Amateur Hour

Our attempt to conquer Madrid, Segovia and Toledo in 2 Days…

Disclaimer

I would not suggest attempting this in such little time.  Segovia we really did see and enjoy to the fullest, but both Toledo and Madrid had more to offer.  I think Segovia and Toledo deserve a day each and Madrid well that city seems full of things to do and see…  But if you are going to do it, here are some things that might help.

Saturday

  • 7:45am Board train at Sevilla-Santa Justa to Madrid Atocha
  • 10:05am Arrive at Madrid Atocha

Once we arrived in Madrid, Kelley and her boyfriend, Levi, met us at Atocha.  From there we walked to our hostel to grab our keys, drop off our stuff and we headed back out.  We hopped on the metro and rode it to Madrid Chamartín Station where we had tickets to Segovia.

  • 12:20 Board train to Segovia
  • 12:50 Arrive in Segovia

Segovia

The train station in Segovia is in the middle of nowhere.  There are two options to get to the old city, bus or cab.  The cab cost 8 € so between the four of us it cost 2 € each, so we went with that over waiting for the bus (I think the bus cost 1-2 €).   We took the cab to Plaza Mayor.

We had reservations at 1:30 at Restaurante Jose Maria  to try the local favorite, chochinillo, suckling pig.  The IMG_1708restaurant was less than a 5 minute walk from Plaza Mayor. It was delicious and rich and a little pricey at 25€ a plate, but totally worth it!  After lunch, we returned to plaza mayor where we visited the cathedral, the alcazar and finally the aqueducts. We still had some time before our train back to madrid so we slowly made our way back to Plaza Mayor taking our time and getting a little lost on the way.  Before leaving we tried another local favorite, Ponche Segoviana at Limon y Mente,  pastelleria off Plaza Mayor.

We took a cab back to the train station.  This ride was not as cheap, they must have a special rate to the city… tricky cabbies.

  • 6:30 Board train to Madrid
  • 7:00 Arrive in Madrid

Madrid

Once we were back in Madrid we went on a mini tour of the city.  We were so lucky that Levi has been living there so we didn’t waste any time getting from place to place, being lost or wondering where to go nex

IMG_1704We stopped at La Mallorquina, a pastelleria in La Puerta del Sol (right next to our hostel and the Metro) where we got a variety of sweets, I chose the chocolate hedgehogs… almost too cute to eat!  We continued on our walking tour to see the Palace, cathedral and Plaza Mayor.  Then we made our way to the Mercado de San Miguel.  It is a modern indoor market with endless options of delicious tapas and drinks.  After that, we headed out for tapas.  The best place, by far, was El Tigre.  Like Granada, tapas were free with every drink.  We paid 5€ per drink, a little pricey but they were huge, and were also given 4 plates overflowing with food.  We headed home early to make sure we were ready for our early morning the next day!

Kelly Sarah and I in Plaza Mayor

With Kelly, Sarah in Plaza Mayor

Tapas and Drinks at El Tirgre

Tapas and Drinks at El Tirgre

Sunday

Toledo

The morning we left for Toledo we first had to go to Levi’s apartment so we could drop off out backpacks.  We grabbed a pastry at a small shop Levi knew and headed out to El Rastro.  El Rastro is at the Plaza de Cascorro, the Calle Ribera, and the streets surrounding the area. There were stands galore selling everything from Antiques to clothing to jewlery and more.

  • 10:50 am Board Train to Toledo
  • 11:23am Arrive in Toledo
Museo Santa Cruz

Museo Santa Cruz

The train station in toledo is in the city but with the little amount of time we had there we decided to take a cab to the center.  The cab cost 5€ , we are not sure if it was a special sunday deal but who cares!  We took the cab to Plaza Zocodover.  FIrst we visited the Museo de Santa Cruz.  It was free admission and had a reasonable collection of art(including works by El Greco), mosaics and glazed tiles.  Per Rick Steve’s Travel book- When you get to the second floor stop at the second window.  You will see the Alcazar, you will also see  gunshot in the metal bars protecting the outside.  Unlike Rick Steve’s directions, do not open the window to look closer or touch it, the guards don’t like that… After the museum, we went to the Sefardic Museum at the Sinagoga del Tránsito. Then to the Cathedral where Kelley and Levi went inside and Sarah and I found a magic museum and decided to see what it had to offer!  Before our time was completely up, we also tasted the local specialty of marzipan toasted and filled with sweetened and cooked egg yolk- YUM and bought assorted cookies made by nuns in a local convent.

  • 3:25pm Board Train to Madrid
  • 3:58 Arrive in Madrid (we would have taken a later train if possible, but the next one would have arrive in Madrid after our train the left for Sevilla)

Madrid and Home

We had just enough time to grab lunch and our things before heading back to Atocha to catch our train home.  We stopped at El Brillante to try their famous Bocadillos de Calamari.

  • 6:00pm Boarded train to Sevilla
  • 10:30pm Arrived in Sevilla

IMG_1809

Our Hostel

We stayed at Hostel 360.  It had decent reviews on Hostel World and I would say they were definitely accurate.  It was perfect location, right in the city center and only a couple minutes from the Plaza del Sol where the metro station is.  As the reviews said, it was really noisy at night(Had we not had such an early morning on Sunday the noise would not have been an issue).  There were tons of people our age all of whom were really friendly.  Every morning they order churros for breakfast so that’s pretty sweet too.   Bathrooms were fine, internet was good in the lobby and iffy in the rooms and the communal kitchen was clean.

 

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