Thursday, June 5, 2014

HOLY TOLED-On't say it. Just don't.

{drive a car here. i dare you.}
Toledo. The old capital of Spain. The holiest city in the country, perhaps. It was said that at some point in history, one out of three people living there was either a priest, nun or servant of god somehow. This is the opposite of some vulgar (generally crappy) place like Las Vegas. Now, just about everyone is a tourist getting themselves lost on the wonderfully narrow and twisting streets. It is a miracle and a half that no one dies on these streets. This is an unplanned, walled medieval city and they allow vehicles to drive through it! Everyone is under the threat of being run over or smashed into by a Vespa or taxi or delivery truck... Can you imagine the horror? As a driver? There are signs posted to indicate which way is a through street, but you still have no idea if your car will be able to fit in the narrows. There are no stop lights or even painted lines in the street to follow! Utter Thunderdome! As a pedestrian, all you can to do is glue your back to the bricks or stones whenever you hear a vehicle that sounds close by. The threat of being run over did not thwart us from covering as much ground as we could in NINE hours; basically the whole city. Uphill and down and around, I never knew exactly where I was on the city map and did not care one whit.
{ loveliness abounds }

After we arrived by bus, my camera emerged from my bag and got a chance to play. I knew it would be impossible for me to catch the feeling of the place with my pathetic device, but I had to at least try.

It is impossible for two poor travellers to actually enter into every establishment in such a tourist trap as this city has become, but if you pick and choose you can come out of Toledo without your wallet feeling enlightened? We coughed up the euros for El Greco. How could we not? This is his year and his city after all, but beyond that we did not risk dropping much more coin. We would have nothing left!  We toured his home-museum. I loved to see how the cultures were blended back then. And there was a passable exhibit featuring modern artworks inspired by the great master, house in a converted church, of course- a gorgeous space, of course. 
{i'm a real shoe-in}
We did find a way to get into the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo for free. You are allowed in during a mass to stand in a corralled off section and peer through the bars at... at... Glory!I have been in grand cathedrals before. I have stood in awe of the scale of the cathedral in York. I have seen the impressive gold gildings and carvings dedicated to the saints. I have never seen anything like what I saw in in this place. This was art work that I could not even bear to look at! And not because of hideous stupidity! I didn't think it possible. There are people that I shy from looking at, but art work?! I could not even bring myself to photograph it! I mean, this was an exquisite blend of architecture, painting and sculpture so well thought out and executed that it made you feel like you were actually looking up into Heaven. Just a few slaps of paint, a nice chunk of marble, some daylight shining in, and oh yeah, there is god. I would like to see modern, conceptual f-tard 'artists' today pull that off. We could not see all of the cathedral for being stuck in the poverty pen, but we saw enough. We both probably would have died on the floor if we saw more.
{ where am i? }
Along with the ultra devoted Catholics, Toledo was supposed to be a place of skilled metal workers, but we did not come across one trace of working smithees. The trinket shops were full of blades of all kinds; even kitchen knives promising to cut through anything and never dull in hundred years blah blah so it seems there are metalworks. Just not on display.
We passed a cafe named Valinor, ate cherries next to a cursed well, heard music lessons being taught, tasted the holy marzipan made by nuns... 
Cherry pits were all over the cobbles- along with melted my heart. 

I will even provide more 'award winning' pics of Toledo in my next post. I need to optimize all of them first.

{ catholics bastards banished the jewish population } 
{ fractured light in the ruins of a jewish building }
{ clean drinking water fountains found everywhere }

{ detail of a random door lock with light }