Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Toledo, Madrid Bombing...

Today, we got on the bus and drove to Toledo. When we got there, it was very cold! We drove up to a lookout area where we could get a good glimpse of the whole city. It was beautiful. The city has pretty much been locked down as far as new construction is concerned, so a lot of the very old buildings are still there.

We got on the bus and went into the city. Toledo is located on a hill, so all of the walking we did was up and downhill. Very tiring. We walked around as a group at first, and then we split up to go see different areas on our own. Before the guides turned us loose, they gave us some crazy news. It turned out that ETA (the terrorist group in Spain) set off a car bomb in Madrid that morning. Their target was nowhere near where we were staying or where we would be, but it was still weird. It would have been a lot scarier if we had been in Madrid at the time, but since we were in another city, it was less scary. When we got the news, it was only like 3am back home in Texas, so I had a few hours before I would call my parents and let them know I was safe.

I had stopped to go to the bathroom in a restaurant before we headed out in groups, and when I came out, everyone was gone except one of the guides to lead me to the rest. But it turned out that people had already gone off and about, so I stuck around with the guides because they said that they were going to go to the cathedral. I followed them, but I stopped to take a picture of something and next thing I knew, I was “lost.” So, I spent the next 20 minutes or so trying to catch up and find my way around by myself. The trip was begining to stink because I didn’t want to just go do stuff by myself. But God helped me out. I ran into some people from Monterrey. Turns out it was Viri (the birthday girl), Estela, and Susana. They’re awesome and I hung out with them for the rest of the day. We went into the cathedral and walked around and took pictures even though it wasn’t allowed. It made for fun times. I mean, we had to pay 5.50 EUR to get into a church! That was wrong enough as it was. Susana didn’t go in just because of that. So, to “get my money’s worth” I took some pictures of the inside. I mean in some places, they don’t allow flash because of the damaging effects of the flash on ancient artifacts, but here they wouldn’t even allow pictures without flash. “No fotos.” We later made fun of that phrase by adding to it: “no fotos, no tocar, no caminar, no ver, no respirar...” It was rediculous.

After another long day of walking around, we went back to Madrid. Some people went out that night again and stayed out just as long. I went out to get some food with the guys, and then took pictures of the palace and cathedral with Dave. It was really pretty lit up at night. After that I went to bed after watching some Scrubs and Family Guy with some people.


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