Final day in Toledo… Or was I in the middle east?

Today was a great day for seeing a lot of what Toledo has to offer. So much culture here! And I had a little adventure also!

the alcazar is the home of the military museum but I was there to see it’s courtyard.

impressive building

a lot of Toledo has such an Arabic Moorish look. So multicultural!

this is what Toledo is known for… Not potstickers….mazapan!! So flipping delicious!!

Jewish symbols everywhere in the Jewish quarter recently installed to attract more attention to the area.

kittens in the El Greco museum courtyard!

very cool fixtures

Santa Maria la Blanca synagogue. Absolutely stunning! Oldest synagogue building still standing in Europe… Of course who owns it… The Catholic Church.

and then I rounded the corner and found this…. Arabic baths in a 12th century building. I went in and hung out in the baths and got an exfoliation medujar massage. It was so awesome!

a hot pool, tepid, and this one was freezing. You alternate between the hot and tepid with a quick soak in the cold one in between.

the massage was on a cold slab of marble where she slathered me up with some pretty rough gritty exfoliant. Felt great!!

my after massage treat.

you feel like you’re in the middle East half of the time!

cristo de la luz mezquita

These are the two women I met in Toledo. They are both from Ohio (get it… Ohio in Toledo…) Friends since 7th grade!

same Gatos from last night

san juan de los reyes monastery. Gorgeous!!

rock climbers!

view of Toledo from the parador hotel. Madrid tomorrow!!

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Cathedral of Toledo

Incredible!!!! It was a mosque years ago and… The Catholic Church destroyed it and built the cathedral. So sweet. Religion can be so lame. I think God shakes his head and forehead slaps all of the time. Anyway…. Here are some pictures…

supposedly Mary stood on this rock

Ok part two of Toledo!

Where did I leave off….

typical breakfast of carbs….i mean tortila which I every day on the Camino!

throwing her trash directly into the trash truck!

they keep the city very clean!

this is st. Mary of the needles. It comes from an old legend but if you leave a needle, you will find a husband or wife to marry. St. Anthony has the same results. My mom always told us to pray for St. Anthony if we lost something. No wonder why I’m still single… I’ve been praying to him for a watch I lost a long time ago.

Arabic mosque

Roman Road below the mosque

ha ha ha….I didn’t realize this girl was in the picture! She looks pissed. Anyway…. Cool building.

the lottery man!!

the cathedral! If you walk through the middle door, it is an immediate ticket to heaven… Only Pope’s and important higher up can go in.

the convents used to close the streets off and claim them as their own by blocking them with doors. The city said… No more!

baklava for lunch! Went to a Syrian restaurant with some ladies because they were vegetarian. Give me jamón!

front door to where I’m staying

pams school!!

ifi had a college aged daughter, I would totally let her come here to go to school!!!

um yeah

gatos!!

old church made into a night club!!

Toledo day 1.5

I arrived in the most awesome town of Toledo España yesterday afternoon. My parents came here…62 years ago? My friend Pam studied for four months here in college. And I’m loving it. It’s a great relaxing break between city hopping.

Madrid atocha train station

Toledo train station

Toledo

these Bay type windows are everywhere!

Camino de Santiago!!

from my morning walk outside the city this morning

Such a fortress!

at one time, Muslims, Jews, and Catholics were here… Always fighting….hmmm…. Still mosques, synagogues and churches everywhere.

my walk this morning

tortilla… Because I didn’t enough of this on the Camino

throwing her trash into the trash truck

they were everywhere today!

the miracle of the needles. people place pins and needles before the Virgin Mary in hope that she will find a soulmate for them. It’s a legend from a long time ago. My mom always told us to pray for St Anthony when we lost something in hopes of finding it. I have learned that St Anthony helps you find your soulmate also. this is the reason why I’m still single because I’ve been praying to st. Anthony to find a watch that I lost a long time ago.

mosque

Roman Road right beneath the mosque

hahaI didn’t realize this girl was in my picture. It’s in Arabic building and I thought it was cool. She doesn’t look impressed.

the Lottery man!

theCathedral. The big arch in the middle is only four important people to go through like the pope and higher-ups in the Catholic Church

a long time ago the convents used to close off the streets by putting doors on them… The city said…nah-uh… And opened the doors.

baklava at a restaurant I went to with two women from Ohio. They were mostly vegetarian…I skipped having dinner with them. Bring on the jamon!!

the front door to mi casa

ok the cathedral here is insane!!!!

el greco

supposedly Mary stood on this rock

40 pounds of gold to hold the holy Communion

Arabic influence

pammy….. Does this look familiar…

pam’s school!!

the girl in the doorway was an American going to school there and I told her you went there 30ish years ago!!! She was so happy!!

ummm…. Quite the knocker!!

gatos!!

old church turned into a concert hall!

Great day in Toledo!!

Last full day in Lisboa. I will be back!!

It was super rainy today but that didn’t stop me or the rest of the city. I went on a walking tour and a food tour… With a nap in between of course.

walking tour guide Anna. It’s free and they rely on tips. She got a big tip from me. Great job!

