Tag: Santa Cruz

Finally Some Oxygen!!

Finally Some Oxygen!!

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia – April 6, 2019

Departing from La Paz, one must always wake up early.  Fortunately, when it is a domestic flight, it is not crazy early.  Our driver from Mujeres al Volante (Women at the Wheel) was right on time for our 05:00 pick up from home.

When we can, we use Mujeres al Volante to get us around La Paz.  As one can tell from the business name, it is an all-female taxi service.  We like that idea because it gives women a chance they might not otherwise have.  The service operates, in part, via WhatsApp.  After arranging for a pickup, the service sends a text message via WhatsApp with the name, photograph, and cellular phone number of the driver.  Additionally, one also receives a picture of the vehicle, including the license plate.  That allows for confirmation of the ride before getting in the car.

In our experience, each driver is very kind.  Each driver is also very conscientious and safe.  For example, this morning, our driver stopped at every red light.  That may not be all that unusual in La Paz; however, our driver remained stopped until the light turned green.  That is a bit unusual.  Several other drivers stopped or slowed, only to continue through the intersection.  Those few stops did not hamper our progress.  We quickly and safely made it to the airport at El Alto by 05:45.

It was quick and easy to check-in for our 07:30 Boliviana de Aviación (BOA) flight.  After clearing the security checkpoint, we sat at Uyu café.  We both had a coffee.  Leslie also had a toasted ham and cheese croissant.  She said it was unusually delicious, especially for airport food.

Cloudy conditions did not interfere with the air traffic.  We had no problems seeing our BOA airplane arrive at the jet bridge.  About 30-minutes after the aircraft arrived, we boarded.  Then, right on time, we pushed back from the gate at 07:30.

Our Bolivian Airlines jet approaches the boarding gate.

At roughly 4,115 meters (13,500 feet), there is not an abundance of oxygen.  The main runway at El Alto International Airport is 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) long.  It seemed our airplane used about 3,990 meters of the runway before finally lifting off the ground.  Even jet airplanes have trouble at that altitude.  Quite frankly, that is no doubt part of the reason for so many early morning flights.  As the air heats up during the day, the lifting capacity of the air diminishes.

La Paz nestles amongst the mountains and cliffs along the west side of the Andes.  Santa Cruz de la Sierra, our destination, is about 554 kilometers (344 miles) east and south of La Paz.  That meant our flight went directly over the Andes.  Seeing some of the highest peaks in Bolivia from the air is beautiful.  Two offered some breathtaking views that morning, Illimani (6,438 meters/21,122 feet) and Huayna Potosí (6,088 meters/19,974 feet).  Illimani is the second highest peak in Bolivia, Huayna Potosí is the fifth highest.

We landed at Viri Viri International Airport right on time, 08:35.  As soon as we deplaned, we both felt like Olympic athletes!  There was more oxygen than our bodies had encountered in quite some time!  We felt like we could jog to the hotel.  A mere 55-minutes later we arrived at the Marriott Hotel…via a van.

The reason for our oxygen “high” was because we were low.  In a little over one-hour, we transitioned from 4,115 meters to 416 meters (1,365 feet); about a 90-percent decrease in altitude!  We were as giddy as junior high school kids…well maybe not, but we sure felt great!

After brunch at the hotel, we got in a taxi and headed to the Cathedral of Santa Cruz.  Our driver let us out on the west side of the Central Plaza.  The beautifully landscaped plaza covers one city block, containing many sidewalks.  At the center of the square is a statue of Colonel Ignacio Warnes (1770-1816).  He famously liberated the city of Santa Cruz in about 1813.

A statue of Colonel Ignacio Warnes in the center of the Central Plaza.

From the moment we exited our taxi, we heard a band playing.  As we walked through the plaza, we headed toward the cathedral at the southeast corner of the square.  In formation and at the front of the cathedral, was the Banda Intercontinental Poopó (the Poopó Intercontinental Band).  The band hails from the Bolivian city of Oruro.  The group, formed in 1964, it is famously known for playing Bolivian folk music.  Every year the band performs during Carnaval in Oruro.

There were about 50 band members on the steps in front of the cathedral.  Their uniforms are distinct, each member wearing a red jacket with gold and yellow accents.  The jackets have the name of the band emblazoned diagonally across the chest.  Dazzling white slacks offset the red coats.  Each side of the pants also carries the name of the group.  The white shoes are like none I have ever seen.  To top it all off each member wears a brownish hardhat that carries the name of the band.

