Alcalá de Henares

Alcalá de Henares

Friday, February 5, 2010

Toledo, not the one in Ohio...

Toledo is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever visited.  Period.  I went with my Civilization and Spanish Culture class, and I can tell why the professor decided to take the class to this particular city because it was absolutely amazing.  It reminded me of the pictures I've seen of Italy.  Plus, the weather was perfect, a little on the cold side but with puffy white clouds and a big blue sky.  It felt like a perfect fall day in October and I couldn't have been happier.

Toledo is known for a couple of different things: Mazapan, tight little streets, and the winding river surrounding the city.  First, I had Mazapan and have decided that I do not need to indulge again.  I went to a Café during my free time with my friends and ordered a strawberry milkshake and a mazapan cake because I was told by my professor that I must try it in Toledo because it is the city's signature dessert.  It was decent but nothing I need to buy again.  I also tried a small mazapan candy thinking that it would be better, but it wasn't.  Disappointment.  Anyone who visits Toledo will probably comment on the streets.  The streets in Toledo are so small and tight!  It's amazing that cars can make it down the street.  We were in a group of about 50 students and I could tell that the drivers were getting angry at us for taking up the whole street.  Sorry.  The last part of our day consisted of going to a scenic area to get some pictures of the city, since the spot where the best panoramic view of the city was closed.  But I got some good pics regardless and I hope you enjoy looking at them.

During our visit to Toledo, the class also went to a cathedral which was pretty cool on the inside.  It had a little area for growing orange trees, and there was no ceiling so the trees were directly in the sun.  It had an upper level, and when you looked up it felt like you were so close to heaven.  It was one of the coolest feelings.  We also went to an art gallery and a school, but the best excursion was by far the cathedral.

A side comment about day trips and packing lunches.  My host mother felt the need to pack an excessive lunch for me today.  I had two sandwiches, one regular square sandwich and another footlong sandwich on a baguette.  She bought the baguette bread in kind of a dough form, and then baked it in the oven this morning so I could use it for my sandwich.  Oh my, it was so delicious!  I also had a tray of Chips A'hoy Chocolate Chip Cookies, a bag of pretzels (all my friends were jealous of my pretzels), a mandarin orange, two juice boxes, and a strawberry chocolate bar.  Everything tasted so wonderful and I'm so glad that my host family feeds me so well!

Well I'm off to Segovia tomorrow and am still trying to catch up on sleep from El Kapital, so that's all for today.  And yes, I did wear that red beret all day.  I'm not sure if I wore it correctly, but I wore it nonetheless.

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