Sunday, May 17, 2009

Around Madrid

Armed with my Eurail pass, I decided to explore the nearby towns in the Castilla y Leon and Castilla La Mancha regions surrounding Madrid. Both these regions consist of verdant fields and rolling hills. The towns I visited were Segovia, Avila and Toledo.

Segovia is a town with a myriad of architectural styles. The most obvious monument is the Roman aqueduct. Many of the buildings are built with bricks a Moorish-influenced style. The best example of this is the Alcazar or palace which has panoramic views of town and the countryside atop its tower.

Avila probably has the most intact Medieval city wall in the region (comparable to France’s Carcassonne). Like most European towns and cities, its cathedral is its most impressive structure.

Lastly, Toledo is probably the most touristed town outside of Madrid. It has a fairytale setting, with a castle and town perched on a hill with a bridge spanning over a moat. Inside the walled city, various types of architecture abound, with Roman and Moorish influences. The Spanish painter El Greco also has numerous works of art displayed around Toledo.

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