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Trip Report My experiences in Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, Madrid, Segovia & Toledo

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I returned a few days ago from a wonderful trip to Spain, I did quite a lot of research, of course a lot of helpful information came from this board. As always I am so grateful for the advice received from so many of the "regulars". This report will be long as I like to include details with the hope they will help anyone planning a future trip.

About myself - I am in my 50s and usually travel with my son who is 25. We have similar expectations of our vacations, see a lot every day and eat good meals. If I am the planner, my son is the best navigator, he quickly gets his bearings in a new place and likes to lead our way.

Day 1

I had booked the earliest flight I could find from JFK in New York to Madrid so we took off at 5:55 pm. We were kind of hesitant to fly on Iberia but have no complaints. As usually I didn't do more than doze but c'est la vie!

Day 2

Our flight landed on time at 7:10 am and after retrieving our luggage we headed to the Renfe office in T4 to buy tickets to Sevilla. I had debated whether to buy them in advance and save money or get them when we arrived in case our flight was delayed. It's funny because I ended up buying tickets for the 9am train which is much earlier than what I would have bought in advance, of course at a higher price.

We took the C1 Renfe commuter train to the Atocha station. It was very handy as the escalator to the train was close to the Renfe office. Atocha was only 5 stops away. The ride to Sevilla was pleasant, I enjoy viewing the landscape knowing sleep usually escapes me. Of course my son slept the whoie time.

From the Santa Justa station in Sevilla we took a quick taxi ride to the Alminar Hotel. As it is on a pedestrian street we were dropped off as close as we could get. I chose this hotel for it's very convenient location as because I had never stayed in such a small hotel, there are under 20 rooms. I had read of the personal and friendly service received in the Alminar Hotel and am happy to say that the staff was great.

After freshening up we headed out. I was hoping to get to the Mercado de Arenal in time to enjoy the market experience but a lot of the vendors were gone. We had to settle for some fruit - figs yum!

Lunch was in the nearby Mesanes del Serranito. As it is close to the bullfighting ring, the decor is bull heads, pictures of bullfighters etc. We had lots of sliced jamon, and fish. The meal was very good and we were stuffed!

Next we visited the Plaza de Toros. There is a tour of the ring given in Spanish and English which is quite informative. After a quick stop for frozen lemonade, it was so hot outside, we walked to the Torre del Oro. Although you can climb to the top, we settled for looking at the outside.

After a siesta in our room, we headed back out to explore the nearby Santa Cruz area and the Juderica. It was so much fun to wander around the winding streets, making no attempt to follow a map. Happily my son had no problem figuring our where we were.

For dinner we went to the Albarama Restaurante for tapas. The menu is only in Spanish but our waiter spoke enough English to make several recommendations to us. We loved the food there, it was inventive and well prepared. We had a feast for 24 euros, including drinks. My son also liked the modern decor and music.

After stopping for gelato for dessert we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

To be continued...

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