Madonna and child. Did you read of the story somewhere in Spain, in a small church, a Spanish housewife was commissioned to clean up a religious painting and she had no clue what she was doing. She botched the job and the final result was nothing like the original. Each time I see a painting like this, I remember her.
Toledo cathedral is massive, grand and beautiful. The place is really built up so a better picture of the exterior was had to take. It's a reminder of the wealth and importance of old Toledo and the old Spanish empire that spans so much of the globe.
Toledo is built on a hill and so the streets are never flat. The narrow streets wind up and down and curve this way and that. It is fun getting lost in Toledo.
Once in a while we bump into tour groups from India. I remember doing that in Cairo, Egypt. This was a group from India.
Toledo is built on a hill and has a wall surrounding the city. There is a river at the bottom of the hill and a few beautiful bridges. It was a really pleasant experience exploring the city, especially coming from Madrid. Madrid was quite sedate at this time of the year. I've seen bigger crowds in Barcelona.
Here we are at Toledo train station. We thumbed through some brochures at our hostel and asked the clerk about taking one of those expensive tours to Toledo. He said, we didn't need to, just go to Atocha train station, there are many trains going between Madrid and Toledo, just 35 minutes away. That was what we did, saved a bunch of money which we used to buy us a nice lunch. There were other tourists on the train with us. There are a few other places which we could take day trips to but we didn't have the time. Maybe next trip to Madrid....
The inside of Atocha, one of the two major train stations in Madrid.
The exterior of Atocha.
It was good to ride the rails again. This is the very efficient Renfe or the Spanish rail system. Besides Atocha, there's another train station on the other side of town, Charmatin. We stayed within walking distance of Atocha. The day we left to go to Burgos, we made the mistake of going to Atocha because the clerk who sold us the train ticket never told us we leave from Charmatin. We had to run, jumped into a taxi, he drove like a speed demon, got us to Charmatin at the nick of time to take the train to Burgos.
Sometimes the best places to visit are free like this cute garden store. There were lots of people milling around just looking and taking pictures. I remember of another one, a nursery, just outside of London, Petershamm nurseries. It was a beautiful nursery and was free to visit. We took lots of pictures and can be viewed in the archives of this blog.
No trip to Spain is complete without eating paella. Paella, I was told years ago, means everything from the sea. Well it means rice cooked with seafood though there are variations. One can eat good paella in France too.
My medium is watercolor. I love watercolors. There is art everywhere in this section of Madrid probably because of its close proximity to the three art museums. Lately I've been more inspired to paint and the desire has been reinforced by this trip. Its easy and the lazy person's approach to let the camera do all the work rather than let our eyes and fingers do most of it. I'm forcing myself to do some of the work and I feel so good.