Barcelona alternative


Oct 19th, 2017, 03:48 PM
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Barcelona alternative

Some help, please. My husband (67), adult son(39), and I (64) are booked to fly into Barcelona, Spain on Nov. 10 (noon) and are concerned about the political unrest. We are concerned not only about safety but also about being able to enjoy our visit when the citizens are in conflict.
We enjoy experiencing the history, culture, and especially food of cities new to us. Unfortunately we have some physical limitations so climbing or difficult hiking are out. Barcelona seemed perfect for us.
Now our plan is to fly into the Barcelona airport and (if necessary) take a train or rental car to a different destination in either Spain or nearby France. Our flight leaves on the 17th late afternoon so we are a bit limited. What would be good alternatives? Thank you.
ritaw is offline  
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Oct 19th, 2017, 04:55 PM
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Can understand your anxiety. You could take the train to Madrid for your week. Plenty to do and see, great food, etc, plus you could make day trips to Toledo and Segovia.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 06:05 PM
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I second Bedar's suggestion of Madrid with Toledo and / Segovia. FWIW, you might consider spending a few nights in Toledo, rather than visiting it as a day trip from Madrid.

Another option would be Sevilla with a day trip (or couple of nights) in Cordoba.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 07:18 PM
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I find Madrid bland. Fine if you want to experience the museums but not a city that draws me personally.

Seville is wonderful. Granada has of course alhambra.

If you don't mind getting off one plane and taking a second one Barcelona BCN is very well connected to the rest of Europe. Rome is less then two hours away. Or virtually any other European city.

Finally I love Barcelona and I'd really suggest going.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 09:47 PM
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Madrid is a great city with easy connections to many places by fast trains.
Toledo and Segovia are lovely but not flat.
Another option is to fly from Barcelona to Seville and spend time in Andalusia
..Sevilla, Córdoba, Malaga, Granada ( you can use a taxi to go up to Alhambra )
but with only a week you will have to chose one or two ..

We are in Madrid right now , the tension might worsen by the weekend depending
on the actions of the federal gov. A big demonstration is planed for tomorrow in Barcelona.
Another option is to fly to Lisbon ...
Vueling is an inexpensive airline with flights from Barcelona to a number of destination in Spain and Europe.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 09:47 PM
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Seems like a great opportunity to "experience history" first hand. I'd go to Barcelona.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 09:53 PM
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We loved Madrid, plenty to see and do in the city, and as noted easy day trips via train to Toledo etc.
Things we loved about Madrid:
Art galleries - Prado a definite must visit
Retiro Park - a beautiful park, lovely for a stroll on a warm afternoon in the shade of the trees
Food - we enjoyed some great meals here
Royal Palace - we stayed near the palace, a beautiful building and they also have exhibitions
Churches/cathedrals - some lovely cathedrals that had no queues and that you could linger in.
A visit to Toledo - the highlight of our time in Spain.
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Oct 19th, 2017, 11:13 PM
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sorry, Lisbon is very hilly...perhaps not fo you.

