Back from Seville, Granada, Madrid

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Oct 24th, 2001, 08:37 AM
  #1
Carla
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Back from Seville, Granada, Madrid

Returned from Spain trip on Sept. 20 and loved it.
Stayed in the Alphonso XIII in Seville, the Alhambra Palace in Granada and the Ritz in Madrid. I can't say enough about the Ritz. We had an excellent dinner there, it was right next to the Prado, and I thought it was nicer than the Palace.
The only negatives- things to miss in my opinion, were the Maria Luisa park in Seville- a real waste of time as well as its adjoining Plaza de America.
If anyone has any questions about restaurants, etc, please comment.
 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 11:02 AM
  #2
Graziella
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Hi Carla, How did you like the Alfonso XIII and the Alhambra Palace, how convenient were the location of both this hotels, did you had to come in and out by taxi ?
How was the service and rooms of the Alfonso XIII, I was considering staying in this hotel in our next trip to
Sevilla, last time we stayed in the Dona Maria, great location, but I didn t like it too much .
Thank you.
Another question , did you have a good time, did you enjoy Spain ?
 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 03:27 PM
  #3
Carla
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Dear Graziella, Alphonso XIII is a short cab ride from the train station. The location is very central- just minutes from the cathedral. It was very comfortable and the service was excellent. There are two restaurants there- one is a very charming Japanese restaurant but I didn't actually eat there. It is just by the outdoor swimming pool. The rooms are very nice- small but modern marble bathrooms, large beds with very luxurious linens. There is an exclusive Loewe boutique in the hotel and an attractive bar area surrounding an inner courtyard. The Alhambra Palace is a three minute walk from the Alhambra ( it is right on the hill) and a ten minute walk to the center of town so the location is the best. Just up the hill is the Manuel de Falla center which hosts many concerts. Unfortunately there were none scheduled the days we were there. My husband and I took a two and a half hour guided tour of the Alhambra the day after we arrived and it was the only way to go. You can't just go there and buy tickets, otherwise you have to wait in a long line and wont be able to go the same day the tickets are purchased. Our hotel took care of everything. We arrived late at night, they told us to show up in the lobby by 10am the next morning and we walked with a group right into the Alhambra. No advance planning and absolutely no wait. You should have seen the line outside. The rooms were less plush than I usually like. The air conditioning was off because of the season but it was very stifling at night. Opening the terrace windows brought in a cool breeze but it was very noisy outside- trumpets, dogs barking, etc. So didnt always get a great night's sleep. Also beds were hard and with rough bedding. Bathroom large and modern. I would still reccommend it though. The common rooms were very beautiful with loads of ambiance and the standout was the terrace outside the bar area. Spectacular views of the city and the sierra nevada mountains in the distance. We spent every afternoon here sipping expresso and every evening watching sun set sipping wine, eating olives. Also, wonderful restaurant with delicious food and very intimate atmosphere. By the way, we drove in a rental car to granada from Seville. Very easy road but take exit marked Alambra not Granada. This will take you right to entrance of hotel.
Altogether loved Spain even if it was "cerrado" most of the time. Spain taught me to slow down. Reccomend reading Michener's Iberia- the Seville chapter and the Cordoba chapter- ( there is a section on granada in this chapter. Since visiting the Alhambra am also determined to read Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra and will pick up a Manuel de Falla CD to listen especially to "Nights in the gardens of Spain."
 
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Oct 24th, 2001, 06:08 PM
  #4
Graziella
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Thank you Carla. I am pleased that you enjoyed Spain as much as we do. Lately we have visited Spain several times and each trip is wonderful , during our last trip we visited Salamanca, Leon and Santiago which I highly recomend... Next time in Seville I shall try the ALfonso XIII.Gracias. Adios.
 
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Oct 25th, 2001, 02:02 PM
  #5
Becky
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Three of us are planing to travel to Spain in May. Shortened plan: Madrid-->Seville-->Estepona-->Granada--Leave Madrid

Why exactly didn't you like the Maria Luisa Park in Seville? We thought about strolling around it.

What DID you do in Seville--what were the highlights?
 
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Oct 25th, 2001, 02:23 PM
  #6
Brian in Atlanta
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Hi Carla. We'll be in Seville soon and would love any restaurant or tapas bar recommendations. We'll be staying in the Santa Cruz area. thanks.
 
