During our Madrid stay, we day-tripped to Toledo, which is a short half hour train ride from the bigger of the two cities. Toledo’s old town is Spain’s former capital and a webbed maze of streets sitting atop a hill, its medieval aura seemingly undisturbed for its thousands of years in existence.
We spent plenty of time simply wandering the hilly and stoned streets, taking in the beautiful vista from the outer wall of the city, and listening to a talented, mostly brass band play in Plaza Zocodover, the city’s main square. I couldn’t help but imagine that Toledo at night would be enchanting, but – alas – our train was set to leave before dark.
Aside from the “feel” of Toledo, a highlight included a visit to its massive cathedral. The interior was dark, yet stunning, but our favorite part of the visit was a trip up to the bell tower (an add-on to the ticket price, but worth it in my opinion). The steep, winding staircase leads up to a timber-framed tower, with one massive (and cracked) bell in the center and several bells surrounding the perimeter of the tower. The calories burned hiking up the stairs also provide several excellent views of the streets below.
Toledo is a trip back into time, and a stop worth making (especially if you can visit after dark).
[Travel blooper: we showed up at the train station one day early for our ride to Toledo. Oof.]