How To Buy Cookies From A Convent

In Las Adventuras De Los Gringos En Madrid, I mentioned we bought cookies from a convent. You don’t step up to the counter and order like you do at McDonald’s.  We were buzzed in to the ancient convent, walked down dark hallways and came upon a wooden alcove containing a giant lazy Susan

To ensure that the cloistered nuns have no direct contact with the public, they have this contraption. Press the buzzer, ask the nun for cookies, put your money on the lazy Susan and turn it.  The lazy Susan will turn and cookies will magically appear.  A few turns later, your change appears.

For several reasons, asking for cookies is not as easy as it sounds:

1. You ask in Spanish
2. The nuns are hidden from view behind the large wooden lazy Susan (that works just like the round doors that help the warm/cold air from escaping in public buildings) so you can’t rely on nonverbal communication.
3. The wood in between you makes it hard to hear.
It was worth it though.  Those nuns can bake!
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Holy Toledo!

We took a daytrip from Madrid to Toledo*.  I have always wanted to see it.  Now, I want to go back.
Holy Toledo it was beautiful.  It is is well-preserved, filled with history and contains a rare mix of religious influences.
See what I mean…gorgeous.
When you read that something is “well-preserved” in a guidebook, translate that to  “a confusing maze of streets whose difficulty in navigating has only increased over the past few hundred years”.  We had a great time getting lost.  It took us longer than normal to get around because I was constantly taking pictures.
Still love dogs
Cervantes wrote Don Quixote in Toledo; both are in La Mancha.  Swords have been manufactured there since Roman times and there were swords everywhere.  He wanted one, but I didn’t think we could get through security with it.
The large steeple in the middle of the town is the cathedral.  It is enormous and amazing with an incredible collection of art.  The church is rolling in it.  He was more impressed by this by St. Peter’s in Rome.
Each of the seats has carvings like the one shown below.  They commerate Christian victories over the Muslims with each seat showing a different town.
I’ve been to more than a few churches traveling in my day, but I’ve never seen a skylight.  This skylight behind the altar adds more light and allows sunbeams to fall on the altar during mass.  The red hat belonged to a cardinal.  When they die, their hat is hung from a spot of their choosing in the cathedral.  They stay there until they disintegrate.  If you look thought the pictures from the cathedral, you can spy another one or two.
Franco’s sword.  He got a lot of support from the church.
Believe it or not, this puppy holds communion bread.  I guess that helps you to put the size of the cathedral into perspective.  Unfortunately, photographs were not allowed in its most impressive part, a massive art collection.
Although I don’t have good pictures, one of the most interesting things about Toledo is its history of religious tolerance.  In Toledo’s heyday, Muslims, Jews and Christians lived side by side in the city.  That is until they were expelled from Spain in 1502 and 1492 respectively.  Oh yeah, and this little thing called The Inquisition came along.
*We have been to Toledo, Ohio many times.