14th century church that somewhat survived the November 1st, 1755 earthquake.

cool plumbing

ginja in a chocolate cup

in the alfama district, a photographer started to take pictures of all of the people in the neighborhood who play a significant part of making it a community. She made our ginja.

cool art made out of cake pans

check out what is at the top… The Illuminati…..

so people sell a lot of drugs here… They sell baby powder, bullion cubes, oregano, and Bay leaves to make you believe you are getting… Cocaine, hashish, marijuana and… Bay leaves??

tired, windswept, and happy

i found out today that the government encourages graffiti and pays some of the artists!

our food tour leader Rita… So darn cute. She was explaining that after people eat sardines with their hands, their hands smell so they pull leaves off of Orange trees, rub them together and the fish smell goes away.

old people in the alfama selling alcohol. You can drink on the streets in Lisbon

Our food tour

cod fish cakes

sardines

Viñho verde

the only arches that withstood the earthquake of 1755.

grappa lit on fire in order to cook the chorizo

cheese honey and quince ham

explaining ginja and what it will do to you

yep… Even the monks. Dirty old man

best pastry ever. 70% beans. It took the pastry chef 4 years to perfect it. This is the only place you can get it.

we finished the night with pastel de nata…of course. Such a great tour. And Rita is the only employee besides the owners!!

Christmas lights on my walk home.

Portugal is a very safe country. I was out walking at night every night. Pick pockets are the only problem. I will be back for sure! I absolutely loved it. Now on to Toledo!!

Fatima, Batalhá, Nazaré & Obidos

Okay you can sit back in your seats because I know that you’ve been waiting on the edge of them wondering what I was going to be doing today. I went on a scheduled tour of all of the above places. I was thinking about renting a car and driving to some of these places but in the end it was probably the same price with no stress. The drivers of Portugal should be happy that I wasn’t on the road with them. Or maybe I should be the happy one!

Lisbon back in the day!

Factory in Fatima…I really can’t stand the commercialism that surrounds these religious places. Medjugorje is the same way.

Fatima… Nobody was there!

Little Chapel that you see in the background is the place where the Apparition happened in 1917.

i have absolutely no clue what these were. If they are a bunch of public bedets that’s absolutely disgusting.

church at batalha

proof that I am in Portugal

my most favorite part of the day! Nazare! Google that shit.

big guns

this Lighthouse is 100 feet up. The waves get that high.

we had the red snapper for lunch

port

streets of nazaré. The water will come to about here on big days.

cute door

Lifeguard… Didn’t look like he was going on the water anytime soon. The lighthouse is to his right… The waves get as high as that cliff.

Liquer made from Morello cherries

midevil walled City from 12th century of obidos. Destroyed in 1755 by earthquake but rebuilt.

back in Lisbon… My prayers were answered in Fatima. An escalator!

way cool graffiti in my neighborhood

I just learned that the president of Portugal is a total people’s president. he only has one bodyguard and when somebody asked him why he didn’t have six like the previous president his answer was that he grew up here and he feels comfortable with the people of Portugal and trust them. I guess you can YouTube him and he’s taking selfies with people on the beach excetera. they also just lowered the tuition of school in Portugal from 1200 Euros to 800 Euros for either a semester or a year… Can’t remember…because they want to encourage people to go to school and get an education. This is a very cool country. They are super harsh on drugs as well. But if you are addicted, they have rehab centers for people to get back on track. they also teach the value of having passion and hobbies in your life so you learn how to be happy first and how to have a good foundation before getting in trouble with drugs. They believe quality of life should be a priority. They seem to take pride in a happy life for everyone.

Spending the day in Lisboa and Belem!

Today I decided to lay low after a big day yesterday and an even bigger day tomorrow. Curiosity piqued?! Stay tuned. That’s how I get my followers to hang onto the edge of their seats.

so today it rained on and off… Guess what happens when these tiles get wet… Yep.. slippery as all get out. I saw some people go down hard. I was walking like a penguin all day long.

this is the Tower at Belem just outside of Lisbon. Super beautiful but I didn’t go inside because the woman didn’t have change for a €20. And it was near noon! Give me a break!

i was so stoked to find this one on my own!! I want to find the others he has around town.

jeronimos monastery is beautiful from the outside but it was raining and the line outside was long so…waaaah.

this was my most important find. When I was in Porto I took the pastel de nata class. So this is the pasteis de belem… Completely different (tasted similar to me) and if you call it a pastel de nata, it’s an insult. Only 4 people know the recipe….4!!!!

ok now that I’m a pro at these… This is a beautiful work of art. Every single one is handmade. Even the pastel de nata are also. No factories in all of Portugal.

such cool streets

dizzying tile everywhere! I saw some guys fixing some tile on the sidewalk and they were actually chipping away at the squares to make them fit properly.

the nondescript bottle of wine is so cool. Refillable.

the best

my tablemates at lunch today. It was family style seating. No we didn’t say a word to each other.

rossio district

The buildings are amazing!!

a note on the wall of the restaurant where I was eating tonight. Cracked me up.

doesn’t look like much but it was figs prosciutto and serra cheese… Yum!!

and I have come to the conclusion that if a person lives in Lisbon they have to be in shape and not old. It’s not a city for the faint of heart. The city probably has over 1000 set of stairs and 7 hills. It’s the San Francisco of Europe.