When we arrived, dozens and dozens of people surrounded the band, enjoying the music.  The first song we heard was the Bolivian national anthem.  After the anthem, they segued to a Bolivian folk song.  We listened and watched for several minutes before entering the cathedral.

The Poopó Band playing in front of the cathedral.
The band smartly lined up on the stairs.
The uniforms are very intricate.
The pants and shoes are pretty snappy too!

The Cathedral of Santa Cruz, completed in 1915, is also known as the Basílica Menor de San Lorenzo Martir (Minor Basilica of St. Lawrence Martyr).  St. Lawrence was a Spanish deacon martyred in Rome in 258.  Inside, the altar that is opposite the entry point immediately draws one’s attention.  The basilica is all brick and concrete except for the beautiful vaulted wooden ceilings.  These vaulted ceilings are over the central aisle as well as the two side aisles.

The main aisle inside the cathedral.

We opted to walk along the right-side aisle toward the front of the basilica.  A typical sight in a Catholic church is prayer candles.  However, I have never seen them done as they were in the basilica.  At strategic points, there are metal tables.  Each table is about two-feet by four-feet with upturned edges.  On the flat surface, worshipers place candles.  The melted wax gathers on the tabletop without harming anything else in the basilica.  In front of a crucifix and depictions of Mary and Joseph were two of these tables.  Off to one side of the display is a hinged door with a small slot.  Many worshipers place money in the slot while admiring the display.

A pan for prayer candles.
Jesus on the cross with Mary and Joseph below.

Further along the aisle is a wooden and glass display case.  Inside are depictions of Mary, Joseph, and a young Jesus.  I am not sure who the depicted person is on the left side of the display.  As with the crucifix display, another, albeit smaller, metal table for prayer candles sat in front of the display case.  A donation box was also available.

This case depicts Mary in the center and Jesus and Joseph on the right.
The prayer candles in front of the display.

The next display was a life-size statue, possibly depicting St. Lawrence.  Just beyond that statue, at the right side of the altar was a depiction of Mary.  While we were there, a woman stood in front of the figure the entire time.

A statue in the cathedral.
A woman standing in front of a depiction of Mary.

When crossing from one side of the basilica to the other, the enormous scale of the altar area is striking.  The height and depth make it an expansive space, yet it does seem inviting.  Because the Easter Season is approaching, purple draping is behind the altar and tabernacle.  That is a pleasing offset to the wood ceilings and the mainly white walls and columns.  It also makes the silver tabernacle visually pop from the space.

The base of the altar is unique.  It appears to be hand-carved wood bas relief.  The scene depicts Jesus among several Latinos.  The Latinos are in relatively modern looking clothing, not clothing from their native past.  Some of the men sport traditional hats.  The lone woman does not appear to have her head covered at all.  The painting of the bas relief helps bring the scene to life.

The purple draping in anticipation of Easter.
The crucifix above the tabernacle.
Detail of the crucifix.
A uniquely carved altar.

On the left side of the altar is a statue of Peter, complete with the keys to the Kingdom.

A statue honoring Peter.

Outside the small chapel is another depiction of Mary and one of Jesus.  Both have space for worshipers to place prayer candles.  The chapel is small and cozy.  The tabernacle is the focus of the chapel as it is in most Catholic churches.

A statue of Jesus.
Some prayer candles in front of a depiction of Mary.
The tabernacle in the chapel.
The prayer candles in front of the statue of Jesus.
Detail of the side of the cathedral.
Detail at the top of the column.

Leaving the chapel area, one encounters another bas relief.  This bas relief depicts the Holy Trinity.  It looks ancient.

A bas relief of the Holy Trinity.
A man and woman stop in front of the side crucifix.

We could hear the Poopó Band during our entire visit to the basilica.  When we emerged, we saw some dancers performing between the band and the group of onlookers.  At one point, a man from the crowd began dancing to the folk song played at that moment.

At the left is a man dancing to the music of the Poopó Band.
Dozens and dozens of people enjoying the band.
Three members of one of the dance groups.
The clock spire of the cathedral.

