Happy Independence Day Malaysia!!

It is the 59th year now that Malaysia is independent from colonization.

May Allah bless Malaysia with peace and prosperity for years to come. Aamin.

Picture: Google Doodle
Continuing from the previous post of Toledo Trip Part 4.

It was finally the time to visit Cristo de la Luz Mosque in Toledo. We walked our way up from Bisagra Gate to Puerta del Sol.

Along the way to Puerta del Sol (picture above), I met a Muslim family from the UK walking up the hill too. My instinct told me that they could be on their way to visit Cristo de La Luz Mosque.

As we passed the family, I said salam (Peace) to the wife and she replied. It felt nice to meet another Muslimah wearing hijab in Toledo. Other than her, I had not seen any other lady wearing hijab during our visit.

Why do I care about that? It is because I feel that hijab is an identity for a Muslim lady. It helps us to recognize each other and I felt that global ukhuwah although she was a total stranger. Sisters in Islam. Masha Allah.

Picture from The Guardian.

FYI, sometimes I came across some older ladies wearing something similar to hijab in Madrid (as picture above) but DH husband told me that previously Spanish ladies covered their heads during the Franco regime.

Back to our main topic - Mosque in Toledo.

The entrance to the Museum of Cristo de la Luz Mosque is by walking to your right after the HOTEL signboard as in the first picture above. Yes, we can no longer pray inside the mosque. It is now made into a museum. T_T

You will see another small gate (picture above) after taking a few steps of staircase. Then walk straight up and you will see the mosque on your left.

A plaque on the small gate stating it is Puerta del Sol.

The Mosque of Cristo de la Luz is a former mosque in Toledo, Spain, the only one of the ten once existing in the city which remains largely as it was in the Moorish period. It was then known as Mezquita Bab-al-Mardum, deriving its name from the city gate Bab al-Mardum. It is located near the Puerta del Sol, in an area of the city once called Medina where wealthy Muslims used to live. - from Wikipedia.

You may enter the mosque after paying the admission of 2.50 euro per person from the entrance on the left (as picture above).

We met the Muslim UK family again here and they were trying to buy some water from the vending machine without success and the lady in the museum could not understand their English (maybe of their thick British accent?) OR the lady could not speak English. Either one. Hence DH helped them to translate.

Aigoo...I hope that Spanish government could put those who could speak English at Tourist spots like this. What a pity.

Something similar happened to my friend at Barajas airport early this year when she was claiming her shopping duty free tax. Both officers on the counter could not speak English!! OMG!! 

My friend just burst off right there. I just laughed because I could not help her, my Spanish is so broken and we could do nothing other than wait for DH to finish praying and helped us translate.

Okay..photo bomb of the Cristo de la Luz Mosque starts now. ^^

The door of the mosque for entrance.

A small park outside the mosque where you can rest and take some pictures of the mosque and Puerta del Sol.

Some information of Cristo de la Luz Mosque in English and Spanish.

The ceiling.

Another ceiling.

A Spanish guide explaining some information about the mosque to a group of tourist in Spanish.

One of the pillars design.

This cute little boy was the cream on top of our Toledo trip. He just oozes with cuteness and such a well-mannered kid! Plus he was mesmerized by my beauty...hahah. Just kidding! 

But he definitely could not take his eyes off of me. I guess again...because of my hijab. I looked different from the rest of the ladies there of course, all covered. His first question to me was...(there were others later during the end of our journey ^^) :

¿Cómo te llamas? - What is your name?
He spoked oh so quietly to me so I couldn't catch him the first time as the crowds of tourists entering the mosque. 

I asked DH - what did he say?. DH said - tu nombre (your name).
Ahh...me llamo Zarina.

zeta, a, ere, i, ene, a..spelled it for him and he just smiled sheepishly at me.

We stopped our conversation there as his mother called him to check out the park outside.

Pictures in the mosque..kinda like Sufi mysticism or not. I'm not sure.

Not sure of this. Sewage under the mosque?

The Qibla (Arabic: قبلة‎‎‎, "direction") is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays.

