Happy Birthday Dad in Toledo

Today, July 13, is Dad’s 77th birthday!  We’re celebrating with a delicious dinner at a restaurant called La Abadia, located in a monastery from the 14th century and original stone walls intact.

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We arrived in Toledo this afternoon via Madrid — stayed at a hostel there last night and then caught a train down today. Incredible cloud formations followed us along the ride.

20110714-001521.jpg 20110714-001533.jpgDuring the past couple days we’ve been meeting quite a few American tourists. While waiting in line at the Madrid Renfe station (Spain’s train system) we talked with a young man from Baltimore here on vacation visiting his brother studying in Madrid. He was on his way to Pamplona to run with the bulls tomorrow on the last day of the city’s festival of St. Fermin. Also, at Santiago’s train station were American high school students on a class trip. On a tour this afternoon there was a young woman who had lived in Ramona for a few years, and at dinner we sat next to couple from New Jersey who are retired teachers traveling with their grandson to celebrate his high school graduation.

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Toledo’s architecture is a blend of Spanish and Moorish influences, as observed at the train station pictured above.

Tomorrow is sightseeing around the city before returning to Madrid Friday. Only one more week in Spain until our flight back to the U.S. On the Camino all sense of time and days of the week get lost — just getting up and walking guides each day. You learn to measure time differently and to live in the moment. It’s about enjoying what’s in front of you and appreciating simple things, such as a warm shower. In the days ahead we’ll be transitioning towards the ‘normal’ way of life again.

* Unfortunately I could not upload the Botafumeiro video — will keep trying to find a way to do this —

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