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Locks on the bridge placed by couples to signify that their love is eternal and that they will be together.

5 March 2011 – MADRID

The next morning we took a walk down to the train station but not before having a bite to eat at a corner cafe on our way.  Our plan was to take the 12h00 train but arriving at the station, we were told it was full and we had to wait an hour and a half for the next one.  So to kill time, we decided to walk around to the park and the surrounding area.  I was pleased to find out that there was a huge park just across the street from the station.  And there, I saw not one but two black swans.  Nicolas Nassim Taleb would’ve been proud.

The black swan in the park

Booksellers outside the park.

Inside the park.

TOLEDO

Then finally it was time to catch our train and for only a 30 minute ride out of the city, Toledo was like taking a step into the past.  The streets here were small and cobbled, you could see that the old city was well fortified and protected, sitting atop a hill with the river running around it.  Understandably so since this used to be the capital of Spain up until the 16th century when the capital was moved to Madrid.  Under the Moorish rule in the 8th century, it was already an important cultural and trading centre and it was well known for its metalworks.  Here, you could also see how all three of the major religions coexisted side by side during this period in history.  The entire old city is dotted with mosques, churches and synagogues.  There are also pastry shops on every corner selling Turron (my favourite being the ‘delicia de turron’) and gold-plated artwork and jewelry.  We stayed for a late lunch there after a walk around the town and then it was time to catch the next train back to Madrid in the early evening where we had yet more churros, coffee and a walk to the Palacio Real, home to the King of Spain.

As you can see, a river does run through it.  Shot taken from the bridge connecting the old historical town to the new part of the city.

View of the old town from the other side of the river.  Our taxi driver took us there just before we were due to catch our train back to Madrid to show us his beautiful city.

On our way down to find the bridge.

Et voila!  The bridge.

Back up from the bridge.

The famous route of Don Quijote!

The crew.

Mosaics at the Toledo train station.

Kids by the Palace in Madrid.

Back in Madrid at night.

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