Hasta luego Madrid (3)

The thought of today:

Every situation in life must be faced, and so why not face it with love

Fri, Dec 24

The three stooges:

Juan, Elegance and I boarded the train to Toledo (Tolaytila in Arabic) my friend Elegance (our guide) has booked us in a supposedly an old renovated castle in Toledo (El Parador de Toledo). I imagined myself an Andalusian princess who would be greeted at the gate by Aljawari in the harem singing: lama bada yatamana3, then walking on this red carpeted floor that leads to princess Wallada Bint Al-Mistakfi’s http://walladah.blogspot.com/ presidential wing while she is busy exchanging poetry with prince charming Aba Al-7akam Ibn Hisham http://this-error.blogspot.com/. And after about 20 min drive from the center of the city atop the hills and mountains, we ended up in a no man land and a huge cottage with the rudest people you could ever imagine; be it at the reception or in the restaurant. They must have thought that we were some kind of terrorists in disguise.

And to our astonishment; we learned that all places are closed for two days, which basically was the duration of our stay in Toledo. Not to mention that the reason behind our decision to spend Xmass in Toledo was an advice we had from our Spanish friends to go to the closest lively place during Xmass, since everywhere else was closed due to Xmass family gatherings. Well that made me feel like the three musketeers who left for adventure and ended up being the three stooges in a ghost city, but regardless; we are here and we might as well make the best of it.

We decided against all odds to go to down town. The weather was freezing cold; must have been around zero, and the wind factor was high. And Toledo’s center snakes around small alleys which were originally designed to cool the hot weather in summer, and there we ended up looking for a warm place to gather us. It was a blessing to find this Coffee/Pub still open, and by the time we finished our first drink, they were closing, and we were back into the harsh cold of the empty streets. And like three mad dogs we ran the alleys looking for a shelter and what a relief it was to find the good old MacDonald still open, and a little winery is preparing to close. I got into the winery and got us three bottles of red wine while my friends went into MacDonald and ordered our meals, and until that day I never knew how delicious a fish filet tasted.. It must have been the hunger and the cold. We called a cap and it arrived in an hour and others took it, so we called again and had to wait sometime to be back in the warmth of our hotel.

As soon as I entered the hotel a sign at a closed door grabbed me like a magnet , I don’t know how I missed it before. The sign read: INTERNET. My friends saw the excitement on my face and they both shouted in unison: NO WAY. I gave them the yes way look and fled to the door, opened it wide and what did I see? A mini computer squashed in a little kiosk more or less like the 70’s PDP11. And as I was examining the machine a noise came from behind, I turned and saw this incredible hulk, open jaw, uneven teeth searching me curiously. He scared the hell out of me and I heard myself uttering through my throat: do you have a business center? And a very rude NO was vomited on me while my friends giggled on the other side of the lobby. I apologized and climbed the stairs to my friend’s room where we stayed drinking wine till the wee hours of the morning and cracking up at our stupidity. Juan kept teasing me all night by calling me the Andalusian princess that was treated like an Indonesian maid.

P.S. I strongly recommend El Parador de Toledo to my foes 🙂

Posted by Hello

A view from the hotel