It was slow going in Madrid’s main train station this morning trying to buy our tickets to Toledo. There were no ticket machines, so we had to take a number and wait until it was displayed on an overhead LED display along with the counter number that we were expected to go to in order to speak to a real person to buy our tickets. Also, there were two number machines – one for trains leaving today, and one for trains leaving after today. When it was finally our turn to get our tickets, we had already missed the train we had planned on taking, so we had to leave on the next train, two hours later. The good news was that we had plenty of time to check out the beautiful train station, with its glass and wrought-iron structure.
Marching into the Walled-City of Toledo
The 30-minute train ride from Madrid got us into picturesque Toledo around noon. We had decided to visit Toledo on Monday because most of the museums in Madrid were closed on Mondays. It didn’t occur to us that the same would be true in Toledo. So, it was a bit disappointing that we were unable to tour the Alcázar, or visit the Casa-Museo de El Greco. However, we were able to meander through the medieval streets and appreciate the Mudéjar, Moorish, and Gothic architecture that was present at every turn. We also got to visit the resplendent Toledo Cathedral, with its extraordinary Choir depicting Old Testament Bible scenes and scenes from the Fall of Granada in 1492, and with art works by El Greco and Goya, among others. We were also lucky that the Iglesia de Santo Tomé was open, where we could admire El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, with likenesses of real people at the time, including El Greco himself.
The Alcázar among the Rooftops
The Iglesia de los Jesuitas was also open, and it provided access to its Bell Towers where we climbed to the top to get a unique perspective of the city, with the Alcázar (in the back) and the Cathedral towering over all the rooftops.