April 24, 2009

A 9-Day Road Trip in Spain; Toledo in One Day

Initially Toledo was meant be our passing-through on the way to Madrid town. Allocating just a few hours to the city, we arrived here in 5 hours, 202 miles, after we left Seville in the morning.

Only an hour away from Madrid, Toledo ended up to be more than a stop-through small town. Built as a fortress, the beauty of the town was that it was sitting high on top of the village surrounding the city-fortress. Brick roofs of the houses, cobblestone streets and pop’s and mom’s shops all around the town define the city’s center; along with old synagogues, catholic cathedrals and paella restaurants. This walled city is one of the most important and preserved medieval cities in Europe.

Must-Do in Toledo

1. Travel through Spanish history and immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Middles Ages by taking a walk in and around the streets. Courage yourself to get lost in it.
2. Check out artisan’s stores and clothing boutique stores to find the gems of Spanish culture, from local Spanish designers to embroidered table cloths made by Toledo’s nuns.
3. This might be your last time for true Spanish paella. Served in individual skillets, choose from a wide array of paella choices: some with rice, some with vermicelli.
4. Museum City of Toledo, El Escorial. Considered by many to be the eighth Wonder of the World, it is listed as a World Heritage Site. Built at the end of the 16th century, the El Escorial Monastery dominates the beautiful landscape of Castile. A symbol of the greatness of the Spanish empire, El Escorial comprised a monastery and a Royal Pantheon. Expedia offers a 5-hour tour from Madrid to El Escorial on a bus for $66.36.

As your 9-day trip comes to an end, opt to stay at a hotel near the airport to avoid the hassle of morning traffic, spending time on taxi and more expensive hotel prices.
Hotel Madrid Barajas Acis y Galatea
Galatea 6, Madrid 28042, Phone: +34 (91) 7434901, was a good choice.
The hotel's reception desk is open between 7 a.m. and midnight that offers a gated garage for cars.

When you book a hotel for the last night in the city, which you are taking off from, make sure that this hotel is near the airport. Unless this is not the city you’ve visited on your trip, there is no really reason to spend one more expensive night in the city and having to deal with a morning hassle of leaving a city in traffic.
And check out the photos from the trip on the right side of the website.
Also, make sure that you can return your car rental at the airport. This would totally simplify your life.

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