After spending 2 days in Madrid, we headed over to Toledo. Basically if you have ever read or heard of Don Quijote, picture the town he was in and you've got Toledo. A small, quaint little place made almost entirely out of stone and very old.
So far we’ve only eaten at tapas bars and I think I’ve had a glass of Rioja or Tempranillo with every meal. It’s not that I feel the need to constantly drink (since I can finally) but my family has always taught me wine makes everything taste better. And to further rationalize I could add, “When in Spain, drink as the Spaniards do” (this being every 3 hours). Not only is the wine 1.50 euros by the glass, but I’ve always had a love for riojas and when they are made here, they just taste that much better.
If you ever find yourself in Toledo, I highly recommend El Trébol. The tapas there were so good (and inexpensive) that we went back for dinner after eating lunch there. Apparently venison is the thing to eat in Toledo so of course we had to try it for ourselves. Para almuerzo, Rachel and I shared a plate of venison meatballs served with a pasta salad and a potato/egg/veggie frittata-ish side. Simone got some different montaditos (sandwiches), from venison steak with mushrooms to buey (ox) with caramelized onions (served pretty rare but melt in your mouth delicioso).
For dinner we shared a cornucopia of tapas- croquette de gambas, ensalada de tomates, buffalo chicken nugget type things, a stew of ox and potatoes that hit the spot and for the finale, la bomba. La bomba is the signature tapa of El Trebol and was basically exactly what you want to eat after 2 or 3 glasses of wine. It was basically a big fried ball filled with meat and cheese and topped with 2 different sauces- one creamy and one tomato-y (yes i know, my english vocabulary is deminishing as my spanish vocab is expanding). The picture below is courtesy of their website www.cerveceriatrebol.com (to which they dedicate an entire page to La Bomba).
After dinner we headed back to the hotel, which to my surprise was actually pretty nice. The study abroad program we are on, ISA, includes 5 excursions (Madrid, Toledo, Ronda, Lisbon, y Granada). While I had pictured them setting us up in some dumpy hotels, we've definitely been taken care of (but let's hope i haven't spoken too soon).
the view from our hotel