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AVE to Sevilla -- stopover in Cordoba. Luggage storage???

AVE to Sevilla -- stopover in Cordoba. Luggage storage???

Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:06 PM
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AVE to Sevilla -- stopover in Cordoba. Luggage storage???

My husband and I will be in Madrid in May and we are planning to head south to Sevilla. After doing some research on this board (you guys rock! -- how about those car rental prices on Nova?? Never heard of them before yesterday when reading this board -- thanks!!) I am seriously considering taking the AVE to Sevilla instead of driving.

We would like to get to Cordoba in our travels and it would seem to make sense to catch a morning train from Madrid, hop off in Cordoba and then back on in the late afternoon/early evening (such wonderfully loooooong days in Spain that time of year) to Sevilla.

Here are my questions:

Is there anywhere in the train station in Cordoba to store luggage? I would imagine that post-May 11, security is particulary tight in train stations. Any other ideas?

Would it make more sense to go directly to Sevilla, then day-trip it on the train to Cordoba? This is sort of the opposite question Wylie raises below about Toledo and Madrid.

Still considering renting a car in Madrid, but it seems to make more sense to AVE it to the south and then rent a car in Sevilla.

We plan to head south on the 16th of May and then be back in Madrid for the night of May 21st (Saturday -- have to have that one last night out in Madrid ;-)) so we have five nights and 5+ days in the region -- any suggests for a route outside Sevilla? I think we will leave Granada for another trip -- I've been there twice and don't want to spend all of our time driving from point to point.

Thanks in advance for any assistance or insight any of you may have.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 12:54 PM
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We took the AVE from Madrid, stopped at Cordoba, and went on that evening to Sevilla. We had no problem storing our bags EXCEPT my DH's golf bag. The lockers were not large enough for that. We found a helpful station agent who tucked the bag away in an office and we retrieved it several hours later. I was wondering if it would still be there and at times in the trip I was so annoyed with it I wouldn't have cared. Thankfully DH has now realized he CAN live two weeks without golf and that there is lots to do in Europe to keep him entertained. But the Costa del Sol was pleasant and we got in some sightseeing as well.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:12 PM
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i would suggest travelling first class, hoping then at the VIP lounge you may get some extra service for a similar situation as golf bag.

remember, when travelling first class on high speed trains in spain.. you get meals /drinks included, plus a great VIP lounge at departure city.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for your response, Suec1. I wasn't sure if lockers were still available in train stations. I assume your experience is post-May 2004.

The other obvious answer would be to spend the night in Cordoba. Any thoughts, anyone?

To add to my question, we would be hitting Cordoba on a Sunday night or on Monday. I was looking through guidebooks last night to see if the major sites in Cordoba were open on Mondays (learned the hard way in Barcelona last year) and read that the Alcazar is closed Mondays and the Mezquita is closed THE ENTIRE MONTH OF MAY. Can this be true?????
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:42 AM
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Don't know about the closings, but I used the lockers in Cordoba in Oct. 2004 without a hitch.

They were sort of cordoned off when I was there, but the guards would let you use them if you asked. I think that I had to X-ray my bags first.

Actually, interestingly I've not had any problems with lockers in my last couple of trips. I'd have expected to have some, but I guess lockers must be regarded as a pretty basic necessity that train stations try hard to keep them available.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Give some thought to heading to Sevilla a day or two earlier: I believe 15 May is Pentecost Sunday, day of the feria del Campo and Romeria to the Sanctuary of la Virgen del Rocio (near Almonte on the west border of the Donana wildlife refuge). It's a big deal! When I was there 2-years ago, people said there were a million participants. The Guardia estimated 600,000. My wife's sister-in-law belongs to a group of Sevillana dancers in Madrid and they go down for thet Pilgrimage every year. Buses and trains will be very crowded

As for Cordoba: The most economical way to do it is as a daytrip from Sevilla. AVE takes an hour; and there's a 25% discount on same-day return tix. Then you don't have to mess with luggage. I don't know the dates of the feria de balcones (where people decorate their terraces with flowers and Mantones) but I think it's sometime in May.

