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expecting too much? madrid, cordoba, sevilla, granada in 7 days

expecting too much? madrid, cordoba, sevilla, granada in 7 days

Old Jun 9th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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expecting too much? madrid, cordoba, sevilla, granada in 7 days

I am 50, my son is 17. We have round trip air to and from Madrid. Arrive in Madrid about 10AM local time. I have eurail pass for 4 days. I was thinking 2 nights in madrid, train to (Cordoba?)/Sevilla-one (plus?)night there, then rent car or ride train from Sevilla to Granada area. (If rent car, return in Granada) , train from Granada to Madrid for final night. Return flight leaves late aft. from Madrid. I know there is so much to see everywhere, and would like to "maximize" our first trip to Spain. But I want us to enjoy it , not just run around. My son has his heart set on finding 'flamenco caves' in Seville/Granada. I would love to visit/ride an Andalusian horse (farm).
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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Mom - WWWWWAAAAAYYYYY too much to see in 7 days. I did essentially the same trip in 16 days several years ago, and still only scratched the surface.

Since you are flying into and out of Madrid, and I get the sense you are determined to see some of Southern Spain as well, I'd split the week between only Madrid and Seville. The AVE train makes the trip between these cities in just over 3 hours. You could conceivably take a day trip from Seville to Cordoba, which is only an hour by AVE, but I'd stay put in Seville. Granada very far out of your way, and you'd have to either fly back to Madrid, or take a 6 1/2 hour train.

There will be plenty to keep you busy in Madrid and Seville for 3 1/2 days each, and you'll be able to find plenty of good flamenco in Seville.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Doint 4 cities in 7 days really gives you time to see prctically nothing. Have you looked at train schedules and how long it takes to drive between cities. By the time you're found your hotel, had dinner,s lept and seen 1 sight it will be time to move on.

As for riding in Andalusia - can;t imagine where you would find the time for more than an hour or so - and what's the point. (There are riding vacations, but of severla days length with lessons.)

In one week either do Madrid and local day trips - OR visist Andalusia (and 7 days is still a major rush). We've don it twice - once for 10 days and one for 12 - and still have more to see just in Andalusia.

You really need to focus this trip or you will be VERY disappointed.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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I'm not sure why you purchased a "Eurail pass for 4 days". How much is it? Can you return it and get a refund? Basically, you are only riding the train 3 times. You will most likely spend less by buying tickets directly from www.renfe.es

When is your trip? If it's during the summer, remember the heat can be brutal and you may need some siesta time just to rest/cool off.

<i>not just run around</i>

That's exactly what you'll do if you stick with this plan.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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I suggest that you divide your time between Madrid and Sevilla (maybe 4 days Madrid , 3 days Sevilla). You could do a day trip to Cordoba from Sevilla. Since your flight out of Madrid is in the late afternoon, I suggest that you fly early in the AM from Sevilla to connect with your flight. That way you don't have to backtrack and check in a hotel again in Madrid.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 10:42 AM
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I agree with the previous posts. 3 days in Madrid would be a minimum; 4 might be better considering you'll likely be tired the first day and might not be up for a full day of sight-seeing. You could have a very enjoyable trip just doing daytrips from there (El Escorial, Toledo, Cuenca, etc.).

But spending the other days in Sevilla would certainly not disappoint either. I would rule out Granada (too far away), and you could maybe do a day trip to Cordoba at the expense of one day in Sevilla. The Mezquita in Cordoba is very beautiful.

Definitely take the high-speed AVE to minimize travel time given your itinerary.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Mom, I see you are flying from USA so yes there is lag time. I agree with the others, stick to Madrid & Seville with matbe Cordoba as a stop along the way to Sevilla via the Ave.

As for flamenco...is your son a musician by chance?
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 12:37 PM
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With the limited amount of time, I would go South (Sevilla, or Cordoba) on the day of arrival. You will probably not appreciate a busy city like Madrid on day 1 with 6-9 hrs jetlag anyway.

