Back in January, I went on a shopping expedition around the old town, for the purpose of picking up a few gifts for my friends in Key West. But it proved to be mission impossible. Despite a plethora of ‘gifty’ type souvenir shops, I could not turn up anything that would have made an adequate present for people who matter to me.
It struck me that, even though Key West is as touristy a place as you’ll find anywhere on the planet, with its fair share of vulgar tat, its shops are also full of beautiful things. Shopping for trinkets in Key West may be a tad expensive, but, nevertheless, trash and genuinely pretty stuff manage to coexist side-by-side. But not in Toledo.
I’ll show you what I mean. Cling onto your seats. You might want to inch your sunglasses into combat position.
The first couple of pics are just a gentle warm-up:
Get the idea? Still with me….???
Not sure if you’re quite prepared for what’s to come. The next one has been unanimously declared as the pinnacle of bad taste by everyone I know who lives here. Up until a few months ago, this was a shoe shop, but now it’s a grotto dedicated to technicolour ghastliness, guarded by this monstrosity:
As it happens, today I was having breakfast with a couple of local friends, one of whom mentioned that she’d just been into Madrid to buy a couple of birthday presents, because “you can’t get anything nice in Toledo”.
This town, like the much of the rest of Spain, is in the throws of an abysmal economic crisis. I do wonder to what extent the failure to provide simple things, like decent gift articles, is contributing to this sorry state of affairs.