We woke up to a young German couple, that wasn’t there when we went to bed, sleeping in our room too. We talked as much as we could with them, ate breakfast and headed out to the military museum, which is housed in the Alcazar of Toledo. Since it is free on Sundays a long line forms so, we left without the German couple, although they said they were coming with us. By the time they got to the museum a line of about 200 people had formed behind us and the other 75 people ahead of us. The museum is interesting architecturally. Some ruins have been left and they built around them; inside there are glass floors so you can see the Roman ruins underneath.
The museum houses a rotating exhibit plus a permanent exhibit. The rotating one was about the Bosnian war from the early 1990’s which explained about Spain’s role. The Permanent exhibit was a chronologically organized walk through Spain’s history; which is accompanied by tons of swords, guns, uniforms, pictures and videos; it occupies 3 full floors and took us a few hours to get through.
I was still left uninformed as to WHY the Spanish civil war started in the first place. I read several places in the museum that a civil war was started between the Republicans and Franco’s Nationalists because of a coup; but why was a coup exercised besides the obvious desire for power.
After we left the museum grabbed some tapas at Enebro a neat little place with a huge palm tree. Daniel headed back to Segovia since he has to teach Monday. Sunday the Cathedral opens for FREE to Spanish Residents at 2pm… I AM A RESIDENT! After waiting a half hour I got a ticket and went in. This place in unbelievable! The columns enormous the arches and ceiling was enormous; everything was to epic proportions and coated in carvings and gold and silver leaf. One pipe organ was not enough so they installed two, the gold and silver didn’t shine bright enough so they put an oculus in the roof to let in a column of light at around 1pm (I missed the spectacle) . There is also a museum housing about 15 paintings by “El Greco” some by L. Tristan and several other famous painters.
I went back to the hostel to get my guide book from my room and ended up talking to the owner / manager about the cathedral. I told him that I can now understand how people believe the story of an all powerful god…. Imagine having worked on a farm your entire life to one day come to the city and see this massive building filled with riches. I don’t think that the human mind could have made sense of that sight; their only rationale would have been a superhuman force.
When I passed by the cathedral again I bought a copy of a red book “Toledo: it’s art and it’s culture”, and decided I would go on a hike around Toledo. Toledo is surrounded on three sides by the Tajo River, which sits in a gorge. At one point along the hike I saw some people repelling down a big rock face, at another I saw some men fishing but they reported that they hadn’t caught anything. They were using corn as bait… some things don’t change.
Along the path you get a really nice view of both the San Martin bridge (from the 14th century) and the Alcantara bridge (Roman: from the Middle Ages).
I was hungry so I stopped in a Chinese place and got some food to go. I set my book on the stool next to me while I was waiting and walked out without it.
After I ate I met 3 Americans who were just checking in. All three are doing a study abroad in Granada and were visiting during one of their breaks. After they settled in we went out to get some food at a restraunt called Trebol that the hostel manager kept recommending. The place was packed but we walked in and found an open table, but were promptly removed and told to wait to be seated. After waiting a while we took up another table and were asked to wait… again. After waiting for about 10 minutes with no result and others being seated after arriving after us we just left…. don’t go there. Went to a much more mellow place and got a nice table on the terrace. Aaron, Erin and Julianne were all really cool. We discussed some of their experiences with Andalucian Spanish, which makes me question if I really want to go there if I stay a second year. Experienced Tinto de Verano in a glass bottle like it were a soda and called it a night.