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Trip Report Our October trip to Andalucia!

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I was just putting together the info to pass along to a friend, so though I'd post it here as well. We loved the area. It's just beautiful, the people are lovely, the food is good, and it's VERY reasonable. We were pleases with all out accommodations. We loved out Seville tour guide. Public transportation worked like a charm. No need for a car. Weather had some moments (rain), but we came prepared so it wasn't a major issue. We traveled Oct 9-19, using frequent flyer miles to book round trip to Madrid.

Our Spain Itinerary

In between all this was lots of drink/tapas breaks. Some days we’d skip formal lunch and/or dinner and just have a bite every few hours. In Granada lots of free tapas at bars when you order drinks.

All the hotels (except Madrid) were small places in traditional inner courtyard buildings (all 100s of years old).

Great Iberico ham everywhere!

Day 1
Leave NYC in the evening

Day 2
Arrive Madrid
Train to Cordoba
Checked into http://www.hotelviento10.es/
Walked around Cordoba and toured:
Mezquito
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
Jewish Quarter
Ate dinner here: http://regadera.es/en/ Best place we ate. Updated regional food perfectly executed.

Day 3
Train to Granada
Checked into http://www.hotelcasamorisca.com/en/
(avoid room #2, it’s next to reception on ground level)
We followed Granada walking tour from http://maribelsguides.com/mg_granada.pdf

Day 4
Only hotel where breakfast wasn’t included, but we ate there and it was very good.
Walked up to Alhambra
Purchased in advance online for 10am Alhambra/Rodríguez-Acosta Foundation combo ticket. http://www.alhambra-patronato.es/index.php?id=1358&L=2
Toured Alhambra (in the rain) with audio tour
Took cab to Acosta foundation (probably could have walked but we were unsure of direction and weather was horrible)
Guided tour of foundation (this is well worth it in combo with Alhambra) and not touristy at all.
Had late lunch near foundation with stunning city views. http://www.carmensanmiguel.com/
Walked back down into downtown Granada (different area form walking tour)

Granada is VERY hilly. It’s a great workout!

Day 5
Train to Ronda
Checked into http://www.hotelpoeta.es/
Bought Seville bus tickets for the next day (as advised by hotel).
Walked around (very small) town. Stunning views from bridge. Walked down into gorge across from hotel. Roman ruins, amazing views, lots of Japanese tourists with selfie extenders.

Day 6
Toured Plaza De Toros (bullring/museum)
Walked down into gorge behind hotel, just stunning!
Bused to Seville
Checked in http://www.casanumero7.com (our ‘splurge’ hotel)
Walked around Seville to get our bearings
Toured the Cathedral

Day 7
Took walking tour with Concepcion http://www.sevillawalkingtours.com/citywt.php
Toured http://www.fundacionmedinaceli.org/monumentos/pilatos/
Walked across Puente de Isabel II to Triani (ceramics factories). Explored and shopped (did not have energy for ceramics museum there)
Had tapas break at café along the river (very picturesque)
Walked to Plaza Hercules to explore ‘young’ up and coming artsy area
Had another tapas break!

Day 8
Walked to local market at Calle de la Feria. Mostly people selling junk and mobbed.
Left market area, walked around and got shoes at a Paco Rodriquez store (Yokono shoes are so comfy, and not sold in the USA).
Had afternoon Alcazar walking tour with Concepcion http://www.sevillawalkingtours.com/alcazar.php (although much of it was closed for filming Game of Thrones). We toured anyway, because we really enjoyed being with Concepcion, and what we saw was worth it.
Street artist making charming watercolors as you exit Alcazar. I bought a little painting.
Went to 7pm http://www.lacasadelflamencosevilla.com/ (got tickets in advance online). This is very authentic Flamenco performed in tiny courtyard (no food or drink, just performance), not the touristy stuff they advertise all over the place.

Day 9
Walked around to other areas we hadn’t previously been to
University of Seville
Hotel Alfonso XIII (just to check out the most opulent hotel)
Maria Luisa Park
Plaza Espana
Had nice, quiet dinner at Las Reyes Baeza

Day 10
Walked around riverfront and stopped for good espresso (not so good at hotel)
Trained to Madrid
Checked into Hotel Ateneo (not hotel we booked…long story) but adequate for a quick night.
Walked around Puerta Del Sol, Plaza Ana, Plaza Meyor
Place was mobbed (fall school break there).
Had dinner a bit off the beaten path at http://www.timeout.com/madrid/restaurants/tres-bocas
The owner/bartender/waiter, Leo, was delightful (from Argentina, parents from Italy)

Day 11
Flew home


We bought all train tickets in advance. They become available around 30 days out. The earlier, the cheaper. For our arrival I read a 4 hour window is plenty of time. We actually got to the train station quite early and tried to change our ticket. We bought the ticket using Paypal (had problems with credit card on Renfe website), and apparently can’t change a ticket bought on Paypal. May have been able to do it if purchased was CC. I would just buy the ticket when you get there. It may cost a bit more, but then no times wasted waiting around train station.

Other train connections were fine. We’d usually buy something to eat to bring along. Trains were comfortable, and the ‘resting’ time was actually nice to have. We did a lot of walking and were exhausted by the end of the day so down time was useful.

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