Day 11, Toledo: A Walk spanning Centuries | travel | Hindustan Times
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Day 11, Toledo: A Walk spanning Centuries

travel Updated: Jan 30, 2011 13:40 IST
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My hotel in Toledo is located within the old town in an ancient stone building in one of the many one-car-at-a-time lanes. The tiny balcony overlooks a street lit golden at night by a trapezoid wrought iron lamp fixed into the building wall. The brick wall of the building across the street is close enough that in the old days they must have tossed bread to each other from the windows. It serves as an ideal starting point for my self-mapped route of historic discovery. 

Toledo is serviced by a hop-on hop-off tourist bus but for those fairly able it is best discovered on foot. Churches that were always churches and churches that were originally mosques, bridges that survived the test of time and conquests and bridges that didn't and were rebuilt many times over, convents and synagogues and plazas help piece together the city's cosmopolitan past. Plaques outside most monuments give useful information on the history of the building. What building demands a more in-depth exploration from within depends on individual interest but the Catedral Primada is a must visit.

Over the last ten days in Spain, I have noticed a serious obsession with the lottery in all cities, big and small. Besides grocery stores selling lottery tickets there are independent lottery shops in the main shopping areas. Also, there are one man hexagonal booths in the middle of the pavement with hopefuls queueing up outside. Today, during lunch at a terrace cafe in a plaza, a woman wearing a necklace of lottery tickets came up to my table to sell me one. But, left me alone when she realised she was wasting her time as I was not a Spaniard and hence not eligible to win.

A sudden spell of winter rain means that I cannot keep to my final tryst with Toledo under the moonlight. But, "the sun will come out, tomorrow...tomorrow" as I head off to Seville in sunny Andulacia with double digit temperatures.