Departing the basilica area, we opted to walk along the east side of the Central Plaza.  Along the way, I spotted the “Barcelona” money exchange.  Because of our time in Spain, I just had to take a photograph.  We crossed the street and entered a tourist gift shop.  After much looking, we spotted a hand-carved depiction of the Holy Family.  Carved to appear like native Bolivians, both Mary and Joseph are unique.  Even though we have a lot of Nativity scenes already, we could not resist this opportunity.  The man that served us was very kind.  He also agreed to have his photograph made while he was wrapping our purchase.

The cathedral as seen from the Central Plaza.
Looking south toward the cathedral along 24 de Septiembre.
A money exchange store.
The man from whom we purchased the wooden set of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.

Next door was another tourist shop.  There we decided we had to have two Bolivian blankets.  Much like the other store, the woman serving us was kind and posed for a photograph.

The woman from whom we purchased our “cholita” blankets.

At this point, it was near noon.  We saw an Irish Pub on the second level of a shopping mall.  It had open windows overlooking the Central Plaza.  We decided that was the place to be.  We walked upstairs and ordered a couple of beers.  Since we had brunch at the hotel, we decided to snack on some French fries.  Just as noted above, our server was kind and posed for a photograph.  In return, she captured Leslie and me at our very best…

Our server at the Irish Pub.
The patrons at the Irish Pub.

From our vantage point above the plaza, we saw a lot.  I think one of the most interesting sights was the two chess tables set up at the side of the square, both occupied by chess players.  For the entire time we were in the area, the Poopó Band played.  They never took a break.  I am sure they were exhausted whenever they finally did stop playing.

White flowers in a tree across from the Irish Pub.
Three costumed girls walking through Central Plaza.
It sounds German, but it is made in Bolivia.
Chess games in the Central Plaza.
Thinking of the next move.
One of the local security people in the Central Plaza.
The clock spire of the cathedral.
A juice vendor in the Central Plaza.
Detail of the cross atop the cathedral spire.
The Santa Cruz municipal government building. The Bolivian flag is red, yellow, and green. The green and white flag is for Santa Cruz.
Two women talking in the Central Plaza.

After our refreshments, we called for our taxi and returned to the hotel for a well-deserved nap.

The two “cholita” blankets we bought in a store just off the Central Plaza.

Before we departed La Paz, our good friends Joe and Tia told us we needed to eat at the steakhouse, La Cabrera.  We made reservations there for our first night in Santa Cruz.  Prior to arriving at the steakhouse, we had a glass of wine in the lobby of the hotel.  Drinks complete, we got in our taxi and rode to the steakhouse.

The bar/restaurant at the Marriott.
A white wine.
And both wines.
Lighting in the lobby of the Marriott.
Lighting above the bar.

The recommendation of the steakhouse was spot-on!  The building is two-stories; however, once inside, one can see the steakhouse has three separate levels on which to dine.  Our table happened to be on the ground floor.  Once seated, the wait staff immediately greeted us and asked for our beverage preference.  Oddly enough, we selected a bottle of wine.  We had a bottle of Juan Cruz Tannat which was one of the most delicious wines I have experienced.

La Cabrera, a wonderful steakhouse.
Interior of the steakhouse.
My happy date for the evening.
The bottle of wine we enjoyed with dinner.

For our starter, we selected Provoleta al Orégano (grilled provolone cheese with oregano).  It was a superb way to begin our meal.  We each chose the half-portion Argentinian steak for our main course.  Brought to the table on a sizzling serving platter, it is almost like a fajita platter.  The server cut a portion for each of us and placed it on our plates.  About a dozen small ramekins containing a variety of sauces and dressings accompanied the steak.  A fresh green salad came was also part of the fare.  The steak, done to perfection, massaged the tongue with each bite.

I am glad we each ordered a half portion.  The steaks were huge!  Nearly the size of a dinner plate!  I do not know what we would have done with the leftovers if we each had ordered a full steak.  As it was, we could barely make it through what we had.  Based on the previous sentence, one may wonder just why we ordered dessert…because we could!

The dessert at the steakhouse.

Our dessert was some enormous chocolate concoction.  While it was good, it was not my favorite.  It may have lacked the real chocolate punch I expected.  I am sure part of the issue is that I am not a big dessert eater anyway.  Regardless, we both highly recommend La Cabrera.  It is worth the effort to get there.

On Sunday we walked from the hotel to the Ventura Mall.  The mall is an easy walk, only about one-half mile.  The first store we entered was Supermercado Tia.  WOW!  What a grocery store!  La Paz does not have that supermarket.  It seemed we were in a whole different country.

