Friday, January 09, 2009


09:10 Sitting in the "Avant" train, due to leave for Toledo in 10 minutes. The last 2 days have been so busy I have hardly had time to write. As we pull out of the station there is snow. Even more than we saw in Austria, the train display shows an outside air temperature of 1C.When we came out of the hotel this morning the air was cold and the ground wet with a few flakes drifting in the air, but melting when they settled. Now, about an hour later, after coming out of the underground and Atoche, the ground is covered in white and there are serious flurries of snow in the air. We walked the last two days, about 12 hours on Wednesday and 10 on Thursday. Thursday morning I was feeling very drained and we didn't really get going till midday. I think I was dehydrated somewhat.[Now the snowflakes are melting on the train windows leaving little water droplets]

09:40 Lots of HV lines in this part of Spain, we are now approaching Toledo. There is not so much snow.

10:45 We are having a breakfast/lunch in the square near the tourist info office in Toledo. We bought our own bread, cheese and sausage (Salchicha) from Madrid. It is very lightly snowing.

12:20 We are in the Cathedral, I got chatted for headware as I entered. I was wearing my earmuff headband, apparently that counts. Quite an expensive entry fee, no photos are allowed. It seems that some churches in Spain jealously guard their right to allow people to see and record their artworks. Others don't, there is no consistency and no relationship to the quality of the actual site. However, plenty of images are available on the internet.Uschi has just shown me the sculpture behind the altar, Jesus disappearing into the clouds. Only his feet are visible(!) As I write this we are between the Altar enclosure and the Coro (the choristers enclosure). A layout only found in Spanish churches, according to Uschi. The clock over the entrance door is a single handed type. In the chapter house (Sala Capitular) are the portraits of the Toledo archbishops, going back many centuries. Odd to think that these emminent holy men were intimately tied up with the inquisition, expulsion of people around 1500 and latterly the Franco side in the civil war, trying to prevent ordinary people have a say in their own country.

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