Friday, October 30, 2015

Toledo Spain the Imperial City

overlooking the tiver

I booked a train trip to Toledo some place I have wanted to visit for many years. After my breakfast as McDonald's I headed out, it was a short trip under an hour, from Madrid.  When I arrived at the train station tickets were being sold for a tour of Toledo and the cathedral.  I like many bought this for 20 euro. We got on a bus and then made a quick stop at a spot overlooking the river and it was awesome. Then we arrived in the city and the guide set out on a quick walking tour on his way to the Cathedral. When we arrived he told people they needed the color sticker to go inside, they had paid the same price as the rest of us but because they had the wrong color the tour was not included. What a scam that was. 

St Christopher 

El Transparente

The Primate Cathedral of St Mary of Toledo was beautiful and they had one spot El Transparente. (The name refers to the unique illumination provided by a large sky light cut very high up into the thick wall across the ambulatory.) that was impossible to capture by camera despite my numerous attempts and it was like an opening into heaven. After the tour was over the guide said if we had any questions he be there for answers but he totally disappeared. There was another part to the tour and he told us where to meet in the afternoon but the place was hard to find so by the time I got there the tour was gone. 

I then walked around some and was starting to feel a bit hungry as it was early afternoon and found a cafeteria and the menu looked good. I had to find a bank to get some money first. I ordered my meal and it was quite yummy. 
lamb chops yum

I explore more of Toledo and found my way up and down the alleys. I was looking at this statue and some people decided to put sun glasses on it and were taking photos so I asked if I could pose with it too. The streets were very narrow and I saw one that when the cars were going up there was a post that would go down and they could drive up the narrow road.  I checked with the tourist board, about getting back to the train station as the guide said it was about a 20 min walk or we could take a bus. The tourist places assured me it was longer than 20 mins and when I finally found the right bus to take, he gave the wrong info on that too I could see the walk at best would have been an hour.

first views of Toledo

Cathedral of St Mary of Toledo

The Disrobing of Christ by Spanish Renaissance Painter El Greco

Toledo Railway Station

the lights red the post is up

such a hunk

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hanging with the bears at the Madrid Zoo

It was a gloomy morning but I decided to head to the Madrid Zoo, because it was not suppose to rain.  I did not have any breakfast thinking there'd be places there. I hoped the Metro and made my way there after someone showed me how to use the machine to get a ticket. I was a bit hungry and looked for a place to eat and all there was this small cafe? I went in and there really was no choice of food I had a churo and a coffee, the coffee was served in a glass with plenty of hot milk and coffee it was yummy.  I passed a little store that had sandwiches abut I did not feel like carrying one and I was sure there would be places to eat at the zoo.

It was still a bit of a hike to the zoo but thank goodness they had signs pointing the way and I finally found it. I purchased my ticket and headed off in search of the Pandas which is the main reason I went to the zoo.  I found them and there was one sleeping inside the glass and I watched for awhile. There was a couple from Vancouver and they were interested in the panda especially the guy who was thrilled to finally see one. I walked to see if any were outside and saw there would be a presentation later. 
nap time

silly panda
I headed off for the Koala and lets just say the signs were very confusing and I was walking around in circles in an effort to find them. I did finally found them and it was dark in their room and the koala was fast asleep. I decided to go back to the pandas who now were outside eating and I enjoyed seeing them and the couple were back too. The zoo keeper came to give his talk but of course it was in Spanish which I do not know despite my trips to Spain thus far have been in Spain 4 times.

You can tell i loved seeing this

I was hungry and it was well into the afternoon and each place that I came across with that would have food was closed and then I saw a sign and it seemed that day was the first of the winter season and nothing was open.  I was walking and getting tired the zoo was large and I finally just gave up trying to find any thing else I was plain exhausted as I did not sleep well the night before because there were people walking around on the stairs slamming doors. I suddenly came across what at first appeared to be a mirage as there were these huge bears just sitting there in the distance and it took me a moment to realize. I walked over and they were of course across a pit and someone was throwing food at them and they were raising their paws and it looked like they were waving. I had such fun snapping photos, and just plain enjoying. I came across the aquarium  and they had jelly fish they were quite fascinating to look at.
jelly fish

I headed out of the zoo and started to walk partly the wrong way and thank goodness I asked someone the way to the metro before I had gone to far.  I had dinner at a Turkish restaurant that I had spotted near my hotel  yummy lamb shish kabob.

check the behind in the background
panda trick or treat

what a life

Guess what he just did and is smelling his finger