Tilting at Windmills

September 17, 2017 - Toledo, Spain

We had a late breakfast before taking cameras down to Puente de San Martin. There was a group nearby offering 'Fly Toledo' and we took a zip line ride to the other side. The quick way across. Great fun. (Margaret: Before flying, we had to sign the inevitable ‘release’ to acknowledge that it would be our own fault if the line broke and we plunged to our deaths. The form included a space to add ‘date of birth’ and I asked if we really had to. Yes, we did, ‘just so we can congratulate you.’ Ha ha. I asked if there was a prize for the oldest flyer and he said they’d had a 90-year-old, so I stopped feeling so smug.)

On the other side of the valley we walked up the hill to the Panoramic views where we had good views of the city but it was very busy with tourist buses. (Margaret: I’m sure the Mirador de Valle is the lookout from which El Greco painted the ‘View of Toledo’. I once had a print of this which I loved, and was delighted to see the original of it in the MOMO in New York. Both Max and I took panorama photos from the same spot – such an amazing example of how two people can see things so differently!)

We walked back to the bridge and all the tourist buses again but this time we had to walk across the bridge. We arrived back to the hotel about 3pm. And packed our day pack and wiggled the car out of the garage, very tight turns. (Had to get the key from reception, get the lift down to -2 level, bring the car up, use the fob to open the door, drive out and take the key back.)

With the aid of the GPS, now dubbed Senorita Amiss, we managed to get the fourth rather than the third exit for the M42 and had to do a long loop and return (about 1.5km total) before getting the correct turn.

Drove along the Autovia and got off at Consuegra where, with a few fumbles, we managed to find our way to Molinos de Viento. Drove to the top of the road and walked among the windmills and along past the Castillo de Consuegra. (Margaret: I had really wanted to see these windmills, partly because of having seen ‘Love and Pain and the Whole Damned Thing’, the lovely old film with Maggie Smith and Timothy Bottoms which has a gorgeous scene set up there, at a spot we weren’t able to identify on our visit. Also, of course, there’s the Don Quixote thing. I happen to have a copy of the book on my kindle – who doesn’t, after all – and was surprised to reread that the Don found the windmills (giants) on the plain when in fact the ones we saw are high on one of those ridges that pop up out of nowhere on the plains of Castilla-La Mancha; they are visible from miles away. In fact the present windmills are C19 restorations with some of the original C15 foundations and workings still extant. Inevitably a couple have been commandeered as souvenir cum food outlets.)

We returned on Senorita Amiss' instructions but managed one exit too early. She said Exit 69 and we took Exit 70. No serious consequence as we blundered onto roads that we knew. Some serious consequences when I parked the car though. Margaret was guiding me back as I reversed into the parking spot and instead of watching her I was looking at the clearance of the right hand mirror on a column and managed to bump the wall. It felt as if I hit hard but there didn't seem to be major damage but daylight could reveal a different story. Not much to be done about it now.

We were back at the hotel about 7.30pm, and we checked our photos for the day and our emails until hunger got the better of us.

Eventually we walked up to find somewhere open for dinner – it’s not much use looking before 8.30. Restaurante Placido was the first tempting looking place so we sat down and ordered a Jarra (jug) de Sangria to quench our thirst. Then Grilled Pork Loin with apple sauce and chips for Margaret, and Grilled Swordfish for Max with slices of tomato. That was really plenty to eat but Margaret had Traditional Marzipan cake with cream and Max had Crepes with Chocolate and cream. Café solo and café doblé to finish.

We walked up to the cathedral to check opening hours for tomorrow but it was too dark to read the notice. Back to the hotel via the Fontecruz Hotel where we stayed last time, and the back alleys to the promenade above Meson La Orza.

A bit weary at the end of the day.


Puente San Martin
On the trail of Don Quixote
The view of Toledo from the mirador
Some brave soul on the zip line
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