This morning we took the metro from Principe Pio to Plaza Eliptica where express coaches to Toledo depart from. The journey in a very comfortable air conditioned coach took 50 minutes and terminated just outside the old town. There are signposts to a series of internal escalators which lead into the old town and avoiding a steep uphill climb.
Toledo is set high on a hill overlooking the plains of central Spain. It is an old walled city with moorish architecture and was the former home of the artist, El Greco. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986 for its stunning Christian, Jewish and Muslim architecture and heritage.
The first stop for us was to pick up a map from the Tourist Information office located in the square, and then to find a cafe on a sunny terrace to have our morning cappuccino and study the map.
We explored the Old Town, visiting the vast Cathedral, the Arab and Jewish quarters and finally the Alcazar. Here we found a small restaurant for lunch with an attractive terrace overlooking a cobbled square. We were recommended to try the local starter of green beans, Serrano ham, oil and spices which was delicious.
Later, we continued our sightseeing, wandering down narrow alleyways and discovering beautiful buildings at every turn. Toledo is popular with tourists but apart from the area around the cathedral we didn’t find it too crowded. We returned to the coach station via the flight of escalators and caught a bus back to Madrid without delays. Return day tickets are open, thereby it isn’t necessary to book a specific service and, although busy, we were able to board the first available service which took us back to central Madrid in under an hour.