Toledo is a beautiful old city with an impressive cathedral and a ho-hum alcázar. Unless you like military history.

The train trip was uneventful and only lasted about half an hour. The Toledo train station is a modern take on mudéjar architecture.

Then it took us about that much time to walk from the train station up to the old city on the hill. But we had nice views of the river and the town walls on the way. 

Crossing the bridge into the city you see how challenging it must have been to take one of these fortified cities before modern warfare.

We could not find a tourist information center or a map but Steve had the brilliant idea of taking a picture of a map that was posted on the closed tourist information kiosk so we could use that to get around. We saw lots of other people with maps but never figured out how to get one of our own. We managed. We walked a lot. We backtracked a little. We went to some imposing old buildings that we hadn’t planted to go to. But that’s okay, we had a whole day to kill.

We started at the cathedral which was quite impressive and wanted an impressive €50 deposit on the audio guide equipment. This was the only place in Spain we experienced that. Many of the streets are quite narrow.

Then we tried to find the synagogue El Transito. We found the cafeteria El Transito and something else El Transito and then eventually we found the synagogue and the associated museum. On the way we found another old synagogue that was converted into a church and then a number of other things before now being simply a national monument. Both of them had interesting architecture.

At this point we were ready for something to eat. We tried a place called Abadia but it didn’t look like we are going to get a seat anytime soon so we went up the road to El Rincon de Juan where I again got to practice my Spanish.

Our last stop was the Alcázar which has been turned into a museum partly of the Spanish military and partly of Spanish history. By the time we got there they were only open for another hour and a quarter so we focused our efforts on the history part. We made it through one floor. Which was really probably about all we needed. It was mostly military history which neither of us was terribly interested in but it was all well done. We also didn’t get much of a feel for the alcazar itself because they essentially built a modern structure inside it. But there was a terrace where we could get some nice views over the city and there was an office that they hadn’t renovated that showed what kind of shape the building was in.

Then we went back to the main square and found some place to sit down and have a couple of beers because I was exhausted. After that we headed back down to the train station early for lack of anything better to do.

We did day trips to both Toledo and Segovia from Madrid. They’re about equal in ease of getting there. If you only have time to do one we would recommend Segovia because it too has a cathedral and it has a better alcázar.