The end. ^^

By this time, it was close to two in the afternoon and our stomachs were on 'huelga'. Next post will be our review on Cristo de la Luz Restaurant.

Bi iznillah.
Continuing from the previous post of Toledo Trip Part 3..

What should we do next? As we had much time to spend wandering, DH suggested (after checking the map intently) that we walk around the wall of Toledo and at the same time able to check out most of the the main gates of Toledo too.

I am game!

I really do not mind walking around Toledo although my knee will suffer later at night. ^^

In front of the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes we saw a plaque stating all the important tourist spots in Toledo. 

There are two mosques that we intent to visit No. 23 Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz and No.27 Mezquita de Tornerias but No.27 is closed (not sure if this is forever and ever). Both were former Moorish mosques in Toledo.

Walking down the slope in front of Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, we saw a small artisan shop selling ceramics of Toledo. Again, I felt the urge to make a shopping haul. I enjoy appreciating this kind of stuff. 'Hecho en Toledo' means made in Toledo.

Check out these ceramic art from Meknes, Morocco. Gorgeous and so many similarities, right? The ceramics art of Toledo might be some remnants of aesthetic knowledge influenced by the historical co-existence (La Convivencia) of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures in Toledo.

There are so many greenery part in this route and we just enjoyed the amazing weather and walked towards our first gate of Toledo - Puerta del Cambron.

Puerta del Cambron was also historically known as the gate of the Jews. This gate owes its name to the spiny buckthorn bushes all around it which are known in Spanish as cambroneras -Spain Info

It is built over the remains of a Visigoth gate, and the current structure is in the Renaissance style with a square floor plan. On the interior façade there is a statue of Santa Leocadia attributed to Berruguete. This is the only gate open to motor traffic. - Spain Info

Then we decided to go up along the narrow streets to stroll while appreciating the vestiges and buildings of a cultural past of social integration rather than following the route of the main road outside Puerta del Cambron.

Out of nowhere, we found a very long escalator which goes down and down and down some more which ends at a park where we could view the remnants of the wall of Toledo. Pretty long!

Here, I took my own sweet time to appreciate the wall of Toledo while DH used the public toilet at the park just outside the wall area.

Compared to the wall of Granada where we visited during the summer of 2014, Toledo's are much more well preserved and maintained.

His comment - the cleanest toilet so far he found in Toledo although he had to pay 50 centimos equivalent to about RM2.30 for 15 minutes.

From here on, we walked along the breathtaking view of gates of Toledo which is along the main road outside.

This Gate of Alfonso VI made my eyes watery. Sentimental feeling kicked in as the gate reminded me so much of a mosque's gate - the stark resemblance of Islamic art which we could not deny. 

Honestly, when we walked around Toledo there are so many buildings which we thought could be mosques previously.

In a another thought, the gate resembles a horse shoe!

Another small gate. The pink Adelfa flowers are blooming gorgeously during the summer normally here in Spain and I bet the lady was fascinated by its beauty just like me. ^^

We finally reached the main entrance where the local bus number 5 passed through when we first arrived in Toledo in the morning. The picture above is Plaza la Virgen.

Here is the Bisagra Gate right after we passed through Plaza la Virgen. We saw a few tourist buses dropped off their passengers to snap a momento picture with this beautiful gate.

Bisagra Gate is of Muslim origin, there being remains from this age preserved in the second interior body. Its name is derived from the Arabic word Bab-Shagra, which means "Door of the Sacred". It was totally rebuilt during the reigns of Carlos V and Felipe II, following the designs of Alonso de Covarrubias. It is made up of two bodies, between which is placed a "plaza de armas" (main square). - Toledo Turismo

Alright then, till our next post where we will update about our visit to Cristo de la Luz Mosque. Insha Allaah.

Meanwhile, check out the video below by Jorge Molina to know how beautifully breathtaking can this city with three names Toletum טולדו, Ṭulayṭulah طليطلة, and Toledo be during the summer of August and under the bright blue sky. Enjoy!

