Dwight Peck's personal website

A visit to Toledo (the other Toledo)

A getaway weekend to the ancient capital of Spain

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The Santa Cruz museum and tourist train views of Toledo

Every Crusader knight's fondest wish: "Please don't touch!"

The Museum of the Hospital of Santa Cruz, just down from the Plaza Zocodovar

More stylish than the Hospital of Nyon and the West Léman region, but without the same fancy equipment we've come to depend upon.

The cloisters of the Santa Cruz hospital

The view across the river (at what is presently the real hospital of Toledo)

Very like rail stations in Swiss cities -- the guard-lady outside the toilets with her hand out

Kristin loves nothing so much as elaborate mosaics. Except harbor seals.

The cloisters again

The elaborate cruciform halls of the old hospital, now got up as a brilliant museum

The marble mouth of a well from a mosque, 11th century, well worn by ropes down to the buckets

A sarcophagus from the Toledo region, with a Latin version in the middle and Arabic round the outside

Frozen in time

This is a remarkable museum, created in 1961 in a renovation of the old hospital, including archaeological stuff as well as Toledo painters from the 16th-17th centuries (including El Greco, of course) and other Spanish art from the medieval and Renaissance periods.


Dedicated playing of the trumpet (Master of Sigena, early 16th c.)

Oh no! The first St Andrew's cross, Crux decussata, or saltire (Juan Correa de Vivar, ca. 1545)

Veronica selling souvenirs (El Greco)

The leather-workers' workshop (Ricardo Arredondo y Calmache, 1897)

The Alcàzar

Celebrating a successful cow hunt

The Alcàzar over the rooftops

Cervantes and Kristin

Sneaking into the hotel by the back door

The next day: new adventures, such anticipation!

Back out the back of our hotel to the side of the main Bisagra Gate, and an afterthought sculpture stuck in the middle of the square presumably to prevent illegal parking.

A fixer-upper behind the church of Santiago del Arrabal

Kristin and the fixer-upper

The Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz -- originally a mosque, then promoted to a Christian oratory

It's small. It's probably fascinating for specialists in the details of technique. It's quickly done.

That's a nice view of it. But it's all there is.

Except the gardens out back, which are stuck on the main city walls.

It's our last day, we've wandered back, as luck would have it, to the tourist train -- we've never been on a tourist train before, but now is the time; there's no other way to see the city from the far side of the river.

Tickets in hand, we're waiting till the top of the hour (praying that the huge school groups climb into the first car and leave the rear car for the old folks)

It's looking good so far.

We went round the city briefly, mainly to get out of it on the one-way streets, and then we're out across the river for the scenic countryside tour.

That's the Alcàzar from the hills to the south.

Moving shots as we're winding up the hill

And then we stopped in a lay-by for some Memorable Moments -- the Alcàzar.

The Cathedral

More churches (our San Román tower on the upper left)

A synoptic view

A close-up of the river and spillway

Kristin and Toledo

Me and Dotto

The Alcázar on the Lumix-zoom

Honorary driver for a day

Dotto and me, thanks to the kindly driver

Western Toledo and the River Tajo

Scenes from yesterday's walk along the river

More school groups assembling for the tourist train's next round

This is the ancient Balmardón Gate, the Islamic entrance into the city, superseded when the times required a new solution, i.e., the Sun Gate. The Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz is just here on the right, and the North African cuisine establishment that Kristin's had her sights on since we arrived is built into the gatehouse.

Restaurant interiors

We're early -- they welcomed us, but we had to wait until the chef had fetched the children home from school for the midday break.

That, in fact, is the portcullis dropping down into the Gate below.

That's more of the restaurant

That's our table, with bongo drums in the window.

Now we're dashing for the taxi rank, with a glance up at our dining-room.

With the bongo drums in the window. The ambience was intriguing and the family was very nice; the food was so-so, but we caught them on the hop.

We phoned the taxi and it reached the hotel in 11 seconds, and here we are at the Toledo train station with a little time still to kill.

Our train is waiting, but Spanish security (after the Atocha bombings in 2004) doesn't like people wandering round the trains until they've had their tickets punched at the gate.

Another brave Crusader knight

We never mind waiting for a train -- it's better than having a coronary rushing to catch one before it leaves.

The Un-Amtrak station

A half hour's journey to the Atocha station in Madrid, but we can't proceed without another cuddle with the turtles.

Atocha rail station

Expo-Atocha, specializing in international gifts . . .

. . . and turtles. Kristin loves nothing so much as a wheelbarrow-load of turtles.

Except harbor seals.

Oh maaannn!

We'll be having nightmares about this for years.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 5 December 2012.

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