Toledo y Escorial
Toledo y Escorial
From Spain’s new capital to the old we went.
I told my mom before I left, that the visit to Toledo was one I was most looking forward to. In fifth grade, my Spanish teacher showed us a documentary, something cheesy like “Visit Spain!”. I think most kids fell asleep. But seeing Toledo on film, was a realization that there was a world out there–drastically different from my own.
Let’s say I wasn’t disappointed. Looking from the bus to the city, you could see that classic idea of what an American hopes everywhere in Europe would look like.
You see rolling hills of building after building, dotted with cranberry, teal, and saffron. The tower of Catedral Primada Santa María organically translates between city and grey sky.
Walking the city that inspired the Man of La-Mancha himself, it’s hard to think this is anything but a fairy tale.
“La ciudad de tres culturas,” Toledo has been known for a historical co existence of the three main religions that shaped Spain: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The symbolism is both obvious and humble, and I don’t think meant to be over-analyzed. But for me, Toledo is a beautiful reminder of how equally human we are.
The next day was our last leg of travel before Salamanca. But along the way we detoured to visit the city of El Escorial.
The original purpose of Escorial was to house Royal families of Spain, beginning with Felipe II in el Real Monasterio del Escorial. Yes… that cognate you read correctly, monastery.
Said our tour guide, “It is the ugliest castle and most beautiful monastery in the world.”
The modern use of the town of Escorial, is a getaway for families in Madrid, during the hottest months of the summer. Families, with Children, and dogs walked the streets together. In comparison to both Madrid and Toledo, the energy of Escorial was a pleasant relief.
The end of this Journey was the beginning of another one. Salamanca.
My next post will be about my first full week of that new journey: living in Salamanca.