If you decide to come to Madrid, and if there is a good connection, best to fly .
The airfare is no more than the cost of the are at the airport already.
Taxi rate from the airport to the centre of Madrid is flat - 30 euros.
in addition to what Andree mentined about Madrid ,in less than 2 hours you can
be in several beautiful cities : Valencia , Córdoba , Salamanca.....(if you wish to spend a couple of nights someplace else.)
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Oct 19th, 2017, 11:44 PM
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Madrid is pretty easy by train as is Perpignan ( a smaller city but pretty and interesting). I'd also look at Valencia.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 12:49 AM
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Was in Barcelona recently. Your worries are unfounded.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 01:55 AM
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wow, thank you all. We're are still holding hope for Barcelona but I admit to being too much of a worrier to want to experience angry history first hand. I agree with danon, we are watching for the effect on Madrid. I'll check out the other cities today. I never thought of flying to the next destination.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 04:46 AM
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...there have been a couple huge demonstrations in Barcelona this week, another one is planed for tomorrow
So far, it has been peaceful but the traffic and movement of people in the centre must be
affected. About 800 companies have moved their headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid fearing the next step.
Tomorrow is a crucial day ..the federal gov. can take away Catalan's autonomy
( so called article 155) in which case ,the gov of Catalan will declare independence.
( so they say).
It can get messy.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:02 AM
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Hello! Saw this post and I have concerns coming with 4 kids in April. I studied abroad 3 months there in college and wanted to take my kids there age almost 2, 4, almost 9 and. Bought ticket right before terrorist attack and separation. Although I have always known the Catalan influence didnt actual think it would happen. Not sure what to do but am thinking about renting place I can cancel and reroute almost a plan b. Upsetting as I love the city but wish they wouldn't separate from Spain.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:08 AM
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Thank you danon. Where are the demonstrations? Are they all over the city or contained to PLaca Catalunya area. I used to live near Placa Espana.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:14 AM
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I see your concerns since you are going Nov 10. I am concerned but not going until end of March
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Oct 20th, 2017, 11:25 AM
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Within Spain, I think Madrid is a good idea, also. BCN is a fairly easy airport. I like Easyjet within Europe and there are numerous places you can fly nonstop from BCN on Easyjet at a cheap price. I've flown from BCN to Lyon on them, but that may not be so exciting. You can fly to Nice from BCN on Easyjet for only about 30 euro, cheapest fare, though. So France is obviously an idea other than Spain. I've also taken the train from Barcelona to Perpignan France, you could do that area and then go to Toulouse. I would never stay in Perpignan that long, it's okay for a day. Or you could go to MOntpellier and Marseille easily enough.

Really depends, if you want Spain, I'd go to madrid, also as a short train trip from Barcelona.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 12:16 PM
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I have friends who were just in BCN and said no problems with sigthseeing. There was a demonstration while they were there. We go in January and its hard to tell what's going to be the situation then. That said with the way the world is these days, it seems something is going on wherever we go. It's sadly a fact of life. Everyone has to arrange their travels in way that makes them comfortable. Unless I learn there is a huge disruption to life as a tourist, I have always forged ahed and been just fine.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 12:29 PM
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The US had 292 mass murders in 2016 alone. 25,000 die from gunshots a year.

Spain's death by firearms per 100,00 is 0.62, while the US is 10.52.

We have been visiting Barcelona (and Spain) since the Franco days and as far as personal safety is concerned we have never had a concern.

The Catalan separatist movement has been going on for decades and it is not a violent movement. The violent separatist movement were the Basques and the most recent treaty seems to be effective. The latest violence has been at the hands of Rajoy's thugs.

As far as terrorist attacks, there is no guarantee in any country. See: France, England, Belgium. (I was three blocks from the Trade Center on 9/11.)

No one can guarantee another's safety, but things must also be put into perspective.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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PS. The deadliest terrorist attack in Spain was at Atocha station in Madrid where 192 died and 2,000 were injured. That was 2004 where today where many of the hi-speed AVE's depart and arrive.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 12:47 PM
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This topic has been discussed a couple of times in the past two weeks. I am due to be in Barcelona Nov 14 and to depart from BCN, but my plan B & C is either spend more time in Madrid or head to Valencia. I only have 4 days to fill, however. Also, I researched that Valencia has train and bus right to BCN airport, so I don't have to hope that find a way to get from Sants to BCN if coming from Madrid.
There are bound to be demonstrations or 'rallies' as they like to call them. There is also a good chance for strikes. Those are more of a hassle than the demonstrations in my book. Not everything shuts down, but enough that I don't want to be dealing with them. I also don't want the preoccupation of Catalonia on my mind when I am enjoying Andalucia and Madrid. I am not afraid to say that I don't want the inconvenience. Sure there have been lots of travelers in the past 2 weeks who have had little impact, but there is no guarantee that will continue.
I hope things are not as difficult as some predict, but as said, tomorrow will give some indication - then next week, will give more....and so it goes.
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