Toledo: Even El Greco Got the Hell Out

Pin It Let's start with the worst of Spain, and get it out of way.

Oh, Toledo. So photogenic. So deceitful. A true trickster.

We drove over 400 miles from Santiago in one day, just to make it to Toledo before Madrid. Arriving close to midnight, the city on top of the hill, greeted us, glowing, looking magical. We were in awe. After some driving, we finally found an unfortunate little hostel, and booked a room for a night. Worst place we had stayed at, but the city was dead, and we had no map of it, not that this city is very map friendly. They just built and built with no reason, added a wall, apparently to stop invaders, and called it a day. What we couldn't figure out was who was trying to invade, and why?

The next morning, Toledo had lost it's glowing charm and looked misshapen, sad and touristy. Although in pictures, it looked nice. But we had an entire day to spend there, so we got another hotel, and went out to explore. We saw some El Greco's which were cool, and ended up at some free museum, which was supposed to house El Greco's last painting. We searched, didn't find it. So the husband approached two nuns and asked, "Donde esta El Greco?" One nun says rather quickly, "El Greco no esta aqui. El Greco es en Mexico," then quickly adds another 5 sentences which we had no idea about. But that brief exchange was so hilariously funny to us, as our hate for Toledo had reached it's max and hearing from a nun that El Greco has basically escaped to Mexico, was the highlight. With our limited Spanish what we did pick up was that the painting was on some traveling exhibition, with no return date scheduled. No surprise, if I was that El Greco, I'd stay away too.

That evening, we prepared to have dinner at a Parador. We heard about these government run hotels (typically in mansions or castles) that were supposed to have awesome restaurants, serving regional specialties. After driving by 5 or so, we decided it was time to try one. Now take a look at the photos below.

Gazpacho with apples, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Roasted bell pepper and tuna salad.

Partridge stew.

Lamb stew.

Triple chocolate.

Banana chocolate ice cream.

Now you might think, this food looks tasty. But it was yet another trick. It looked good, but, it was the worst meal of our trip, and it was pricey! The appetizers were decent, the desserts above average, but the stews sucked. Sucked hard.

So, lesson learned? Skip Toledo. Unless you like being disappointed. Because waking up to Toledo, is not much different than waking up to a bad one night stand, where you might take a look at that person next to you in disgust and think to yourself, last night this all looked so diffent, what happened? Toledo. That's what.


  1. Which is better: Toledo lamb stew or ikea hotdogs?

  2. well, if i consider cost, ikea wins. although both gave me a tummy ache.

  3. It's a shame Toledo's such a mess of a city. It was such a central focus point in a lot of Spanish history, specifically between the castillians and the moors. =/

  4. Keep your spanish history lessons to yourself, Toledo sympathizer!