closer to my hotel. As I was walking back through Plaza de España I could see that some staging had been set up. So I check out what Veranos de la Villa 2022 was and noticed that the opening night of this international festival was kicking off at 10pm tonight.

After going back to my hotel, heading out for dinner, and back to my hotel. I ventured out again to check out Lúmen · uma história de amor by S.A.Marionetas – Teatro & Bonecos from Portugal. These puppets were pretty cool and made me think of a few people back in Melbourne who would probs be into or even know about these guys. Afterwards I just headed back to my hotel again.

I’ve meant to go out exploring the nightlife in Madrid more and each day during the day consider it and look up things to do. But then the evening comes and I’m just not feeling as motivated and excited to self start myself. I think Madrid for me is a lot more of a chill resting stop before I go to Rome, where I know I will be go, go, go. I think it’s important to take the time sometimes to just relax. Well that’s what I keep telling myself over this last week and not beating myself up to much about not going out and making as much as an effort to meet up with people as I had last week.