Malu rasanya nak tulis resepi kat sini. Almaklum, saya memang terkenal dengan ke 'tak' pandaian memasak sejak dari sebelum berkahwin. Alasannya..banyak belajar untuk skor periksa berbanding tengok cara-cara mak memasak di dapur. Hahaha...alasan sangat.

Sebenarnya, kalau dah tak minat macam-macam alasan kita boleh bagi, kan?

Hari ini...oleh kerana saya suka resepi yang campak-campak je bahan dia dan tak payah nak melopong tunggu di dapur lama-lama, saya nak masak 'Kentang Orang Miskin'.

Dalam bahasa Sepanyol di panggil 'Patata a lo pobre'. Patata = kentang dan pobre = miskin.

  • 3 biji kentang sederhana besar, potong bulat tebal 0.5cm
  • 1 biji bawang Holland (kuning), hiris bulat
  • 2 biji lada Itali  (boleh ganti dengan lada benggala hijau atau merah)
  • 1/2 camca teh garam dan serbuk lada hitam
  • 1 camca teh daun selasih kering (basil atau albahaca dalam bahasa Sepanyol)
  • 2 sudu besar minyak zaitun (extra virgin lagi baik)
Cara-cara memasak
Letakkan kentang yang telah dipotong bulat dan lapis kan. Lepas tu lapiskan pula lada itali dan seterusnya bawang. Seperti gambar di bawah.

Lada itali ni panjang rupa dia dan mengerekot..boleh tengok kat sini. Di sini dipanggil pimiento italiano. Saya panggil pimiento verde saja. Verde = hijau. 

Saya lebih suka letak lada benggala merah sebab rasa dia lebih manis. Ikut la apa yang ada dalam peti ais masa tu. Sebab tu dinamakan 'Kentang Orang Miskin' haha...apa yang ada je campak masuk.

Kemudian tabur garam, serbuk lada hitam dan daun selasih kering. 

Mari belajar bahasa sepanyol sikit. Garam=sal, serbuk lada hitam=pimienta negra molida dan daun selasih=albahaca.

Kemudian letak minyak zaitun extra virgin = aceite de oliva virgen extra. Di Sepanyol ada banyak jenis minyak zaitun. Tabarakallah. 

Sepanyol adalah pengeluar minyak zaitun terbesar di dunia...hmm saya ingat Itali dulu sebab kelambakan minyak zaitun dari Itali di Malaysia dan masakan Itali lagi femes dari masakan Sepanyol.

Boleh tengok ranking minyak zaitun tahun 2015/6 dekat sini. Kebanyak minyak zaitun terbaik datang dari Sepanyol.

Yang saya guna ni bau dia macam buah, fruity = frutado. 1 liter harga dia dalam 4 ke 5 euro. Tapi ini jenama biasa-biasa dan yang jenama yang lebih baik semestinya lebih mahal.

Sebenarnya lebih baik masuk dalam oven dan bakar tapi tahap super saiya malas saya, maka saya tutup saja dengan aluminium foil dan tebuk sikit atas dia dengan pisau atau garpu bagi wap panas keluar bila masak atas dapur.

Masak dalam 20 minit guna api kecil atau sampai dia keluar bau wangi dari dapur dan sampai ruang tamu. ^^

Buka dan lihat dia akan jadi macam gambar di bawah.

Lepas tu saya tutup balik aluminium foil, dan besarkan api hingga tahap sederhana, biarkan 3 minit dan tutup api. Ini untuk bagi kentang di bahagian bawah coklat-coklat rangup..nyammmm..hehe.

Dah siap boleh makan dengan roti Baguette Perancis atau di sini kami makan dengan roti rupa macam Baguette tapi lebih besar sikit saiz dia dipanggil Barra.

Tapi saya semestinya kena buat sambal kicap pedas untuk makan dengan 'Kentang Orang Miskin' ni. Tak pedas tak sedap..hehe tekak orang Malaysia.

Resepi ni sebenarnya ada banyak sangat variasi, ikut mak-mak Sepanyol yang masak kat rumah tu dan citarasa masing-masing. Ada satu laman ni dia hanya senaraikan bermacam-macam resepi 'Kentang Orang Miskin' atau 'Patatas a lo pobre'. 

