Tales of Toledo

Staring at a framed print of the Virgin Mary tucked behind a small piece of glass clad with iron bars on a seemingly random narrow side street of Toledo, I learned I forgot to pack something important: a pin.

The legend goes that a former resident of the Spanish town would come to this spot to pray for the safe return of her lover, and offered up pins pricked in her blood, no less, as a sacrifice, writes assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.

Today, our local guide Valle Vicente Fernandez tells us, people stop here to push pins through a tiny hole in the glass, believing it will bode well for their love life.

I can’t attest to the success rate of this method, but judging by the amount of discarded needles and bobby pins left in the display, the hope is certainly alive and well. Pin-less, I make a mental note to pack a pin should I ever set foot in Toledo again (and walk away wondering if I’m now destined for a life of solitude).

I’m on day two of my G Adventures Discover Moorish Spain itinerary, and a private tour of Toledo with a historian is one of the exclusive experiences of the trip, which is part of the National Geographic Journeys collection.

“We focus on unique culturally immersive experiences and meaningful interactions with people across the globe,” explains Amanda Dunning, brand manager for National Geographic Journeys at G Adventures. “That’s really the focus of the program and what makes it special, and of course, we have our National Geographic Journeys exclusives. Those experiences are what make journeys different than the other trips. From last year we grew over 35% in terms of sales, and Canada also has that kind of crazy double-digit growth as well.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.