a lazy day in toledo: marzipan delicia, views from the alcazar, cristo de la luz, and night views of catedral de toledo

Friday, July 5:  This morning, I am once again annoyed by my habit of waking up at 5 a.m.  I lie in bed and check emails and mess around with my blog, but, eventually, I find myself getting drowsy.  I fall into a welcome slumber.  I must be exhausted because this doesn’t happen often.  I sleep until nearly 10:00. :-)  Finally, my body is getting the hint that I’m on holiday.

I have to get up and get dressed, otherwise I’ll miss breakfast which is only served until 11.  I eat breakfast on the terrace right under the wire, and then I spend some more time lying around reading and relaxing.  I don’t know how much energy I have to tackle the sweltering streets of Toledo.  I decide I’ll go in search of Mezquita Cristo de la Luz, have a late lunch, and then come back to my room and nap.  I may as well: the afternoon siesta in Spain happens for a reason.  It’s too hot to do anything else. In the late afternoon all the shops are shuttered and the streets are quiet.  Only foolhardy people like myself wander about at these hours.  I think I’m finally learning to fall into the rhythms of life in Spain.

random bell tower on the streets of Toledo
random bell tower on the streets of Toledo

I wander through the streets and decide to walk up toward the Alcazar garage, where my car has been parked.  I ask them what time they open in the morning, because I want to get an early start tomorrow morning to drive to Malaga. They tell me they’re open 24 hours.  I also am debating driving to Consuegra to see the windmills.  I debate and debate and ultimately decide against it because Consuegra is right along the drive south.  Why bother driving there today?  I’ll just need to build in an extra hour to make a stop there.

random bell tower
random bell tower
random balconies
random balconies

I take some more photos of the Alcazar from the outside.

the alcazar revisited
the alcazar revisited
another view of the alcazar
another view of the alcazar
the alcazar
the alcazar

I then go up the elevator to the library to see the views from a small shabby cafeteria.  All I want to do is to take pictures, but the cafeteria people look at me like I’m an interloper since I’m not buying any food.  I think a place like the Alcazar should have a public viewing area; after all it’s the highest point in Toledo and could offer magnificent views.  But there’s only one small open window; the others are closed. Here’s what I see.

view from the library tower / cafeteria at the alcazar
view from the library tower / cafeteria at the alcazar
view of Toledo from the Alcazar
view of Toledo from the Alcazar
view of Toledo
view of Toledo

On my way back to Zocodover Plaza, I stop to sample one piece of Marzipan Delicia.  Toledo is famous for its marzipan, so I figure I should sample some while here.  It is quite delicia!

Marzipan Delicia
Marzipan Delicia
Marzipan
Marzipan

I continue strolling through the streets of Toledo.  I seem to be moving a lot slower lately.

streets of Toledo
streets of Toledo
Holy Toledo!
Holy Toledo!
a shop near my hotel and the Cathedral
a shop near my hotel and the Cathedral
more balconies
more balconies

I go back to my room after making a stop to buy two cute tops at a shop near my hotel.   I relax for a bit, then head back out to Mezquita Cristo de la Luz.

This 1,000-year old mosque was built in the Caliphate period.  Two centuries later, it was transformed into a church and an apse was added, following the Mudejar style of the old building.

Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita

By now it is nearly 2:00 and I want some respite from the heat and lunch.  I find this little restaurant, Posada El Cristo de la Luz.  It’s not air-conditioned, so I almost leave, but the owner is so charming, he convinces me to stay.  It is cooler than outside, and it becomes quite pleasant after I sit for awhile and rest near a fan.  I order a glass of chilled white wine because I plan to nap this afternoon.

lunchtime at Posada El Cristo de la Luz
lunchtime at Posada El Cristo de la Luz

I also order some Tagine because I think I overhear the word prawns, but it obviously does not have prawns.  It does have plenty of beef though.  It is so delicious, with it’s cinnamon flavored gravy, that I feel like each bite is a small taste of heaven.

Tagine and olives
Tagine and olives
me at lunchtime at Posada El Cristo de la Luz
me at lunchtime at Posada El Cristo de la Luz
me at Posada El Cristo de la Luz
me at Posada El Cristo de la Luz
Posada El Cristo de la Luz
Posada El Cristo de la Luz

On my way out, I ask the owner where he’s from and he says Aleppo, Syria.  He misses his country tremendously and fears for the safety of his family members.  Luckily, he’s safe in Spain.

Posada El Cristo de la Luz
Posada El Cristo de la Luz
the Syrian owner of Posada El Cristo de la Luz points to his hometown of Aleppo
the Syrian owner of Posada El Cristo de la Luz points to his hometown of Aleppo

After lunch, I go into the museum of Mezquita Cristo de la Luz and into the mosque.

Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita

The vaults are partial or total reproductions of the vaulted ceilings in the mosque of Cordoba, the capital of Al-Andalus.

Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita

The presbytery is decorated with Romanesque fresco paintings.  On the vault, Christ in Majesty is surrounded by the four symbols of the Evangelists.

Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
me at Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
me at Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
view of Toledo from Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
view of Toledo from Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
me at Cristo de la Luz Mezquita
me at Cristo de la Luz Mezquita

After visiting the mosque, I decide to return to my hotel and take a rest.  I actually take a nap for a couple of hours.  Only around 8:00 do I head back to Restaurant Alcazar, where I order a set menu of gazpacho, hake fish fried in batter with potatoes, accompanied by una cerveza and followed by flan for dessert, all for 10 euros.

Back at Restaurant Alcazar ~ Gazpacho
Back at Restaurant Alcazar ~ Gazpacho
Hake fish fried in batter with potatoes
Hake fish fried in batter with potatoes
Flan at Restaurant Alcazar
Flan at Restaurant Alcazar

Back at the hotel, I start preparing for my trip to Malaga tomorrow morning.  Before I go to sleep, I visit the hotel terrace to see the Cathedral all lit up.

Catedral de Toledo at night
Catedral de Toledo at night
Catedral de Toledo at night from my hotel balcony
Catedral de Toledo at night from my hotel balcony

It’s a lovely day, and I’m really glad I got a lot of rest.  I need to learn to relax more while traveling and not run myself into the ground.🙂

12 thoughts on “a lazy day in toledo: marzipan delicia, views from the alcazar, cristo de la luz, and night views of catedral de toledo

    1. I’m glad I’m slowing down, too, Marianne! I think now that I’m on this tour, which is very laid back, I’m taking things at a slower pace. Today we went to Ronda, tomorrow Seville; I think tomorrow will be busier. There are only 3 people on our tour, an Australian couple and me. They’re really nice and down to earth people. I am really loving the south of Spain!! Anyway, we can arrange when to meet on the 12th; the other couple is staying in a hotel in Malaga for one more night. Our guide can drop me either at the airport or probably anywhere in Malaga that we care to meet. Unless you want me to meet you somewhere else by bus or some other means of transport. What time do you think we should aim for? I can call you using our guide’s phone on the 11th and we can arrange things then.

      You’re right, I think I did see all the important things in Toledo. Ronda and Mijas are beautiful. I hear it’s really hot in Sevilla now!🙂 I’m so looking forward to meeting you!

      1. We are heading two hours north of Granada this morning, to Úbeda and Baeza (both UNESCO World Heritage cities) for a couple of nights, staying in an old palace. Looking forward to that.

        We can either pick you up from the airport (maybe wherever you picked up the tour?) or if you want to get dropped off in Malaga with the other couple, we could collect you there. Either way is great for us🙂 I guess the timing all depends on what time you expect to arrive from Granada.

        I think we’ll have a nice lazy day by the pool for the rest of Friday, to give you a rest. How does that sound?

      2. That sounds like a wonderful time in a palace in Ubeda and Baeza, Marianne! Lucky you! I look forward to seeing your pictures and reading about your time there…. And hearing about it all first hand when we meet!

        It doesn’t matter to me where you pick me up; let me know which is more convenient for you. I could ask the couple where they’re staying and we could meet there, or we could meet at Malaga Airport where I met the tour in the first place, at the VIPs lounge/restaurant. It might be nicer to meet at the couple’s hotel; I’ll find out what it’s called and let you know if you think that would be more convenient. I really so appreciate your kindness, Marianne.

        I’ll be coming from Mollina, the small nondescript town where we’re staying. I’ll try to find out about what time the guide will drop us off. It’s really a very laid back operation, and I think I should be able to get a feel for what we’ll do in the next day or so. I’ll let you know.

        Having a lazy day by the pool sounds wonderful. I would love it!🙂

  1. I’m doing the Time traveller’s Wife and reading your post backwards. And enjoying every moment of the. Your hair always looks so perfect. I am speed dialling my coiffeur.

    1. Well, mrs. carmichael, I’m glad you’re following so it doesn’t matter if you read backwards or forward or upside down; I’m happy to have you! Thanks for saying my hair always looks perfect; I’m continually bemoaning the fact that it looks horrible, especially since I’m sweating profusely most of the time. After which it dries into bizarre shapes!

  2. for as many times as I’ve been to Toledo, I’ve never been to Cristo de la Luz. I see that now I must go back just to see it! wow. awesome photos again. and such blue skies. we had that too on our last visit. it almost looks unreal in photos I think. such a beautiful city…..and: I. Must. Have. That. Flan!!! yum………

      1. I also meant to comment about marzipan. when I lived in Spain over 30 years ago I remember loving it. When I returned to Toledo 3 years ago I was so excited to have marzipan again! but I was shocked to see that I didn’t really like it!!

      2. Interesting about the marzipan. I used to think I didn’t like it, but when I tasted it in Toledo, I loved it. But maybe it was just the particular flavor I tasted. Maybe I really don’t like the other kinds!🙂

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