Mérida & Toledo

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.

Temple of Diana
Temple of Diana in Mérida

In Mérida, we rented a large apartment for the night at Capitolio Apartamentos Turísticos. It was very spacious and clean.

Capitolio Apartamentos Turísticos
Capitolio Apartamentos Turísticos

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.

Mérida street view just after siesta ended
Mérida street view as everyone starts to come out after siesta
A public square in Mérida
A public square, still not many people out and about

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!

Oh just some Roman ruins in the middle of the city, nbd.
Oh just some Roman ruins in the middle of the city, nbd.
Jini next to the remains of an old Roman arch
Jini next to the remains of an old Roman arch, the Arch of Trajan
Old Roman bridge
The Puente Romano, an old Roman bridge

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.

Amphitheatre of Mérida
Amphitheatre of Mérida
Drew preparing for a gladiator fight
Drew preparing for a gladiator fight
Selfie at the amphitheatre
Selfie at the amphitheatre
Roman Theatre of Mérida
Roman Theatre of Mérida
Roman circus of Mérida, one of the best preserved Roman circuses
Roman circus of Mérida, one of the best preserved Roman circuses

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.

Toledo
Toledo
Crazy tiny streets in Toledo
Crazy tiny streets in Toledo

We hopped on the train touristico for a quick tour of the city.

Toledo train touristico
Toledo train touristico
Selfie on the train touristico
Selfie on the train touristico
The train stopped so we could get some pics of the old city.
The train stopped so we could get some pics of the old city. from the opposite hillside
Toledo street view
Toledo street view
Toledo is known for its marzipan
Toledo is known for its marzipan

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.

Hostal la posada de Zocodover
Hostal la posada de Zocodover entrance
View from our hotel room, check out those tiny streets!
View from our hotel room, check out those tiny streets!

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.

Drew on the Don Quixote trail
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.