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Magic of Spain, Discovering Madrid, Toledo, La Mancha
June 09, 2006

It s Linda Plummer here from

to deliver your monthly update on Spain via the
newsletter The Magic of Spain.

In the last newsletter - where Sarah told us
all about the delights of Jerez de la Frontera -
I promised to describe my recent short tour of
Madrid, Toledo and La Mancha country this month.
Here we go ...

* * * * * * * * * *

The Spanish describe Madrid as "Nueve meses de
invierno y tres meses de infierno" or "Nine months
winter and three months hell"!

But when we were there at the end of May, the
weather was absolutely perfect! Glorious blue
skies, a smiling sun, but sufficient breeze to
prevent getting too hot.

We started off with a guided sightseeing tour,
and it certainly makes you appreciate the
wonderful monuments and museums all the more
when the history and meaning are professionally

The Asturias and Bourbon districts ... Plaza
Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Fuente de la Cibeles,
Puerta de Alcal , Columbus Statue ... the
museums ... the parks ... and much more ...

Madrid centre did itself proud. Its wide avenues
and marvelous monuments looked so very bright and clean.

Shopping in and around the Gran V a was
great - the renowned calle de Serrano being
out of our price range!

Those who like to live it up at night will
be spoilt for choice with all the shows,
clubs, bars/restaurants on offer.

We spent a couple of wonderful days in Madrid,
then headed for a great favourite of mine -
picturesque Toledo.

High on a hill, encircled by walls and the
Rio Tajo, this pretty little city was one-time
capital of Spain.

Known as the city of three cultures orreligions -
Christian, Moslem and Jewish -it s teeming
with architectural jewels.

Its gloriously ornate Cathedral ... its
Alcazar ... the churches, museums, mosques,
synagogues ... the El Greco paintings ...

Pure joy!

We spent a couple of days there, then started
to head back for home on the Costa Blanca.

Traveling through La Mancha - or Don Quijote
country - we stopped off at a quaint village
called El Toboso.

Here we visited the House of Dulcinea
(a character in Don Quijote), giving us a
splendid example of houses/furnishings of
the wealthy in that era.

Next stop was Mota del Cuervo, to look at
ancient windmills - inside and out.

La Mancha is also one of the largest producers
of table wine in Spain - I believe it even
produces more than the better-known La Rioja.

Can you guess what we did next?

That s right! A trip to a bodega!

This was a bodega with a difference though -
Bodega La Tercia. Small, and family run,
it produces only organic wine, going under
the name of Yema. What a wonderful flavour!

We certainly enjoyed the wine tasting
(except our poor driver!), of which there
was plenty, accompanied by some marvelous
sheep s cheese.

Then, we were homeward bound ... but I
retain delightful memories, plus a few
bottles of wine and a kilo of cheese!

* * * * * * * * * *

Spain is littered with Monumental Towns
and World Heritage Sites, and one way of
seeing them is by staying in Spanish Paradors.

There are 90 of them. You can learn more
about them, view photos, book them ... even
download a FREE ebook about them at:

Until next time!


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