As for a route outside Sevilla: You coud go west all the way to Portugal's Algarve (Faro or Lagos) or to Arcos de la frontera (White vilage), to Jerez de la frontera, el Puerto de Santa Maria or all the way to Cadiz.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Different European countries have different attitudes to left luggage. Lockers are plentiful at Spanish stations. Years ago, Spanish stations did not do left luggage (because of Basque terrorism), but private luggage offices sprung up in the streets around big city stations.
From Cordoba to Seville, there are ordinary, slow, cheap trains as well as AVEs. For the hourly AVE trains, you need to book in advance, but from Cordoba to Seville, they won't normally be full so can be booked at short notice; from Madrid to Sevilla, you should book in advance to get on a train at the time you want to travel.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 08:02 AM
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Molloy95 - it was several years ago we were in southern spain but I'm sure it was after 9/11. I think Cordoba would be worth an overnite stay, its much smaller than Seville and probably nice for strolling around in the evening. There is a lovely place with a courtyard right across from the Mezquita but I don't remember the name. BUT if the Mezquita is truly closed for a whole month (that does seem unusual) I'm not sure I would go to Cordoba. Seville also has a nice Alcazar and I don't remember that the Cordoba one was much different or special. Seville is big and busy, Cordoba more serene so it all depends on what you like and how many nites you like to stop and stay. I think some of the "white villages" would be easy driving distance from Seville. We rented a car in Seville and had a difficult time leaving the city but once out, the driving was fine. Parking is always a bit of an issue tho if you rent a car.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for all the good advice. It's great to find a forum/message board with knowledgable people so willing to share their experience. Very helpful to have the post-May report 111op. Thanks.

NEDSIRELAND -- I just discovered today (dang, I should really get some work done, but it's just a lot more fun to do this)that the ROMERIA is the 16th -- oh, I guess you say the 15th. We'll be in Madrid for the wind-up to San Isidro (the 15th) and then heading down. What I hear you saying is that the trains will be full/near-full.

In general, is the Romeria something to avoid entirely or something not to miss?

I'm trying to research it to answer that question, but would love any input.

How to see it
Where to see it
Where to stay
etc.

Ideas anyone?? Thanks in advance. I'm off to do a few more searches on Rocio and Romeria.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:29 PM
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Alright -- I feel like a total moron. I'm either insane, can't read, or my 2003 Frommer's (gasp -- can I say that here?) has a MAJOR typo in it.

From what I can tell from my further inquiries, the Mesquita is NOT closed the entire month of May. I mean, how could it be????

So, help me out here, especially NEDS. Do we leave Madrid on the 15th (assuming we can get seats on the AVE) and spend the night in Cordoba. Leave on the 16th early-ish, stop over in Cordoba putting our gear in the lockers I now have confirmed are there (THANKS -- and no worry about golf clubs) and then move on to Sevilla.

OR do we try to get in on the whole Romeria thing? And how?

Oh thank you gracious Fodorites. And thanks also for putting up with my minute by minute discoveries and questions.

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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:43 PM
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If you want to be REALLY proactive you could go to the Renfe site, register, and reserve your AVE tickets on-line. However, before you can make any other reservations you have to pick up those tickets....an alternative:

AS SOON as you get to Madrid go to a rail station or a travel agent and get the tickets..there is FREQUENT AVE service every day so if you do this a couple days ahead I suspect you'll be able to get the space/timings that are convenient for you.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Thanks for your suggestion!
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Old Mar 4th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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You plan sounds good. Lockers are no proble, Forget renting a car in Madrid.

Here is one other option. Rent the car in Cordoba and spend the night in Carmona, a very nice little town with several excellent places to stay. It's about halfway from Cordoba to Seville.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Metellus- question for you - are the lockers good for suitcases too or just carry-ons ? Wondering what size luggage is better.
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 07:40 AM
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They had fairly big lockers. We put a big suitcase in one. However, that was 3 years ago. I've heard that many transportation statins have discontinued lockers because of terrorist worries. Check first.
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