Monday, 14 August 2017

Exploring Madrid and Toledo

We had so much fun exploring Madrid and Toledo this past weekend. I want to do a quick post to capture some highlights. Pictures to follow after we return home at the end of August.

Exploring Madrid
- On Saturday morning, we walked to Plaza Mayor, the main public square, to meet up with our walking tour group of about 45 people from various countries. Sebastian, our tour guide, did a good story telling job.
- Spent the next two hours exploring landmarks in the west side of Madrid such as the Town Hall, Sun Gate, Viaduct, Cathedral, Royal Palace, and Opera House. I love the small streets, grand avenues, building structures, fountains, and statues.
- Had lunch and returned to our room for a siesta!
- In the afternoon, we went for ice cream before walking to the east side of Madrid to visit the El Prado and Reina Sofia museums. We selected a small number of art work to view so not to get sensory overload, and to reserve some energy for dinner and the evening stroll back to our room. The pedestrian-only streets near our place were full of local residents out and about after 9 p.m.

Exploring Toledo
- On Sunday we took the train from Madrid Atocha Renfe station to Toledo. Return ticket cost 20.60€ each. The ride was 33 minutes non stop. There are frequent trains, however, I made the right decision to book the return train in advance. It was full when we returned, and so was the next train. The Avant train was clean, spacious, and comfortable. The scenery along the route was mostly dry, brown fields, with occasional green patches. Lots of olive trees though.
- Toledo historic centre is an explorer and photographer's dream. A wonderful UNESCO World Heritage site. Even its train station is visually impressive showing influence of three cultures. Be prepared to walk uphill, and the summer sun brings intense heat. Frequent hydration and sun protection are essential!

I'm still thinking about the sights we saw over the weekend. Simply amazing and awesome! I'd definitely return to Toledo for a longer exploration if I could.

We bid adios to Toledo and Madrid. En route by train to Córdoba, about two hours from Madrid. Stay tuned. Have a great week!


  1. Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this site needs
    a great deal more attention. I'll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the info!