On our way to the UK from our home in Spain we spent a couple of nights in Toledo, a beautiful Medieval city with gothic architecture in soft earthy tones. This is a view from the parador, where we stayed.

We visited El Greco's house. A Cretian by birth, he settled in Toledo after learning his craft in Venice and Rome. His work apparently wasn't particularly well thought of during his life time because of his unconventional style, characterised with elongated figures, and he seems to have possessed rather a volatile character. It was not until the late eighteenth century that he received the acclaim he deserved, discovered afresh by Théophile Gautier.

You can view some of his paintings here:

Because of its many almond trees, Toledo is also famous for its marzipan sweets, made in the old days by the nuns who occupied the many convents in the town. Here is a delightful display showing them at work.

We only had a day to spend there, as a rest during the long drive, but best of all we enjoyed exploring the narrow streets where you half expect to find hooded men lurking in doorways, or peasants to trundle by with their donkey.

Or to see a monk walking in quiet contemplation around one of it's many courtyards or squares. We shall certainly call again, as there is still much to see that we didn't have time for.

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