Monday, May 5, 2008
On my second day in Madrid, I walked to Spain's biggest train station, the Atocha, with its surprising central jungle-like plaza, for a day trip to nearby Toledo. I was immediately impressed that Spain has the latest in high speed rail travel. I was also struck by how similar the Spanish landscape resembled Southern California. When the Spanish settlers reached what they would eventually call Los Angeles, it must have felt like they were home. The hills are rocky, dusty and dry, though of course the buildings, for the most part, are centuries older.
Toledo, an ancient walled town, covers the the top of a hill. Walking up the hill from the train station, one crosses a bridge over a small river with dramatic vistas like this.
If you visit Toledo,be prepared to be charmed by its narrow streets and for plenty of climbing. The steep streets twist and wind and without a map, you'll find yourself making strange elliptical routes. El Greco's masterpiece, The Burial of Count Orgaz, is housed in a small church.