The store has an entry to the mall.  When we arrived, the mall was not yet open.  That meant we spent our time wandering through the store.  On the street side of the store was a small café.  We each had a coffee and watched the other shoppers walk through the store.  After our coffee, we joined the wanderers.  The store had everything under one giant roof.  We saw everything for which we usually shop.  That is different than the area where we live.  When we go shopping at home, it is not unusual to have to go to between two and four different stores to find everything we want.  We made some mental notes of what we wanted to get from the store when we walked back to the Marriott.

When we entered the mall, we saw a modern, glistening, three-story structure.  We strolled through every inch of the mall.  On the upper level is a large movie theater complex.  We almost went in to see a movie…almost.  We decided not to go in because we did not see a film that we found interesting.  So, we walked through a small hallway and discovered a large food court.  There were some vendors we did not recognize, but there were many we did know; Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, and Burger King, to name a few.

We had not eaten at Burger King for a long time, so we decided that day was the day.  We each ordered a flame-broiled Whopper, fries, and a drink.  Leslie found a place to sit while I waited for our meal.  That was when I noticed the flame broiling did not take place there.  That appears to have happened elsewhere.  A microwave heats the hamburger patties before placing them on the bun.  The Whopper was ok, but it was not what we were expecting.

Leaving the food court, we stopped at Supermercado Tia to buy a few things and then walked back to the hotel.  We spent the rest of the day lounging.

That evening, we had dinner at the hotel. At the entry to the restaurant, there is a large ametrine crystal, about 18 inches wide by 12 inches tall, a purple and white quartz only found in Bolivia, on display. I have no clue about the value of that piece. The stone contains both citrine and amethyst.

We had an excellent dinner topped off with Flor de Caña 18 rum…my kind of dessert!

A huge specimen of ametine at the Marriott.
An after-dinner drink of Flor de Caña 18.

On Monday, one of my tasks was to view the local Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office. APHIS is a part of the United States Department of Agriculture. It was at that office I saw the most unusual wall painting. In the corner of the front garden is a 3-D mural. It depicts the mission of APHIS. The mural focuses on animal husbandry and wildlife from the high mountains to the lowlands, including farming, and then on to the big cities. According to the locally employed staff member, the mural, completed by a local artist, cost only US$200 nearly 15-years ago. I am sure I will never see another wall like that one.

The 3-D mural at the APHIS facility.

Thursday morning, we boarded a plane to return to La Paz. The BOA Boeing 737 we boarded that morning was unusual. A sign at the front entry to the plan proudly announced, “Pope Francis flew in this aircraft from Quito to La Paz and from La Paz to Santa Cruz on July 8, 2015.”

Our plane waiting for us to board in Santa Cruz.
The fuselage of our plane.
This sign as we entered the airplane read, “Pope Francis flew in this aircraft from Quito to La Paz and from La Paz to Santa Cruz on July 8, 2015.”

The flight to La Paz was quick and uneventful.  Once we were on the ground, our bodies screamed that we seemed to have left a lot of oxygen behind!  Even though we were only absent from La Paz for five nights, our bodies had to reacclimate to the thin air of La Paz.  Regardless, it was good to be back home.  We like the weather in La Paz much more than Santa Cruz.  La Paz is cool and dry.  Santa Cruz is hot and humid.

A worker’s legs dangling through the trellis at the pool area.
A panorama of Santa Cruz, looking east from the swimming pool deck at the hotel.
Toledo with the Monsignor

Toledo with the Monsignor

Toledo, Spain – September 11, 2010

The Monsignor, Tyler, and I went to Toledo today. Like all of my other trips to Toledo, we parked in the parking garage right by the Alcázar. Again, just like always, we went to our favorite coffee café, El Faro de Toledo. It is right on Plaza de Zocodover. Since we had arrived at 09:30, we sat at the cafe and had coffee while we were waiting for everything to open.

Tyler and Monsignor Henry near the Alcázar in Toledo.
Tyler at the entrance to a very small parking garage.
The Spanish flag flying over the Alcázar.
Waiting for coffee and pastries before exploring the city.

The first place we went to was the Museo de Santa Cruz. I told the Monsignor I wanted to take him there to see some paintings by el Greco. We went in only to find out the el Greco’s were no longer on display. I was very disappointed. There were still some nice things to see, but I missed the el Greco’s.

