Hola from Toledo! After many hours of eventful flight I made it to Madrid very late last night. The flight to Istanbul was pretty uneventful. I had heard scary things about Turkish Airlines and their inability to deliver luggage to the same place as their passengers so I dared not check my bag. Too bad that resulted in Jana disease, otherwise known as aggression directed at your own belongingsnhecause you hateam carrying them. In fairness to Jana, even light touring backpacks leave shoulder bruises. When I got to Istanbul I only had 2.5 6until the flight to Madrid. Thankfully I can slept pretty much anywhere. Including on b3niches, while on top of my luggage. It's the sleeping bear anti theft system. I woke up to a rather large man swearing and screaming "don't you know who I am...." I figure if you have to ask that question then 1. No they do not know who you are and 2. Whoever you are, you are a total jackass!
Apparently he is a "famous" athlete of some kind. No one cared. I think they lostnhis first class reservation because later they were bribing people to let him sit in the exit row in coach. I already had an exit row seat in coach. "Do you know who I am?" "Correct I am no one. Also seated in coach and not being a jerk about it" which I estimate puts me above him in the list of people with karma.
My flight got in late and customs was a joke. I got my stamp, no form, no questions, no eye contact. I figured out the metro super fast. It is a great system. Easy to understand, clean, reliable, not too expensive.
By the time I got to the hostel it was nearly 1:00 am so my roommates were asleep. Thank goodness they all had the traveler uniform of eye mask and ear plugs because the floor created super loud with every step.
After 6 hours of sleeper I caught the metro to the train station and a train to Toledo.
Toledo is really beautiful, full of old architecture, friendly people and traditional Andalusian food. I caught an open top bus to see the city and all the sites. Toledo is fairly small in terms of thing to see, cathedral, fort, walls, things like that. So I saw it all, took some photos and went for a walk through the winding cobblestone streets. I found "penny squasher" machines! Which is a huge deal to me since i have collected flattened coins since I was a kid.
I decided today was the day to splurge a little for a traditional 4 course Andalusian lunch. 5he food was incredible. Iberian ham, venison in dark chocolate mole, rich chocolate cake and fresh bread. I guess not too many tourists visit this out of the way joint because the food was well priced and the staff seemed excited to have me there with my terrible 30 words of spanish. When I was about to leave the owner invited me to try the local spirit, some kind of local herb liquor. It burns but is quite good. Slight taste of anise but not like ouzo.
I continued my walk, looking for the perfact fan for my mom, a magnet for my collection, and admiring the famous Mallorcan pearls. Now I am enjoying some amazing Sangria and olives while I wait for my train back to Madrid. Around here what they tell you is true, if you order a drink they bring you tapas surprise, hence the olives.
Tonight I have plans for a myths and legends historical ghost tour and some highly recommended churros con chocolate.