After our late night wanderings last night, we've decided that Madrid is too big a place for us to explore - we think at least a week is needed, so instead we head off in search of Culture. This time we're trying to head to Toledo, one time capital of Castille before the Government decided to go to Madrid. First off though, we have to find out how to get there. The train goes from near where we arrived the other night so we now head below ground to see how we can get there on the Metro. We're right by a station called Chuerra and so we head off down there to see how it can be done. All underground systems are initially confusing, this one was the same but we soon got the hang of it. We had to change at two other stations before getting to the main railway station - that was more confusing than the Metro - really it was. After a few false starts we managed to buy tickets and find the platform - there's about 15 of them, some below ground others above - The original old station has been changed into a massive botannical garden and has huge 30 foot banana plants growing in there - very pleasant.
We get on our train and it's a 35 minute non stop ride (Once again through security and x-ray machines) - quite popular with tourists by the look of it. Once we arrived at our destination, we find that Toldeo is a 20 minute walk away and that's only to the bottom of it - it's another 30 minute hike to get to the main citadel called Alkazar. It's an intersting place and as we're climbing the hill we noticed loads of black limos and top brass cops everywhere - there was some sort of congress going on, although I've yet to find out what it was. We had a good wander but Toledo is smaller than we thought it was, so headed back to the Station. - once back to Madrid we head underground - so if you act like a mole you're not really going to see much of the city.
After a shower etc, we're back out and wandering around our area - it's an okay area with plenty of Bars - that doesnt mean they're very good ones though. Tonight is quieter than yesterday and all in all it's a bit of a snore. The one thing you do notice is that Madrid is very Gay Rights orientated and dont be surpised if you see same sex couples behaving amorously in the bars - it's not a case of being tolerated - it's totally accepted - and no one bats an eyelid - I can imagine a few raised eyebrows and twitching of the moustaches if this happened in our rural local - The Pig Farmers Arms, which is stuck firmly in the 1950's.
So Madrid hasnt really come up to expectations, then again I wouldnt know what to expect as I hadnt even bothered to read about it or even looked at a picture of it - I'm still clueless. I'm guessing it's a bit smaller than London but has that sprawl to it, the population is about 6.5 Million. So it's a relatively early night and we've got to be up quite early as we're heading to Seville - I'm hoping it's still as lovely as the last time Jayne and myself were there.