We had good intensions for today following our early start yesterday back in Cordoba for our visit to the Mezquita. The alarm went off at 06:45, but this morning I turned it off, I was too tired to be bothered to get out of bed at that time. I suppose it was because yesterday seemed such a long day.
When we eventually made a start, we were looking to catch the 10:10 bus in to Toledo city, not far away. It was another warm sunny morning, but the weather forecast spoke of possible thundery rain from about 14:00 onwards. For that reason we took our macs folded up in the backpack.
The bus service was a circular route, and from the bus stop at the bottom of the campsites long driveway, we got to do three-quarters of it.
Toledo is an ancient city set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha. The capital of the region, it's known for the medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments within its walled old city.
We chose to hop off the bus at the highest point for a view across the river to a fort and the plains down beyond it. Unfortunately the map we were using was supplied by the campsite and wasn't at all good, we spent more time getting lost or trying to find our bearings than anything else. Fortunately there was little to see in the city really. The mosque was tiny, and they wanted €2.30 as an entry fee, so that was out. The cathedral was large, but today The Chef chose not to look around it, which is unusual, she usually likes to take a look.
The city was just top-heavy with churches and souvenir gift shops, all manner of tat was for sale, most of it featured Don Quixote, the man from La Mancha. You could buy full sets of armour, little sets of armour, swords, and helmets. You name it, somebody in town was selling it.
Toledo is a city because it has a cathedral, not because it is big. It's more like a town perched on top of a steep hill, full of tour groups, mainly Yanks and Japs. It was all too busy for our liking, and if there had been more of interest to us there, we'd have stayed longer, as it was we had a coffee, bought a baguette and made for the bus stop which was back up the hill. This time we only had to cover one-quarter of the circular route and were soon back at the campsite, Camping El Greco www.campingelgreco.es
The first job to do was to put the small number of items I washed yesterday, back out to finish drying, laid out on a large table in the hot sunshine, as we didn't dare leave them out in case we had a thunderstorm and finished back at square one. We then noticed that although the campsite rules clearly states that you cannot use trees to tie washing lines to, a number of people were ignoring it, making their lives a lot easier, while we were obeying the rule and making our lives more difficult in the process.
This afternoon we decided to change our route to France, and will not now visit Aranjuez, southeast of Madrid next. We came across it two years ago making our way south for the winter. It's a lovely place with the former summer Royal Palace and gardens. We also visited Madrid from there which is just an hour's train ride away. We are also chopping out Salamanca as it doesn't look to have anything different to offer and is a bit out of our way. Instead we will leave here tomorrow heading Northwest to Avila, and from there to Segovia, then Burgos and Pamplona. That means we should be clear of Spain in about a week's time.