Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 10 ~ Toledo & Córdoba

We were up and out early this morning as we left Madrid and headed south. After about a 44 miles ride, we stopped at Toledo, set on a hill overlooking the Tagus River with a 2,000 year history.


Known as the City of the Three Cultures, it was home to Jews, Christians and Muslims who coexisted peacefully from 711 - 1492 . Then came the Spanish Inquisition which changed everything.  We walked through the Jewish quarter and entered the oldest synagogue in Spain and the second oldest in Europe dating back to 1185.


Toledo is home to El Greco. While there we saw The Burial of the Count of Orgaz which is widely considered among his finest works. The large painting illustrates a popular local legend of his time.  Since we could not use our cameras, this picture is from Wikipedia. 


The Cathedral of Toledo (now the Basilica of Toledo ) was built between 1226–1493. Modeled after the Bourges Cathedral, it is considered one of the best of the three 13th-century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain. Below are just two examples of how ornate this cathedral is.



After lunch we loaded back on the bus to make our way to Córdoba.  On the way we had two fun stops in the land of Don Quijote.  As we drove through Castile–La Mancha, we first visited the windmills of Consuergra that Don Quijote thought to be ferocious giants. 


Next we stopped at the Venta del Quijote where Don Quijote was armed knight by the innkeeper in Man of La Mancha. Here we  sampled manchega cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the unpasteurized milk of Manchega sheep.


We finally arrived in Córdoba a little before 8:00 p.m.  After checking in and settling in our room, we had dinner with the group at the hotel.  Tomorrow will be another big day touring Córdoba.

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