El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid

This post is going to be a great day and that’s because I’m going to go visit a beautiful Royal Monastery in El Escorial. Then I’m off to the Valley of the Fallen and finally a tour of Toledo and maybe some good lunch in between. I’m now here at Escorial in this beautiful complex. The monastery.. The cathedral is huge, it’s 280 feet high, there’s artwork all over the walls. There’s even a pantheon downstairs where all the old kings are buried in this old golden room. Where all their caskets are stacked up, it’s really an interesting place. I am now high up in the mountains above Madrid and this the Valle de los Caídos, Valley of the Fallen and this was built by Franco starting in the 1940’s to honor all those who died in the Spanish civil war. And they say about 70000 soldiers are buried right under me feet here. Not only is this monument incredibly impressive and beautiful.

El Escorial Monastery and Toledo Day Trip from Madrid Photo Gallery

But so is the view right behind me. You can see for miles and miles down this valley. From far away Toledo, you really can’t tell that it’s a bunch of twisted up little alleyways, but once you actually get into town it is like a maze, but it is a fun maze to get lost in. What I love most about Toledo is you peek in a door and there’s a man there, a carpenter making a piece of a banister. Right there.

This is so cool I was wondering around these alleyways and they’re totally dark and narrow and then I walk out here and boom this beautiful cathedral is right in front of my face and this thing, they started to build it in the late 1200’s and it actually took 300 years for them to finish this thing. All day I was wondering around the shops in Toledo and I was seeing these amazing swords and now I’m actually in one of the factories where the guys are making the swords and banging them into shape and it is so interesting to read. I’ve walked only 15 feet and I’ve come up from the sword makers to intricate, intricate jewelry makers and the detail is absolutely incredible. These little disks that they’re making are beautiful. What an incredible day. First the monastery, then the Valley of the Fallen and finally the charming little town of Toledo. I saw so much today, I’m going to sleep really well tonight.

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