This is our favourite place in Spain, not only because of the amazing town, but we were completely lost at every stage of the journey – even after acquiring two different maps. However, if you were going to get lost somewhere, this was the best place to do it.
After barely navigating our way from the train station to the town (with our first map) we’d arrived in Toledo a little too early since all the shops were still closed and the streets were practically empty. ‘This is sooo Spanish’ we thought. The town itself was lovely, with splashes of medieval architecture dotted throughout the streets. We wondered around for a couple of hours, thinking to ourselves ‘This is pretty cool…’.
We eventually got bored and trotted over to the information center to see what there is to do in Toledo. The lady smiled at us and asked if we’d seen the walled city on the hill.
We raced outside and looked up the hill that we’d just walked down. There, haloed in the sunlight was the old medieval city of Toledo – an impeccably preserved time capsule of the 1500s. We sprinted up towards the fortress but suddenly realised that we had no idea how to actually get up the hill. The ancient Spanish had ingeniously built a complex maze of cascading staircases and ramps which must have been designed to literally confuse would-be invaders. The map didn’t help either (a common theme in this story).
Whilst arguing over which way the map was pointing and what was and wasn’t a road. Usually we like to carve out our own route, but this time, we shamefully joined a tour group (they didn’t know we had joined) and followed them into the city. Once inside, we quickly parted with our new Japanese friends and immediately got lost again, but this time, it was a far more enjoyable experience…
After a hard day of snapping pics and avoiding angry guards screaming ‘No Foto! No Foto!’, we eventually found our way to the main city entrance. Thats when the penny dropped – we realised that we had managed to stumble into the city via a back entrance and had haphazardly gone through all the sites in a random order, ending at the start.
A beautiful city and a absolute must if you’re looking for a day trip out of Madrid. We loved our visit and getting lost was most fun, we wouldn’t have done it any other way!
Date Travelled: June 2010