Monday, June 13, 2011

My trip to Spain- Part 2: Toledo

Toledo was the old capital of the kingdom of Spain in medieval times, before the Spanish court was moved to Madrid. Nowadays, this city is the capital of the autonomous community of Castile-La Mancha. In the past, Toledo was well-known because of the co-existence of Jews, Christians and Muslisms. That's why, it earned the name "the city of three cultures".

 I love this city and its very, very delicious marzipans. It's fair to say that the marzipan of Toledo is considered one of its finest food products. Making marzipans has a long tradition and it has brought fame to the city. Remember the name Santo Tome! You won't be disappointed by marzipans from this confectionery shop.

There is a lot of narrow passages in Toledo. As a fan of old, narrow and mystic-looking passages, I found here my heaven. This is a sketch of one passage heading to the university.

The kingdom of Spain is well-known for its Spanish inquisition in the past. Maybe, people in Spain won't like to hear of this fact as well as people in Germany feel uneasy, when we discuss World War II. I was really excited to go to the exhibition of ancient instruments of torture at the Alfonso XII exhibition hall. The exhibition hall is not big. However, it's scary enough to make you very grateful not to be born as Jews or Muslims at the time of the Spanish inquisition. These three masks of shame are the most harmless.

On the way to Puente de San Martin ( the bridge of Saint Martin), I discovered this lovely inner yard covered by oleanders and rosemary. I'm really envious of the people living there. They have huge rosemary bushes. I have a pot of rosemary at home. No matter what I do, my rosemary doesn't grow bigger. It stays tiny and weak. The lack of sunlight is the main problem. I have heard, in sunny Mediterranean area, rosemary bushes can reach up to one meter in height.
If I have a chance to go to Spain again, I'll come back to Toledo for sure, stay here longer and eat so many marzipans, that I feel like I'm going to explode.