Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Castilla La Manacha, Spain

Nov 12, 2018 - Cuenca

As we neared our next stopover town, Cuenca, the landscape improved dramatically with rocky mountains, green valleys and clean running streams. It was a favourite area for us. The scenery may have been brilliant but the weather was wet, cold and windy with temperatures as low as 9C in some places. No matter, our Cuenca stop was excellent and the weather improved overnight. We covered quite a few kilometres walking the town which had plenty of cobbled streets and lanes and an interesting footbridge for us to explore. The only negative we...

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Nov 10, 2018 - Toledo

Once again we headed inland to experience more 'real' Spain in the small villages and larger towns. We completely avoided motorways and highways in favour of country roads and were totally happy with the choice. The landscape was extremely rugged and dry but not uninteresting. At times we felt like we were again passing through areas of Oz. Small towns like Tobarra and Ruidera were great for coffee or rest stops. Temperatures during the day got down to 9C so we avoided spending too much time out and about but on arrival at our hotel not...

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Oct 1, 2018 - Toledo - an ancient city of three cultures

Yesterday I caught a bus to Toledo for the day, one of the most fascinating historical towns I have visited so far with its three cultures - influenced by successive Islamic, Hebrew and Christian occupants. Toledo is an ancient city set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha and as you enter the walled old city via the Moorish Bisagra or Sol Gates, it opens out into the Plaza de Zocodover, a lively square and a good place to begin a walking tour of medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments. I caught a bus to Toledo and before...

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Oct 26, 2017 - Migrating south

Our last day in Somiedo we waited for the bus. We cleaned and packed from the room where we had been resident for two weeks and by 11am we were ready to go. On the bus at 5.30pm. Due to the remoteness of Somiedo there's only one bus a day heading north so we spent the day either sat by the river or in the cafe - where the owner had luke-warmed to us - by the meadow. There was a resignation of sadness of leaving competing with an itch to get moving onwards. At 5.31pm the bus arrived, we boarded and watched out the window as the mountains...

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Oct 18, 2016 - Adventures in Madrid

So out we went to explore. First we found Plaza del Sol--the center of Madrid....& Spain. It is a large busy square with a fountain, several bronze smal statues, sidewalk cafes and stores. We crossed the square, found Calle (street) San Jeronimo, and walked down to Neptune's Fountain. He rides a chariot pulled by seahorses. To our right is the Prado. The lineup is short sowe join and buy tickets for Monday. We wander back to the hostel stopping for a bite along the way. When we get back, Gord does not have the keys! The desk buzz us in and...

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Sep 30, 2016 - It can't be happening, this is just a dream (nightmare?) not reality.....

Monday 26th Left the French Riviera driving South West into the Camargue, which was lovely, even from the main road. It's an area that definitely needs more time, it's a national park and the wild white horses are famed for their beauty. Cattle are still herded by men on horseback here, it's something I'd love to see one day. We did see a small group of about ten white horses, in a area of reed beds, but only a glimpse from the road. We stayed over in a supermarket car park Aire, which was very noisy, so we were up early Tuesday morning and...

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Jun 9, 2016 - Toledo

On Monday (Lunes), 6 Junio, we walked north to La Tienda Verde, a very cool map and travel bookstore. We had a nice time looking at maps, and found one of Spain and Portugal, because we could not find the one that came with Rick Steves' book. Of course, once we returned to our apartment, we found the Rick Steves map. Isn't that always the way? We continued our long walk to a store called Taste of America, because we're going to be here awhile and we couldn't find popcorn! Bought a nice big bottle of Orville Redenbacher's. It was a necessary...

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Sep 9, 2015 - On to Toledo

Today we took a quick train ride to the ancient town of Toledo. I really didn't do much prep work on this town prior to leaving, Nancy at AAA just said it was a cool place and a short ride away. Many religions/cultures left their mark here in Toledo. Easy to see the Arab, Jewish, Christian, Roman and even Visigothic elements. The most famous structure here is of course the Church which took over 2 1/2 centuries to complete and is built on top of a mosque. It was stunning and huge I want to say bigger than St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican....

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Sep 6, 2015 - Touring Toledo

Sunday, September 6th. It took us a while to start moving today. The weather was beautiful with the sun shining so I decided to attack the laundry. I was quite excited because the machines were Maytag’s with the English instructions on them. Imagine my surprise when I lifted the lid on the dark things and steam arose from inside the machine; I had chosen a permanent press wash cycle; the clothes had been boiled. Off I marched to the office. Receptionist was apologetic but could do nothing but give me two more washing cycles. I solved the...

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Sep 4, 2015 - To Toledo

Friday, September 4th. It was a short drive to Toledo but now we were in Don Quijote country. Undulating plains of rich henna-coloured earth neatly striped and spotted with olive groves and golden wheat. We were surprised to find the El Greco campground virtually empty. It sat high on a hill overlooking a river with a beautiful pool and restaurant frequented by the locals. Alas, we were kept awake until midnight with very loud children playing, while their parents ate and drank I guess.

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Sep 1, 2014 - Tour of Toledo

The city of Toledo (not pronounced like our Toledo, but To'led'o). We visited the beautiful Cathedral of Toledo & the Santa Maria LaBlanca Synagogue. There were 3 huge organs in the Cathedral & the architecture & artistry was amazing. (Double click on the photos to enlarge them to get a better view.)

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May 27, 2014 - Madrid - Monday Day Trip to Toledo

Unfortunately for Toledo it was the last in a long series of quaint walled cities I have seen in the past two months. It was also a very similar day trip to the one I took to Cordoba last week - discussing the three cultures that had lived together - maybe not in harmony but able to get along - until Isabella and Ferdinand kicked out the Muslims and the Jews. Cordoba had a much more interesting mosque/cathedral to see and neither had much of a synagogue to look at - it had been too converted to a church. The one highlight of the day was...

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