Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.
Well, I am back from my latest camino and the good news is that there's no letter from the Hacienda (Tax Office) in my mail box. Better still, there's a note from Correos (the Post Office) saying they have in their “deposit box for 'lost' items” some documents of mine. These were in my wallet pick-pocketed in the tourist trap of El Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid almost 2 weeks ago. But there's no mention of the wallet itself. Nor the €300 in it!
So, back to normal.
But, first, come Toledo Travel Tips:-
- Although prices in in this magnificent city are not noticeably higher than elsewhere – indeed, I got a cup of coffee in Café Wamba(sic) for less than in Pontevedra – they're sky high in the main square – Plaza de Zocodover. Or they are in one bar, at least. McDonalds and BurgerKing have adjacent premises there and might well operate national prices.
- Get your train ticket well in advance of your departure. Especially if you're going on Thursday-Sunday. The trains fill up quickly.
- Be aware that room prices rise in at least some places for Thursday, Friday and Saturday – rather confirming the modern Spanish saying that the weekend begins on Thursday.
- Take note that it's still hot during the day in late September.
- Make sure you get a decent map of the old quarter streets, otherwise you'll walk twice as far as you need to.
- Also take note that Toledo establishments don't operate traditional Spanish hours. Virtually everything you might want to see shuts at 6 and won't let you in after 5.30. The Information offices also close at 6.
Life in Spain
- It's said that, once one party to a discussion/disagreement accuses the other of acting like a Nazi, there's little hope of final agreement. So what chance in Cataluña, where Barcelona and Madrid have each accused the other of this? Additionally, of course, Barcelona has the added 'advantage' of being able to accuse Madrid of acting like Franco. One wonders if the Catalan nationalists have any idea how stupid this line seems to the rest of us. Or whether the Spanish government, in its turn, realises how ludicrous it is for a party mired in corruption to arrest Catalan politicians for this so late in this saga - much though this was to be expected. Political immaturity all round, is the best one can say about this mess.
- I've seen so many magnificent cathedrals in Spain, it's hard to say which one is the most spectacular. But Toledo's has to be a prime candidate. It's truly stunning. That said, I experienced my usual mixture of admiration and disgust in it at the money spent by an establishment for which it's blessed to be poor. I couldn't help wondering whether Jesus would have approved of it. And, as ever, I also wondered where all the money had come from. Not from God, that's for sure. Unless you believe everything comes from that source – even the pennies of the impoverished.
Finally . . . Just one foto, albeit not a good one. Of the stunning train station in Toledo:-