Now this is what I'm talking about when I say I want to see the old shizzle in Europe......ginormous castles built in the 16th century!
This is El Escorial located in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial and built by King Phillip II in the 1500's. (I know it was Phillip II because our guide mentioned his name at least eleventy billion times. Would have been a great drinking game.) It's now a monastery, school, museum, and burial site for past kings; however, King Juan Carlos will not be buried here.....there's apparently no room for him. He's doesn't seem too buggered by it, stating, "What do I care. I'll be dead!"
It was recess time for the kiddies when we got there. Quite a playground!
No photography was allowed inside, so this is all you get to see from me, but you really should Google it. The inside mausoleum and cathedral are simply stunning.
Click on the below picture and see what I mean in the previous post about those four awful buildings dominating Madrid's skyline.
After that, we headed to Toledo for lunch at this hotel. Lunch was mediocre but the hotel looked really nice if you're ever in the area!
Again with the pizza oven envy....
These are suckling pigs and they're scrumptious! Fortunately they don't come to your table this way, or I never would have eaten it!
After lunch our guide took us around the perimeter of the city. Purdy, eh?
Toledo was known for it's great religious tolerance with Christians, Muslims and Jews all living peacefully together until the expulsion of the Jews and Muslims in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.
One of the most beautiful cathedrals I've seen which, by the way, took over 250 years to build. There should have been some heads rolling over that!!
And since I'm an Ohio girl......
Toledo, Spain also happens to be a sister city to several other cities around the world, including Corpus Christi, Texas and Havana, Cuba. That will come up in the quiz later!