Though we started out with a few days in Paris, the main destination of our February vacation was Italy. My partner, sister, brother-in-law, and I managed to pack in enough sights and experiences during that week that the very idea of writing about it became something to avoid and procrastinate later. This is why I’m referencing a February vacation in June.
For anyone staying in Madrid for at least three days, I would highly recommend a day trip out to Toledo. It is only about 30 minutes away by train, and is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in Europe so far (it is currently tied with Venice for the top spot). This is an old city, still maintains a medievel feel, and offers a perfect mix of Western and Muslim influences in its art, history, and architecture. We were also quite fortunate that–though much of our Madrid trip was plagued by rain–our day in Toledo was sunny and (comparatively) warm.
Warning to the elderly, infirm, or desperately out of shape: This city is on a hill, and there is a bit of a hike to get to it from where you are dropped at the train station. But it is so worth it.
WARNING: This blog entry contains entirely unnecessary explicit language. This is not the fault of the Venetians, as both they and their city are absolutely lovely. It’s due mainly to my inability–having been born and raised in a landlocked shithole full of nothing but strip malls and Baptist churches–to be able to grasp the beauty of a city like Venice without throwing around the word “fuck” a few times. So if you’re offended by naughty words, please click here.
Now, for everyone who isn’t an elderly schoolmarm: