Travel by Any Means Necessary

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Wordless Wednesday: Icelandic Church

Icelandic Church Krýsuvíkurkirkja

Wordless Wednesday: Madrid

Royal Palace Lamppost

Wordless Wednesday: Night in Toledo

Toledo at Night

One Day in Toledo, Spain

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After our day in Porto, we woke up early the next morning and headed to the airport. We had an early morning flight to Madrid. I’ve heard that the Lisbon airport can be really busy but flying out of Porto (especially early in the morning) was a breeze. When we landed in Madrid, we took a cab to the train station and headed to Toledo.

Toledo train station

Toledo train station

It was a quick thirty-minute train ride from Madrid making Toledo a popular day trip for people visiting the capital city. We decided to get our first taste of the city by walking from the train station to our Airbnb in old-town Toledo. Our Airbnb was probably one of the nicest Airbnbs I have ever stayed in. It felt like a luxury hotel room in a historic building right in the middle of Toledo and was very reasonably priced (which is the biggest reason why we chose to spend more time in Toledo than Madrid). I don’t get anything for recommending this, but if you are planning on visiting Toledo, I highly recommend staying at Emer’s Place! One of our favorite things about Toledo was how it emptied out in the evening after the day visitors left (much like Mackinac Island).

Toledo is known as the City of Three Cultures because throughout its history it has been inhabited by Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Buildings in the city date back to the 11th Century and the architecture is unlike anything I had seen before. I have since seen pictures of Jerusalem and that is the best comparison I can make. Walking down these narrow, brick roads (where unbelievably cars are allowed), Toledo didn’t feel like a real place. The only connections I could make were to Disney World, either Pirates of the Caribbean or the Morocco pavilion in Epcot.

It quickly became clear to me that most of the visitors to Toledo are from Spain. The only English-speaking tour I could find that worked in our schedule (and didn’t involve transportation to/from Madrid) was one of those double-decker bus tours, so that was how we got our first overview of the city. It wasn’t the best tour I’ve ever taken, but we learned the history of the city and got to stop at some great viewpoints around the city for pictures (above).

Chapel in the Toledo Cathedral

Chapel in the Cathedral

After our tour, we decided to explore the most recommended attraction in Toledo, the historic cathedral. The cathedral was completed in the 14th century on the site of a former mosque. The detail in the building is breathtaking and there is so much to see. We decided to do the free audio tour with our visit of the cathedral and it added a lot of information about the history and symbolism, but at times it was a little too much information for a non-Catholic like myself. Many people choose to take guided tours of the cathedral and I think that would be a great way to see the space, but I would choose one that guarantees a small group. A lot of the groups in the cathedral that we saw were so big they barely all fit together in each area. Look for tours like this private tour with transportation from Madrid on Viator. All-in-all, you cannot miss the awe-inspiring cathedral when you visit Toledo!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop by next week as I recount our day in Madrid! To read more about this trip, check out Cruising the Atlantic to Portugal and Spain trip report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

Wordless Wenesday: City Hall

Sintra City Hall

Wordless Wednesday: Pena Palace

Pena Palace

Wordless Wednesday: Belém Tower View

View from Belém Tower

Wordless Wednesday: Belem Tower

Belem Tower

Wordless Wednesday: Performing Arts Center

Visiting the Texas State Capitol

“Texas stands peerless amid the mighty, and her brow is crowned with bewildering magnificence! This building fires the heart and excites reflection in the minds of all.” – Senator Temple Houston

One of the most highly rated attractions in Austin is the Texas State Capitol. The Capitol Building is modeled after the US Capitol Building in Washington, just like the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing. Being that this is not uncommon for state capitols, I didn’t understand the appeal of Texas State Capitol before I laid eyes on it. The exterior is made of beautiful, local, red granite and contains 360,000 square feet of floor space, more than any other state capitol. The building is 302 feet tall making it taller than the US Capitol. Why? Because everything is bigger in Texas.

I had not planned to visit the capitol building until we drove by it on our tour of the city. I have seen the US Capitol. I have been inside the Michigan State Capitol. They are all the same right? I was really wrong there! This building is bigger than you can imagine. It is an impressive building and has be seen to be understood.

Built in 1888, the rotunda is decorated with a portrait gallery featuring the Presidents of the Republic of Texas and Texas Governors. Sitting on 22 acres, there are many important statues and monuments on the Capitol grounds. Guided tours are offered every day departing about every 30-45 minutes. For more information about tours, visit

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

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