Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spain 8


Of all the cities I visited this was my favourite. Because I bought my swords there? Perhaps. It was also the most medieval of all the cities I visited. The city is built on on a hill surrounded by a river. That means no real changes can be made to the structures. All the streets are narrow and windy (I ended up trapped in the same court for about half an hour, trying different roads out that all looped me back). I originally ignored my map and decided to wander around. Once I decided to get somewhere things got frustrating. It didn't matter how many times I checked the map and the name of the street I thought I was on, I ended up going the wrong way. By this time I was rather sick of sightseeing, so while I walked by the cathedral and took some photos, I didn't go inside. I was going to see the Synagogues, but ended up not doing those either.

 Instead I wandered and checked out sword shops. They were everywhere and had the most incredible selections. Some were very expensive, but you could get a good sword for very little money. Or better yet, a practice sword. I ended up getting 3 swords, a Lord of the Rings replica with a sheath and two brass handled traditional Spanish blades. They weren't the cheaper blades I was originally going to get

but as I bought 2 I got a deal.

Oh, and the hostel I stayed at, it's the castle. (Top of the first picture.) The picture beside it is the Alcazar, across a valley and in the city proper.

Ok, here are the pictures of the city. I discovered I had an extra day since I did some of the other cities faster than anticipated. I spent an extra day in Toledo, walking around the outside of the city, first on the city side then opposite it. That walk included a wonderful viewing platform.
That night I walked part of the route again to get a few pictures.


Lynda said...

Lovely! So green. And the castles must have been a treat for a medievalist!

Jessica Strider said...

Being in Europe period is a treat. All the windy, narrow streets, the quaint (from my POV) shops, the scenery, the castles and cathedrals... And doing the Santiago pilgrimmage allowed me to experience first hand what questors in fantasy novels go through. It's quite different, doing it rather than reading about it. Makes you appreciate your couch a lot more!

Lynda said...

That's for sure. :-) The trekking and roughing it stuff seems trivial in contrast to attacks by orcs. That's the problem. I grew up slapping bugs in Northern B.C. -- I'm a lover of the Great Indoors. :-)

Jessica Strider said...

Actually I was thinking less about orcs and more about the logistics of walking 35 km in a day. We read of questors who walk all day and have no problems - well, those authors never tried it because let me tell you, a few days of that kind of walking and you're in so much pain you really aren't paying attention to what's going on around you. And I'm used to walking and being on my feet all day. It was quite the eye opener. After a week it got easier, but your feet hurt so much it's actually less painful to keep walkint (because you're deadening the pain) and getting back up after a rest is excruciating. Especially if you've got blisters... Good times! The odd thing is, I'd love to do the Camino again, properly this time (ie, the whole thing rather than just the last 160 km).

Lynda said...

Boot camp for fantasy writers should definitely include some experience roughing it. :-)