College Graduation Present


Jan 22nd, 2011, 06:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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College Graduation Present

Our youngest has just told us that for graduation, she'd like a trip to Europe with her mom and me. Yeah, we were pretty surprised. She'd like to spend at least a few days somewhere nice in Spain and then we'd like to visit one or two more places, ideally hubs where we can take a few day trips from if we get tired of just sightseeing in the city.

We're thinking maybe 2+ weeks and any suggestions on where to go and reasonable accommodations plus the best way to get from place to place would be greatly appreciated. I took my daughter to Paris (told her I wanted her to see Paris for the first time with the man who would always love her) for about a week and we had a ball. Her mom and I spent a week in Rome a couple of years ago with her older sister who was studying aboard.

Thanks in advance for any help! We plan on going mid-July of this year.

john_in_seattle is offline  
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Jan 22nd, 2011, 09:41 PM
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What does your daughter mean by somewhere nice?

Above is a box called View By Country and if you click on Spain, you will find a great deal of information icluding that from posters who live many regions of Spain.

Then you can ask questions that are more specific.

Also indicate whether you like art, history, beaches, architecture, food, shopping etc.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 07:46 AM
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Aduchamp1 - Thanks for the help! This is my first visit to this site and I'm still trying to get my feet on the ground. My daughter wasn't very specific about where to go or what she wanted to see other than she wanted to visit Spain during our trip. She took Spanish in high school and their trip to Spain got cancelled so she felt a bit cheated.

When we were in Paris, my daughter loved visiting the museums, much more so than I would have expected. She's a pretty active kid and enjoys exploring.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 07:54 AM
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Spain is truly six or seven different countries linked by a common government. Most people on their first trip do some combination of Barcelona, Madrid, and the South but there are so many other wonderful and interesting regions.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 08:43 AM
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As Aduchamp1 - you will visit the Spains.

Also, as advised, and also presuming, because I have the impression from this and other forums you may only be able to fly direct into Madrid.

If two weeks - Madrid (with maybe two day trips), Seville, (Cordoba day trip at least), Granada, Madrid for return.

Time to hit some guides.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 09:07 AM
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It gets really hot in mid-July in Southern Spain (and the central regions incl. Madrid). Plus it's high season in the resort areas, both with domestic and foreign tourists.
The North of Spain should be more comfortable during that time of year. You can throw in Barcelona, but be prepared for temps in the 90s. It's a *young* big city, and there is lots to explore.

Though, for language immersion, those regions have their own languages, which are either related with Spanish/Castilian or not.
You can, of course, communicate with everyone in Castilian, but it's not everybody's first or preferred language.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 09:36 AM
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Welcome to the forum, from a fellow Seattlite.

We took our 2 daughters to Italy as a graduation present last summer. One graduated from college the other from high school. They first suggested Spain, but we were dissuaded by comments about the heat, and went to Italy instead. It was still hot, but only unpleasantly so for one day in Milan. We all had a wonderful time.

For Spain, you might heed coyboy1968's suggestion to stay in the northern parts, and maybe include southern France as well?
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 09:40 AM
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Take a closer look at fabulous San Sebastián: Some of the best city beaches in Europe, fantastic food and a culture that people take great pride in. Lots of charming villages along the coast towards vibrant Bilbao with the spectacular Guggenheim museum, the close by and excellent Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) etc.

The article "A different kind of Spain" gives you a good idea of San Sebastián and the region:
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 10:31 AM
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With 2 weeks for a first time trip to Spain I would normally recommend Madrid (including Toledo & Segovia daytrips), Sevilla (including Cordoba daytrip), Granada and a visit to the white village area as the basis for the trip.

However, given the trip is in July unless you have a high tolerance of hear I have to agree with the other posters.

Northern Spain will be more bearable. However, I don't think it's not what most 1st time visitors think of when they envision "Spain". But this is the reason why I also think it's unique and alluring for me. I'd spend at least a week in the Basque country and then head towards Santiago de Compostela and spend some time in Galicia. You could stop along the way in Santander, Oviedo, one of the coastal villages in this area (Llanes, Llarca, Ribadesella, etc...) the Picos de Europa (not all of these places but one) for a couple of days depending on your interests. Of spend a week in the Basque Country and then a week in Barcelona & Catalunya.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 11:52 AM
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Wow! This is great advice. Thanks a lot. Pairing some time in northern Spain and then going to southern France or possible Italy could be a lot of fun. We'd like to take her to at least a couple of places that provide nice contrasts. She and I did that when we visited Paris. All there is to do in a big, cosmopolitan city and then the countryside with its laid-back beauty and slower pace.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 12:06 PM
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Spaniards on vacation go to the Atlantic coast in summer - since it;s really the only part of the country that's comfortable. The most interesting area - Andalusia - is usually over 100 degrees in the summer - and Madrid is little better. We've been a couple of times in late April - and it was already beach weather - well into the 80s.

I think southern Span is the most fascinating part of the county - and indeed in Europe - but would never attempt it in summer.
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Jan 23rd, 2011, 01:05 PM
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I like your thinking of northern Spain and France. I don't know the logistics but can imagine pairing it with Brittany or Provence could be lovely? Let us know what you decide.
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