Sunday, May 4, 2008


Day 53
After a really good nights sleep I woke up not quite knowing where I was. I had a long breakfast with Susan and Alberto. Alberto had been to New York a few years before and we chatted about the city and what he had done while he was there. After breakfast they offered to let me crash at their place one more night. I really appreciated it and would have loved to take them up on the offer, but I had already book and paid for a hostel and felt that I should use that.

I can not thank Susan and Alberto enough. Without their hospitality I would have been up a creek without a paddle. Couchsurfing is a fabulous website and I´m very happy that it was there when I needed it.

Still, after almost of month of mostly homestays and hotels it was time for me to rejoin the world of hostels. In less then ten minutes I went from the girl who was crashing with friends in Madrid, to the girl in room 2, bed 5.

I decided to join the tourist droves and headed off to Toledo. Toledo is a well preserved medieval city, and also where El Grecko painted many of his masterpieces.

After an hours bus ride I followed the long line of tourists up the hill. At the tourist info center they told me that pretty much everything was closed except for the cathedral. That was fine with me because that is what I had come to see.

The cathedral was pricey at 7 euros, but I paid it anyway. I also sucked that I wasn´t allowed to take pictures in the cathedral, there were guards around telling people to stop the second they would pull out a camera. It was also irritating to find that none of the explanations were in English. I was lost without my translator. I decided that I should pay the euro for a 10 minute description of the place. It was basically worthless, all they did was say the names of the different chapels and when they were made and how big they were. Boring.

There was a small museum attached to the cathedral. There were several stunning El Grecko paintings, one was of Jesus as he was being captured. He looked as if he was praying. According to the guide I overheard, El Grecko wanted to paint Jesus in a more human light. There was a small VanDyck painting hanging nearby, I found that to be a bit odd.

One of the rooms was filed with pope hats, I don´t know what they were actually called. Another room displayed religious robes. There were some relics, but most of them were too far behind the velvet rope for me to be able to read who they had belonged to. There was one small room with paintings of every bishop of Toledo, the last 400 years were individual portraits. The last 6 bishops all wore glasses.

As I couldn´t read anything and I couldn´t take pictures and there wasn´t really anything else to check out in town I passed some time drawing stick figure versions of some of the paintings. I would love to show these to you, but they didn´t really photograph well.

The alter was pretty interesting. I spent some time trying to make it a stick figure masterpiece, but there was too much going on and I couldn´t fit it all on the page.

Right at the cathedrals exit there was a food fair. I grabbed some yummy cider and sampled loads of hams, cheeses and jellys.

I spent some time just wandering around the old streets before I decided to head back. I spent some time on the Internet before grabbing a quick dinner and heading back to my hostel. The hostel didn´t have a common room and there wasn´t really anyone around so I simply called it a night.

No comments: