We made it back into Spain for the final leg of our trip. Along the way, we stopped in the cities of Mérida and Toledo.
In Mérida, we rented a large apartment for the night at Capitolio Apartamentos Turísticos. It was very spacious and clean.
Once again we ran into the culture of siesta. Since no restaurants or shops would be open for a few more hours, we made our way to the touristy spots in town, which happened to be Roman ruins.
The city is the capital of another autonomous Spanish community, Extremadura. It is a very old city that was founded around 25 BC and originally called Emerita Augusta.
In addition to the Roman Provincial Forum, which includes the Temple of Diana and Arch of Trajan, there is also the Puente Romano, a bridge over the Guadiana River that is still used by pedestrians, and is said to be the longest of all existing Roman bridges. You may also recognize it as our blog photo header!
As we packed up and headed out the next day, we drove over to check out the Amphitheatre, Roman Theatre and Roman circus of Mérida.
Next, we drove to Toledo, capital of the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha. Toledo is known as the “Imperial City” for having been the main venue of the court of Charles I. It is also referred to as the “City of the Three Cultures” for its unique history and architecture influenced by a co-existence of Christians, Muslims and Jews.
We hopped on the train touristico for a quick tour of the city.
Because the old city only has a few streets that cars can fit on, we had to park a good ways away from our hotel, Hostal la posada de Zocodover, which was located in the heart of the old city. It was another family-owned, small hotel with really polite owners and clean rooms.
To mark the fourth centenary of the publication of the first part of Don Quixote, the Council of Communities of Castile–La Mancha designed a series of routes through the region crossing the various points cited in the novel. Known as the Route of Don Quixote, two of the pathways, sections 1 and 8, are based in Toledo. Here’s Drew on the Don Quixote trail.
For the last time, we packed up our little Skoda and headed to our final city, the capital of Spain, Madrid.