“Mrehhno!” I struggled to shout at the hotel maid attempting to enter my bedroom. I seem to lose all ability to formulate words when I’m caught off guard, but fortunately she understood my mumble jumble and left me to continue spooning my pillow. The empty bed next to me where my roommate was supposed to sleep was strewn with shredded lettuce and stained with ketchup from the burger I ate the night before. Realizing I was wasting the day, I jumped out of bed and into the shower and washed off my hangover. It was the morning of my long awaited solo trip to Toledo – and I was losing sunlight!
Before I left the hotel after eating the complimentary breakfast (by myself, of course) two girls asked for my number. Not sure if they were flirting with me or genuinely wanted to be my friend, but either way I was flattered.
A roundtrip ticket to Toledo only cost $20 which is a pretty good deal considering I bought it the day of. Half an hour later after boarding the train I disembarked the cart and found myself in the lovely Toledo train station decorated with stained glass windows. Without an itinerary in hand, I googled “what to do in Toledo” and walked towards the The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo. A group of girls dressed like Batman and Robin walked ahead of me, presumably heading towards a comic-con convention. My curiosity did not get the bed of me however much I wanted to follow them. Although my initial destination was the Cathedral, I got sidetracked by other sights – and a little lost. I felt like Dora the Explorer, minus the talking monkey and magical map (which I totally could have used).
Cristo de la Luz Mosque – 2.50 euros: My first stop was at the only
surviving mosque in Toledo which dates back to the year 999. Inside the mosque are various paintings of Jesus Christ and God being judgey and all powerful.
It’s small, quaint, and kind of boring, but it’s historical importance is what made it worth the visit. There’s also a beautiful garden outside the mosque with a lovely view of the city that’s perfect for taking selfies with a selfie stick.
Leonardo Da Vinci the Inventor – 3.50 euros (reduced price for students): After exercising the little will power I had to not stop at one of the many bars I passed for a bite to eat, I arrived at the Cathedral – but don’t clap yet. The entrance I walked into only allows you to peep into the building for free without being able to walk around it. On
my way to finding the real deal I stumbled upon a museum exhibiting Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions. If you walk downstairs you’ll find an old jail cell with instruments of torture. Super romantic to visit with your loved one!
The rest of the museum is filled with replications of Da Vinci’s inventions – but more importantly, the walls are lines with outlets. I plugged my dying phone into the wall while I learned about the inventor without fearing it would be stolen, because it’s extremely doubtful that anyone paying to see the museum would steal a cracked iPhone 5.
There’s an empty room in the museum where I ate a chocolate croissant I saved from the dope breakfast buffet at my hotel in Madrid and charged my phone for about twenty minutes. Every so often a curious tourist would enter the room, expecting to see some innovative invention or beautiful piece of artwork – which they did. I thought about spooking the shit out of some of them but
decided against it because I’m boring. Overall, I paid for the exhibit to see the dungeon and charge my phone – the inventions were cool, but you could look up all the information. Also, it might be cooler to see this type of museum in Italy.
The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo – 8 euros including an audio guide: Finally I arrived at the cathedral, and holy Toledo am I glad I did! Pro tip: take out cash before you travel, especially when you’re by yourself because you can’t use Venmo to pay for an entrance ticket. Fortunately for me there was an ATM close by, so I only wasted a few minutes on being unprepared for my trip.
This is the second largest cathedral in all of Spain, the first being in Seville. I cannot stress enough how important it is to visit this Gothic religious building. It was BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL and the audio guide was extremely informative.
Warning: it does take a considerable amount of time to get through the whole building, courtyard, and museum, but
it’s totally worth it. Also, it’s pretty chilly inside so dress warmly so the temperature doesn’t detract from the splendor.
When I went there was a prayer session going on which looked pretty cool on my Snapchat. Inside the museum is El Greco’s famous Disrobing of Christ. I’m pretty sure an Asian tourist was snapping selfies of Christ, himself, and me on his selfie stick when I went. This was definitely the highlight of my day.
Museo El Greco – FREE BIZNITCHES!!! Informally known as El Greco, the Crete native is famous for his Spanish art in the Baroque style painting. The museum is attached to the Casa El Greco which was renovated and filled with furniture to depict the classic Spanish house. Other Spanish art is displayed in the museum, but who gives a shit about that? I came for El Greco and only El Greco. JK, but not actually.
5. Fly Toledo – 10 euros Waking up late and wasting too much time charging my phone in local bars bit me in the ass because the rest of the sights I wanted to see, especially in the Jewish quarter, were closed. Museums generally shut their doors at around 5pm, but my train back to Madrid wasn’t until 8pm so I had some time to kill. I walked around the city a little more until I reached the Puente de San Martín, a medieval bridge across the Tagus river.
This is also where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza began their infamous journey from Toledo to Murcia. Here I found the longest urban zip line in Europe and you bet your ass I went on it! The guys helping me were super cute and sweet, and I made a 9 year old friend who was less scared than I was too zip across the river. For three extra euros you can get your picture taken.
Although I fucked myself over and couldn’t experience everything that Toledo has to offer, this was by far my favorite trip. When you travel by yourself you make the rules and you decide where you go. The only downside was not having anyone to talk to, but I worked my way around that by offering to take a handful of people’s pictures so that I could have some sort of human contact.
I started the day like I ended it; by myself. It was so much better than going to a bar and spending money on drinks, and instead of making new friends I bonded with myself. There’s nothing like ending the day in a hotel room, dancing around with no pants on, and watching the Simpsons.