Distant Glasses: Toledo 1

Joshua Park, Nerd

I had the privilege to visit Toledo as I took my first few steps into Spain. In my thoughts, the location seemed like the best place to be while recovering from a twelve hour flight. However, to my dismay, the place became TOO good for recovering from a twelve hour flight, or a two hour drive, or even a couple minutes of walking. To put it simply, the chill vibe there was so powerful that there was a lot of this.

I think I could tell the exact moment I entered Toledo too because that relaxed, old town-y vibe came on like a wall when I was watching out the window as we were riding through Spain’s autovias (their pretty cool system of highways). It’s pretty much instant. One minute you’ll be feeling like “oh man, I’m so excited to tour all around Spain and see so much cool stuff…”

And the next you’ll feel as though you ate through four boxes of Lucky Charms and decided to down it with around an ounce of tranquilizer.

The thing is… I LOVE that vibe. Toledo is that old, mysterious and mellow city that just instinctually makes you relax. To anyone, it plays the  “home away from home” part to a T, whether it’d be from the smooth, emerald-toned architecture, the somewhat intensely kind citizens, or the soothing calm that spreads throughout its streets. Toledo is a very quiet place, but it still exudes its own unique personality through that quietness with an intensity I haven’t really seen in any location I’ve been to. It’s a profile refined with ages of history and polished through a clashing of contrasting Spanish idealisms, beliefs, and values. Not to mention, the city itself is a very beautiful place.

I had both the huge privilege and slight hindrance to visit Toledo right at the Christmas season. The once emerald tones of the city became overcome with a cool bluish hue and a pretty chilly breeze. I was pretty excited to be at one of the most religiously cultural based locations of the world to celebrate one of the most religious cultural based holidays in the world. However, that whole “chilly breeze” part didn’t sit well with me because, as an Alaskan, I thought (or wished) that my experience in Spain was going to be a lot like me taking in a beach chair and a pair of sunglasses along with a pair of snorkels (okay, well not to that scale). You see, Madrid had that whole feel to me even though a lot of Spaniards were dressed like they were pretty chilly. It felt almost like it was the middle of spring for my family. Despite that, Toledo was still (in more ways than one) really cool. There were a lot of references to Don Quixote and Miguel de Cervantes, a lot of Christmas decorations, a whole ton of cathedrals and churches as well as a pretty cool festival happening. I might talk about that later, but for now… I’ll see you next time on Distant Glasses…


…I should find a better name for this thing.