Decorative tile at the Santa Cruz Museum in Toledo.
In this tilework, Joseph is at the left-center and Mary is at the right-center.
Detail of another tilework.
Two paintings in the museum.

We left the museum and stopped by the tourist information center to pick up some maps. Then we walked down to the Puerta del Sol which dates from the 14th Century. There, Tyler and I sat on a small wall while the Monsignor took some photos. When he came back he said there were some stairs in the tower. We went back and went up the stairs. They took us up to the top of the tower at the Puerta del Sol. It was a nice view from up there. There were around 50 stairs. There should have been more like 100. The rise of each stair was about twice what it should have been.

The twin towers above the Puerta de Bisagra. It dates from the 10th century.

From there we walked to the ancient Roman baths known as Amador de los Ríos. These are old baths that date back to about the 1st Century A.D.

We then walked to the Iglesia de las Jesuistas (also known as the Iglesia de San Ildefonso). We walked up the stairs to the bell tower, 135 steps (for those keeping track, that is somewhere in the neighborhood of a total of 235 stairs for the day).

The view from the bell tower is quite amazing. When we came down, we walked to the Primate Cathedral. That refers to the main Cathedral of Toledo. This is by far the most amazing cathedral I have ever seen. Construction on the cathedral began in 1226 and finished in 1493. Words cannot do it justice.

The sculpture above the choir in the Cathedral of Toledo.
Carving detail in the choir.
A music stand in the choir.
One of two organs in the cathedral.

One of the areas we toured was the sacristy. Much to our surprise, there were numerous paintings in there by el Greco. It was really amazing to see them all. Some of the vestments in the Sacristy dated from the late 1400s. It was hard to see all there was in the cathedral. There were nearly 30 side-chapels in the cathedral. They were of various sizes. I think one would have to go there several times to really be able to see it all.

I think the area of the cathedral that impacted me the most was the sacristy. It is a collection of five fairly large rooms. One initially enters a sacristy anteroom. From there, one enters the actual sacristy. This is the room that is just full of paintings by el Greco. It was just amazing. There was a smaller (although it was still quite large) room off of one side of the main sacristy room. The Monsignor thought that was probably the room used by the Bishop to vest prior to mass.

Off of one end of the “Bishop’s” room was a smaller room in which were displayed items such as miters and crosiers. Off the side of that room, there were various vestments on display. As I noted earlier, some of these dated to the 1400s.

From the Cathedral we walked to a sidewalk café for lunch. I had some delicious cream of asparagus soup.

After lunch, we bought tickets for the sightseeing “train”. It is a little tractor that pulls a couple of trailers. It takes tourists around the edge of the old town of Toledo. After that, we bought some pocket knives made with the famous Toledo steel, and walked back to the car. We arrived back home at about 16:40.

Tyler and Monsignor Henry ready for the “train” tour of Toledo.
Toledo as seen from the Miradore del Valle (Valley Overlook) on the southern edge of the city.
A panorama of the city.
Another view of the city and the Río Tagus.
Back to Toledo

Back to Toledo

Toledo, Spain – January 18, 2010

Today is Martin Luther King Day, so I had the day off.  However, the kids had school.  Leslie and I decided to drive back to Toledo, just the two of us.  When we arrived we went to a small cafe to have a pastry and some coffee.  While we were there we looked at our travel book on Spain to decide what we wanted to do.  We decided we wanted to see the Museo de Santa Cruz (Holy Cross Museum).

We left the cafe and tried to go through one of the city gates.  The police blocked our way and would not let us through.  So we went around the block and tried to go down another street.  The police had that blocked too.  We went around another block and were finally able to get to the museum.   We have no idea what was going on.

One of the things that really surprised me was that the museum entry was free!  That quickly made it one of my favorite museums!  Construction on the building began in 1494 as a hospital.  The completion of the building occurred in 1514.  We walked around the courtyard in the interior of the museum.  In that space were many statuary, tombs, tombstones, and Roman era columns on display.  These items had all been unearthed or found in and around the Toledo area.

Displays just off the courtyard of the Museo de Santa Cruz (Holy Cross Museum).
A double door at the museum.
A door under the stairs in the museum.