Boleh tengok sini tapi dalam bahasa Sepanyol, ok?

Alhamdulillah, dah siap boleh makan.

Continuing from the previous post of Toledo Trip Part 2..

Let's find the Tourist Information Center in Toledo after being side-tracked with all the bling bling of the gorgeous Toledo souvenirs. ^^

The TIC is inside the City Hall building situated just across the Toledo Cathedral. There are a few officers there making asking directions and clearing our curiosities much easier.

First, we asked for the map and she immediately showed us the main tourist spots in Toledo. Then we asked the location for Mosque of Cristo de la Luz. There is another mosque called Mosque of the Tornerias but she said it has been closed.

The next was the location for our lunch! It's pretty hard to find Halal food of course but unfortunately she couldn't tell us such information but she told us that the restaurants are mainly mushrooming in these areas:
  1. Calle Alfileritos - near Zocodover Plaza
  2. Calle Silleria - near Zocodover Plaza
  3. Calle Nueva - near Zocodover Plaza
  4. Calle Alfonso X "El Sabio"
  5. Calle Sinagoga
  6. Calle Locum
Since it was just half past eleven and we normally take our lunch close to three in the evening, we decided to roam around the Jewish Quarter.

It is easier now with a map on hand. I am not sure if it is easier if we have Google Map on hand though.The streets here are so narrow and twisted! Hahha..

As our experience in Granada, we just pretty much enjoyed the trip by following our feet where they may lead us rather than constantly checking our phone.
By the way, there were so many Korean tourists!! I guess perhaps the Grandpas over flowers variety show has sparked their interest to visit Spain. 

DH kept asking me  throughout the trip if I could differentiate between Korean, Japanese and Chinese tourists whenever one passed us. I told him yes, I could! Hehe...but he couldn't. :P

Anyway, again I took some pictures of the aesthetic doors in Toledo. I wonder why I love them so much?

We felt the grumbles in our stomach but we silent them with a few apples and melocotón (peach) at a nearby park (Plaza San Cristobal) looking over the Jewish Quarter. Ahh...what a lovely vista. Subhanallah.

Resting our feet for a good thirty minutes there. The weather was so nice that we nearly fell into siesta..haha. I love watching the elderly walking hand in hand with their cariño (darling), enjoying a good chat with so much affection in their eyes. *Sigh* Such a romantic scene.

Suddenly DH woke me up from my stupor looking for WC. Well...no trip without a visit to WC, right? Fortunately, WC is easy to find here in Toledo because the Toledo map we got from TIC told us so. 

OR...you can just find a good bush. Hahaha...We saw a guy equipped with a bottle of water just finishing his big business when DH thought of doing the same. Hahaha..

We went down to check out the Jewish Quarter first and came across one of the tourist spot - Greco Museum. El Greco (The Greek), was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. - from Wikipedia.

This Toledo trip our aim was just to enjoy the view of Toledo and no museum visit. So, no review of museums can be done except for the one mosque that we intended to visit. Maybe next time. Insha Allah.

We spot a WC at the Transito garden which is just next to Greco Museum. The WC is free. It was smelly though but luckily equipped with water and toilet paper.

After the deed, we walked along the main road; Calle Reyes Catolicos and saw a synagogue - Synagogue of Santa Maria La Blanca.

Looking at the synagogue, I think that this is what makes Toledo a really fascinating city as it demonstrates that the three cultures/religions could coexist peacefully during the Islamic reign. 

Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. - from Wikipedia.

Then we passed by this breathtaking road. The building on the left is Escuela de Arte y Oficios (School of Art and Offices). There are several souvenir shops around here too.

We then walked towards the monastery's tower direction. There were a few cars with pink ribbon attached and...ahah!....una boda ( a wedding). 

Lovely people came dressed for the occasion but my photography knowledge is lacking hence the overexposed picture of the Monastery of San Juan de Los Reyes.

By  now, the weather was getting hotter and we leave it with this picture as a proof. Till the next post..Bi iznillah. Ciao.