[Spain’s star attraction Toledo = photos.]
And it started to RAIN.
One thing I forgot to mention: on the second night in Madrid (i.e. September 23rd) I started to have allergy again: before falling asleep I felt acutely many rashes itching as hell. I didn’t even remember whether I took the “Allegra” allergy I bought in Taiwan, but in any case that was a miserable night. Although everyone told me (and I did ask beforehand, mind you) that tap water in Madrid is drinkable, I started to buy bottled water: I want no more allergy-related mishaps. [Well, it did happen again, unfortunately, when I arrived in Granada…]
I set the alarm early enough for me to tidy up everything before breakfast hours began, and by the time I finished breakfast – same bad, miserable bread and something that shouldn’t be called coffee – and was to leave around 9.30am, Boris was still nowhere to be seen. I thought of leaving a postcard at the reception, but they aren’t that reliable anyway, so I gave up the idea, thinking that I would write him a message online later.
The rain didn’t exactly pour, and the metro trains seemed to come frequent enough, although when I exited the metro system and reached the ground level, the rain was kind of pouring. Luckily someone said that my Samsonite duffel is supposedly largely water-proof.
People didn’t exactly line up at the platform (actually some hallway space with a door opening to outside), but when the bus came, an older lady (early 50s I’d say) started to speak Spanish, showing everyone else who came first and who came later, and she gestured to me (this “signor”) several times, making sure I had the priority (since I did join the queue earlier). And when I finished putting the luggage in the luggage space in the bus (I was the ONLY person with a big piece of luggage), I was a bit surprised to find the man queuing right behind me, together with everyone else, was still waiting for me to take my turn boarding before him.
I had to exercise some of the Spanish I just learnt when I arrived: when I came into a small alley in Toledo and had no-one else to turn to but some old gentlemen in a bar, I mustered the Spanish I had, and one of them quickly came to me and said “Tell me” in Spanish. I explained I meant to find a certain tiny road. And the funny thing is that since the furnishing style of the hostel was a bit more modern than I expected, I went right past it. Luckily the lady in the hostel ran out and called me, asking if I was looking for a certain “Oasis” Hostel.
This big young lady is German-Swiss, although her name Natasha isn’t German, and she admitted hardly speaking any German. On the other hand, while her mother is English, her English is much less fluent than her Spanish. (I wonder exactly what her first language was.) Anyway, she was a most helpful person one can imagine, always smiling, keen to help, and showed a whole bunch of things on the map, including places where locals eat and exactly what dishes I should try. Bless her!
After lunch I had to do the sightseeing rout despite the unfortunate weather. The rain was so big that my supposedly water-proof boots turned out to be merely largely water-proof – they did get wet. I felt that acutely in the big fancy cathedral.
The audio guide is included in the ticket price (8 Euros) and pretty informative. I spent around 1.5 hours or even more in the cathedral along. After this was a synagogue (something called the white virgin) and some other churches. As for the one synagogue that was turned into a museum, I took a look and decided to skip, since I wasn’t interested in the tiny bit of costumes or whatsoever related to Jewish tradition and some archaeological finds housed there.
Oh btw, there’re so many Chinese tourists. And later I found out that a lot of the grocery stores (sometimes called “supermercado” even though far from being a supermarket) are also run by Chinese.
The hostel has a very nice furnishing style – as I said, at first I didn’t even think that’s a hostel. At the bottom of each pair of bunk beds are two built-in big drawers where one can put his/her own lock on, even though my lock was too big for that. And the wifi works very well. Sharing the room (a six-person dorm) with me was an older Japanese who had been living for several years in Barcelona. He later saw me in the bar/cafeteria downstairs and came to talk to me.
Before he approached, a guy sitting right next table with his friends kept checking me out. I wondered whether something was ultra wrong or mystic or mesmerizingly exotic about me.
Madrid – Toledo公車：5.07
大教堂+ 教堂組合：8+ 8= 16