On the second floor of the museum is a permanent display of various tiles and pottery from the area.  Many of those items date from the 1500s.  The first portion of that area of the museum is situated along the southern wall of the museum, the one that faces the Alcázar.  There are several windows in the museum that have iron grills covering them.  As I was looking out one of the windows toward the Alcázar on top of the hill, I noticed there were some bullet holes in the iron grills.  After asking one of the guards, I discovered those were remnants from a pitched battle during the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939).  Later, when we emerged from the museum, I walked along the southern side of the museum.  Looking at the windows one could easily see all of the bullet marks in the stone surrounding the windows.

A scene made with ceramic tiles.
Flowers on ceramic tile.
An arrangement of ceramic tiles.
Detail of four ceramic tiles.
A field of the fleur-de-lis on ceramic tiles.
A reconstructed office in the museum.
Ceramic plates on display.
Detail of a ceramic plate.
A coat of arms on ceramic tile.
A ceramic plate.
A vanishing point in the ceramic hall.

After leaving the tile and pottery area, we walked upstairs to the upper gallery.  That is where they display some of their permanent collection, which is why we had wanted to go to this museum.  They have several El Greco paintings on display, including the Immaculate Conception (1613).  It is just amazing to me to see such spectacular and famous works of art.

One of the halls with items from the permanent collection.
A detailed carving.
St. John the Baptist & St. John the Evangelist by El Greco (1600 – 1610).
The Immaculate Conception by El Greco (1613).

The lower level of the museum has rotating exhibits.  So one never knows what will be there to view.

Departing the museum, we made our way to the tourist information center on the Plaza Zocodover.  There we picked up a map of Toledo.  We used that map to navigate to the Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate).  This is one of the most famous gates of the city.

Don Vice y Don Cervantes.
The Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate).
The opposite side of the Puerta del Sol.
Cobblestone and moss near the Puerta del Sol.

We then began exploring many of the small, winding streets.  On one such street, Calle Alfonso X, El Sabio, 2/Local 2, we walked into a shop named Artesania.  As we entered we found ourselves standing on a very thick piece of glass.  Through the glass, under our feet, we could see an old Roman cistern.  In this shop, they made various articles in which they inlaid gold and silver.  This artistry is known as Damascene.  Leslie bought a beautiful bracelet there.

Door number 7.
Door number 14.
The door to the opthamologist’s office.
An inlay artisan in Toledo, Spain.

The lady that owned the shop spent a lot of time with us.  She spoke English very well.  She showed Leslie jewelry, plates, pottery, ceramic bulls, bookmarks, etc.  It was all very beautiful.  In addition, it was all hand made.  We were able to watch the Damascene artisan as he was inlaying several crosses.  Leslie talked him into making a special ring.  Leslie asked her if she wanted us to pay for it now.  She said no, she would call or e-mail us when it was ready.  She also told us some background stories about Don Quixote.  She was one of the nicest people we have met in Spain.

Part of what she shared with us was that the cistern was at one end of an old Roman bath.  She directed us around the block, behind her store.  Sure enough, there was a very non-descript entry with stairs that led down to the Roman bath.  It was free.  It was interesting to see that.

The owner had also given us two tickets to enter the Iglesia de los Jesuistas at a discounted price.  We did go to the church.  We have been to a lot of churches since we arrived in Spain.  This was one of the most beautiful in my opinion.  As part of the tour, we were allowed to go up into the bell towers.  What a panoramic view there was!

The main aisle and altar of the Iglesia de los Jesuitas (Jesuit Church).
A side chapel in the Iglesia de los Jesuitas.
Detail of the altar.
A side chapel, complete with skulls.
The stained-glass above the main entrance.
Detail of the stained-glass.
A view of the altar in Iglesia de los Jesuistas from the second level.
View of the Alcázar and cathedral from the bell tower of the Iglesia de los Jesuitas.
Detail of the Alcázar.
The cupola of the Iglesia de los Jesuitas.
Rooftop laundry day as seen from the roof of the Iglesia de los Jesuitas.
The cathedral and surrounding countryside.
The main entrance to the Iglesia de los Jesuistas.

When we left the church we were hungry.  We stumbled upon a Chinese restaurant and decided to have lunch there.  It was very good, but we thought it was ironic that we were not having Spanish food.  However, we have both decided we really do not care for Spanish food.

After lunch, we found a candy store and bought some chocolate.  Nearby we found a small knife shop.  I did a lot of looking and finally bought a pocket knife.  The steel is one of the things for which Toledo is very well known.

From there we walked back to the 4Runner and drove home.  We arrived home about 30 minutes after the kids got home from school.