December 22, 1961 – Spain

Palace Hotel, Madrid, Spain – Raining, very cold

     I slept better last night than I had the night before.  Edith didn’t do a lot of coughing and she woke up feeling much better this morning.  Edith and I had an early breakfast so we could take a taxi to the tour office where we were scheduled to join a group for a full day of sightseeing from 9:30 to 6:30am to Toledo.

     Once we arrived at the tour office I was sorry I hadn’t brought my rain coat because it had started raining.  We traveled 44 miles to the south of Madrid to get to Toledo which was situated on a hilly plateau and practically surrounded by the Tagus River.  Our guide told us that the city was famous for its steel, particularly the flexible metal commonly used to make fencing swords. 

     I was excited when we went to a factory where they did Damascene style of products and art work where they inlayed one metal like gold onto another one.  I bought some scissors for gifts that were really wonderful.

     We also visited two 15th century cathedrals that had a lot of statuary.  Then we went through the Synagogue of El Transito, the Presidio and a museum of Moorish, Arabic and Flemish architecture.  Finally we visited a recreation of El Greco’s home where we saw some copies of his original paintings. 

Toledo While it was Raining

Another View of Toledo in the Rain

     Edith told me on the trip back to Madrid that she thought our day of touring Toledo had been too long and disappointing.  I didn’t argue with her and added that I had seen enough statuary for awhile.  The return drive was miserable because I was still wet from getting rained on each time we had to go back and forth from the bus to buildings we visited.

     Back at the tour office at 7pm Edith noticed that they had once again changed our flight to London but hadn’t notified us.  Edith had taken them to task about this yesterday but this time she didn’t just talk to the agent at the front desk called for the supervisor.   After talking to the supervisor Edith and I went to a nearby café to eat dinner so we didn’t have to wait till we got back to the hotel.  Each of us ordered some soup and a sandwich to warm our spirits.  After eating we tried to find a taxi but weren’t able to so we finally gave up and walked back to the hotel.  After a few minutes it started to rain again so by the time we arrived at the hotel we were soaked, frigid and muddy from the splashes we’d gotten by cars that passed us.  While I felt horrible and was upset that my coat had gotten so muddy I knew Edith was in worse shape because of the problems she continued to have with her feet.  In addition her coughing had returned.  I enquired at the desk to see if I could get my coat cleaned and found out I could but it wouldn’t be done in time before we left for London.

     Once we were back in our room I tried to wash my coat off and laid it out to dry but I feared it wouldn’t help very much.  Edith and I ordered some hot tea to try and warm us up.  I suggested to Edith that she should take a hot bath while she waited for the tea.  By the time it arrived she told me that the bath had seemed to help her congestion so I was glad.  I decided to take a bath too and afterward we both went to bed.


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