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Trip Report Spain Photos (lots) and trip report (a little) from July trip to central Spain

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Hola - I just posted my photos from my July trip to Madrid, Segovia, Avila, Toledo and Salamanca. They are at: www.pbase.com/annforcier

I do better photos than I do trip reports, so the photos really chronical where I went, but I'll try to give a bit of report. I find other people reports so helpful when planning my trips that I just have to try and give back a little. I also want to thank all the people whose help on this forum really made the trip wonderful - there were lots but especially kenderina, lincasanova, lolly, cruiseluv, and Magellan_5

Background - I did 14 days in Spain followed by 6 in Scotland. This was my third trip to Spain in two years - I did Barcelona in 06 and Seville, Cordoba and Granada this past March. This was a solo trip, I've traveled all over western Europe and done a little bit of solo traveling, but mostly with my husband, daughter, or a friend. But I had a fabulous time and really love Spain.

OVERALL IMPRESSIONS. Spain is definitely now on my list of favorite countries. It's not Italy (or France) but it's close. After completing my third trip in 2 years (plus one to Portugal) I feel I've seen a good deal of Spain and loved most of what I saw. Sevilla was definitely my favorite, closely followed by Granada, Barcelona and Segovia. Also really like Salamanca, and Madrid was a lot better than some people make it out to be. Central Spain lacks a little of the 'wow' that I felt in Andalusia and Barcelona but was still pretty wonderful.

Segovia was my favorite town in Central Spain ' some really awesome sights ' The Aqueduct, Alcazar, and Cathedral, as well as some great 'lesser' sights: the cool green walks around town down by the rivers; the views from the road surrounding town; the Plazas, especially Plaza Mayor and Plaza San Martin; the quiet back streets and pretty churches. There was a nice mix of tourists and locals. Good evening people watching. Just a nice feeling for the town and I'm glad I spent 3 or 4 days there.

Salamanca was also great. Again, some awesome sights ' Cathedral, Plaza Mayor, University. Lots of smaller plazas (Santa Anaya was one of my favorites), tons of gorgeous churches, nice Roman Bridge, very cool Art Nouveau Museum, great people watching. Lots of young university students from all over the world. Another great town to relax in as well as sight see. I wasn't the least bit bored after three days there.

Toledo is another incredible place. The setting of the town, on the hill in a bend in the river, is the best part. It's cathedral interior is one of the best (size plus interesting). Lots of other really worthwhile sights: Museo Santa Cruz, Hospital de Taverna, Sinagoga Sta Maria La Blanca. A lot of beautiful cloisters. The main plaza, Plaza Zocodover, was not as conducive to relaxing as Segovia of Salamanca's . The town as a whole was not as great a place to just 'be', to soak up atmosphere, people watch and revel in being in old Europe. But I felt it was worth more than the day trip many tourists give it. The main route between Plaza Zocodover and Santa Tome (with the cathedral in the middle) was pretty crowded during mid day, but a two minute walk away from there and streets were very empty.

Three days in each (had four in Segovia but did a day trip from there to Avila) was about right. If I'd had another day in each town I'd have done more 'relaxing' but I didn't really feel deprived with the time I did have. I'd hate to have had just one day in any of them.

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