[So…If you couldn't tell, I'm currently reading David Copperfield. I'll veer away from Dickensonian writing now and go back to my own style of rambling. DO comment if you'd prefer the former, as it is, of occasion, an altogether entertaining test of one's abilities to ___[steer?] towards alternative syntactical arrangements.]
On to the story: Toledo…
You can look up it's history (I didn't bother), but it seems like a dang old town. [I think that sentence alone should indicate my un-preparedness for this journey.]
Below is my checklist to successfully get to Toldedo from Colmenarejo--
- Walk down to the bus stop. Check.
- Catch bus. No check.
- Wait for next bus. Check.
- Board bus and ride for about 35 minutes into Madrid. Semi-check.
- Wait on the side of the road for 15 minutes while awaiting the arrival of a new bus because current one has flat tire. Check.
- Get a seat on new bus. No check.
- Stand up on new bus, grasping frantically to the bar overhead while bus swervingly makes its way into town. Check.
- Once at the metro station, board and head to another bus station. Check.
- At new station, find bus to Toledo in time for departure. Check.
- Board bus to Toledo. No check.
- Defeated, return back downstairs to buy the ticket that apparently denotes the new system in which tickets can no longer be bought on-board. Check.
- Wait for 30 minutes for next bus and board successfully. Check!
- Once in Toledo, locate places of interest. Semi-check.
- Relocate the return bus home, board on time, return to Madrid. Check!
- Ride metro, find bus back to Colmenarejo on first try. No check.
- Wander around bus station, miss first bus back, THEN board bus back "home." Check.
- Arrive home in one piece and a calm state of mind. Somehow, CHECK!
All of that is to say that today did not--by any means--go as smoothly as one would have hoped. I think I've decided that I'm kind of done with this whole touring-a-foreign-country-solo thing already. [Or at least a country that you're too dumb to learn the language of before arriving…]
One might suppose that after the flat tire, and after missing the bus to Toledo, I would have just given up and simply stayed downtown (as was my original plan to begin with), but I am such a wimp that I would have rather risked not having enough time to meander through the streets of Toledo than risk having been there on a cloudy day and being anything less than warm. Hehe. It turned out fine, because it was indeed a beautiful day, and I think if I had wanted to see ALL of the sites I would have been so frustratingly lost anyway that the day would have been ruined.
Instead, I was able to comfortably [ha! Z would beg to differ, I'm sure, after having chatted with me when I found a cafe with internet] saunter through the winding streets. I saw many churches, all beautiful and impressive in their age & structure, and will give you some pictures in a future post. When the fortressed city spit me out through a grand doorway, I pleasantly took my leave and hurried to catch the bi-hourly bus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~So back to the first paragraph: When I began my attack on the city's sights, I had a feeble little map and a "plan" on how to efficiently stroll past each of the churches, museums, and restaurants listed. I soon found this to be a futile endeavor, and genuinely wonder how I would have handled myself if I weren't in a city surrounded by reminders of God's presence.
For example, I was lost, and frustrated, and stressed, then I saw this sign:
The come-away of this tale: Don't be afraid to wander sometimes, you'll always find your way back.