Toledo Take Two

10:38 pm Spain, TEFL, Uncategorized, holiday, living in spain, money

I did finally make it back to Toledo, as promised, to visit its main attraction that I’d missed the first time around due to that monetarily decided democratic show of hands. This time however, I came armed with a proper budget, or, in other words, I came with my parents.

Minus the sprint to the station from our last go round, this Toledo trip was very much the same as the previous – characterized by a lot of eating, a lot of photo snapping, and a lot of walking and wandering. Everything I failed to cover on the first leg, I more than made up for with the more proactive attitude of my parental units. And that includes, mainly, Toledo’s cathedral.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that if you’ve ever toured Europe, you’ll know that it’s quite possible to get burnt out on castles, cathedrals, and art museums. Eventually, one statue starts looking like any other, all paintings blur into one, and the most intricately carved altarpieces warrant little more than an appreciative double take. There are however, the occasional exceptions, and Toledo’s cathedral, without a doubt, is one of them.

Hands down the most ornate cathedral I’ve had the privilege of visiting, the well preserved, colorful details of its hundreds of paintings, dozens of stained glass windows and strikingly shiny golden chapels, left a permanent imprint that will forever outlast the other cathedrals already fading in my memory. It was sensory overload at its finest, and I couldn’t help but imagine the generations of craftsmen whose lives had been entirely dedicated to its decorating, never living long enough to see its completion. This description in no way does justice to the real thing, unfortunately. An entire book could be written in attempting to capture the shear enormity and elaborateness of its cavernous halls and artifacts. So many other cathedrals have faded with time into dull, colorless slabs of stones and sculptures. Toledo’s cathedral, as I’ll always remember it, was still alive with colors of every hue and more gold than I’d ever imagined could exist under one roof.

So please, don’t make the mistake I made during my first visit to Spain’s former capital city – when you hop off the train in Toledo, make a break for the cathedral straight away and give yourself time to explore, soak in the sights, and appreciate this manmade medieval masterpiece.

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