Avila was our starting place this morning, with Toledo in mind as the place we would spend most of the day, then ending up back in Granada at my daughter’s study abroad home (with her “other mom” as she calls her).
Avila, a national landmark, is an ancient city completely encircled by perfectly preserved medieval walls. Unfortunately we missed the treat of eating the Yemas. Yemas are pastries made by the local nuns that are likened to soft-boiled egg yolks that have been cooled and sugared. Sounds like something I could get in to….next time I guess.
Most of our day was spent in Toledo, and it is a day we will never forget! Cris’s shirt has permanent sweat stains, and we’re talking that cold sweat that comes from unmitigated fear. Seeing Spain by car allowed us to set our own schedule and get into places the buses would not go, but in Toledo we got sucked into a maze of very narrow, steep, cobblestone streets where no car should ever go. Add to that the gawkers and tourists in the streets and you have the perfect storm of “what not to do while in Spain”. This is one of those times when we should have read our touring book, where it noted: “…streets barely wide enough for a man and his donkey, let alone an automobile.” It was a nightmare of a maze and it took us forever to get out of it. We were definitely ready for a few bottles of that touted Spanish sherry when we got out!
Food enjoyed in Toledo:
We ate at one of the more expensive places listed in the travel books we had with us, Asador Adolfo, and while it was good, it didn’t live up to the words in the book.
- The Spanish sherry, vino de Jerez, we had heard so much about was wonderful; we had finos, the dry one;
- Tesla had a squid dish that was really good
- I provided the laughs by hoarding the dessert and scowling if their forks came near it (and it wasn’t even mine – it came with Cris’s meal…oh well). I’m not sure what it was, but it was great! Some sort of layered tiramisu-type dish.
- Spanish women can walk on cobblestone and everywhere else with stiletto heels; tennis shoes with crew socks and capris are a true “tell” that you’re a tourist, probably American.
- Spain is very aware of water and energy use. You order water in restaurants if you want it, there are signs in every hotel asking you not to let the water run, lights in many areas are timed or motion-sensitive, very few dryers in residences, you pay 2 cents at the grocery store if you want a plastic bag, and there are many, many smart cars on the road.
- If you visit Toledo by car, park your car, get out and walk!!! Even smart cars will have trouble driving in these streets.