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Oct 26th, 2001, 09:46 AM
  #7
Carla
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Dear Becky, Maria Luisa park is not manicured like parks in the U.S. There are many horses riding through and therefore lots of horse dung and therefore lots and lots of flies. It is very unkempt.
The highlights are the Cathedral, the Alcazar, wandering the streets of the old part of Seville beyond the cathedral and shopping along the Calle Sierpes. Brian- The best restaurant was Casa Robles and there is one fantastic place for tapas. I have to look up the name and I'll get back to you. Make sure you order the jamon iberico and the cheese plates in Seville- it is better than anywhere else in Andalucia.
 
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Oct 26th, 2001, 10:04 AM
  #8
Lori
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We also stayed in the Ritz and the Alhambra Palace. (couldn't get into the Alphonso XIII) I agree w/most of Carlas comments, with the following exceptions/extra comments.
In Seville- I personally liked the Plaza de Espana and the park. But I rode in a carriage through the park, so didn't have to deal with avoiding any droppings.
Granada - We decided not to do the tour and I'm very glad. Since we were staying so close to the ticket office I went in the morning and got tickets after a 45 min. wait (definitely do recommend purchasing ahead as there was no wait in the reserv. line). We got the audio guides and enjoyed walking around on our time table and doing what we wanted. We spent about 5 hours there and were glad we didn't waste the $$ on the tour.

 
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Oct 26th, 2001, 02:32 PM
  #9
Becky
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How much is a carriage ride thru Maria Luisa? Was it worth it?
 
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Oct 27th, 2001, 01:39 AM
  #10
Jose
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Hi everybody

I'm glad on your comments about my country.

For all those going to Granada, you can buy tickets in advance and you won't be waiting in the entrance. In this site you will find info in English:
http://granadainfo.com/ticketsalhambra.htm

The price of a carriage ride through Maria Luisa -and other parts of the city- is 4000 pesetas (about 21 $), and place to take is beside the Cathedral. And the ride will be about one hour. The drivers do not use to speak English.

Hope you'll enjoy.
 
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Oct 29th, 2001, 08:58 AM
  #11
Ruchi
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How safe is travel to Seville post-9-11. We bought our tix about 3 months ago, and are now struggling with how safe the south of Spain is. I've heard nothing but positive reports thsi far, but I'm still a little hesitant.
Thanks!
 
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Oct 29th, 2001, 09:20 AM
  #12
Carla
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Don't worry, it is very safe. Just watch your purse especially at outdoor cafes. I saw a woman's purse get snatched by a child while sitting at an outdoor cafe covered by a plastic awning. She stuck her arm underneath and around the plastic and took the purse which was lying on the chair next to her. She and her table companions were distracted by three children who ran up to their table pretending to look for their parents. All this was done with a security guard standing watch outside the restaurant!
 
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Oct 29th, 2001, 09:54 AM
  #13
xxx
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Jose,

How hot does Sevilla get in June? Any restaurant recommendations? planning on staying four days in Madrid and four in Sevilla. What do you recommend more time in Sevilla??? Muchas gracias por tu ayuda!!!
 
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Oct 29th, 2001, 10:16 AM
  #14
Pedro
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Sevilla is a charming city far from places where usually decissions are taken. External troubles rarely affect this city. Nothing has changed in this city daylife except the cancellation of the ASTA congress due to be held in November that finally will be in New York as a consequence of the tragedy.

I think there have been many interesting inputs regarding places to eat out in Sevilla, so it would be wise checking them out before getting there.
We ate on Saturday at Robles Placentines and it was quite good and well served in a perfect location close to the Cathedral.
 
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Oct 31st, 2001, 04:02 PM
  #15
Jose
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Weather in June?
Sure it will be dry a hot, about 30ºC (max. about 90ºF or higher), but you won't find the Hell as in Jul. and Aug. (about 100ºF)

Restaurants in Seville?
Do not know to much about this, as I am in Madrid, but you can try in the area of the cathedral and eat 'pescaítos fritos' (or fried littles fishes). In this area you will find a lot of taverns wich offers these products, specially those not too touristics (if you know what I mean).
 
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