Add Madrid (if you have to) at the end of your trip, when you will not leave until late afternoon. If you stayed in Madrid you could leave the luggage at the hotel and make at least some use of the final half day.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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amsdon-yes! my son has been studying and playing flamenco obsessively since he learned of it-he is passionate about it. He has even grown the preferred long nails on his right hand. If I could figure out how, I would get some of his playing onto the web. I have a camcorder, but don't think I have a DVD recorder on the computer...
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Take Cowboys' advice and save all the time in Madrid until the end. If (and only if) you could get a quick, cheap flight on to Granada, you might consider doing that. Spend a couple of nights there, then Seville, then Madrid. The problem comes if your flight is delayed. Then the plan would fall apart. Going straight to Seville makes the most sense.

If you really want to see more, a couple of day trips from Madrid to Toledo & Segovia make more sense. If you go to Plaza Mayor late in the evening, you might be lucky enough to find some fantastic young musicians and dancers there. Sometimes, they go and put down a piece of plywood to dance on and perform.

If you visit only Seville & Madrid, you might be able to take the bus to Jerez to view the Spanish Riding school (Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art). They have shows and training sessions.
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Old Jun 9th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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Well MOM I am sure he is aware of all the sites for those of us in the USA????

1. Tim's Radio is FREE and awesome
http://www.flamencoradio.net/

2, Flamenco Buzz http://www.flamencobuzz.net/

3. For budding guitarists falseta.com
They share info in the chat section

He needs to try to catch some flamenco dance classes that have a live flamenco guitarist (as opposed to tape) In the USA since there is a scarcity of guitarists it won't be long before he can ask them if he can sit with them.
It will make a big difference in his skills when he accomapanies a dancer.
Tell him to forget the caves...there is plenty in Madrid & Sevilla this time.

Article on Candela bar in Madrid (but go with him of couse)
I have not been there yet but I will soon...after 1 am or later. http://www.travelinginspain.com/madrid/lavapies.htm

Have a great time!
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 08:44 AM
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As a guitar player who loves flamenco and used to live in Seville, I am going to recommend 3 nights in Seville and two in Granada. Arriving in Madrid head straight to Atocha station for the high speed train to Seville. Relax for three nights, do a daytrip to Cordoba. For flamenco check out the bars in Triana for the real deal instead of the touristy Tablaos in Santa Cruz. Head to Granada for two nights, the alhambra is incredible. At night go to the Barrio Sacromonte to see Gypsy flamenco in the caves, the later the better. This leaves a night or two at the end to spend in Madrid. This is a great itinerary for flamenco (it's really an Andalucian art form, not Madrid).
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 07:38 PM
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Yes I agree, I thought MOM wanted to see Madrid.I am not sure she wanted to make it totally hardcore flamenco this time but yes I agree that would be ideal even though my flamenco friends tell me the caves are not all that (at least from a dancers point of view but maybe at 4 am it's better)
but cetainly an experience for sure.
What have you got to lose?

In any case Egbert made a good point are you considering this option? Try not to rush around too much from place to place.
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Old Jun 10th, 2009, 08:43 PM
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If we postulate that you do visit these four cities, putting aside other factors, there are two items unnecessarily consuming time.

1. By staying in Madrid at arrival and departure, one day is consumed in Madrid unproductively. This can be remedied by not staying in Madrid on arrival, but bunch all the stay in Madrid in one piece at the end. This is a common issue with round trip itineraries.

2. By going to Granada and back, the time is consumed tracing back the same route on ground. This can be remedied by straightening out the ground portion, that is just do Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Madrid in this order. Do Madrid to Granada by air. There is 16:10 Iberia from Madrid to Granada, arriving in Granada at 17:10. If you had thought about doing this earlier, there is a 11:50am Iberia flight to Granada you could have included in your reservation. If would cost more, but in your case, you would have to buy time.

Expecting too much depends on how you add activities. It is not necessarily the number of days available: trying to do 36hrs of activities in 3 days would be rushing around while doing 6hrs of activities in 1 day would be relaxed. Is 36hrs of activities always more desirable than 6hrs? Only you can judge. After spending 3 days in Madrid, I would take 6hrs in Granada in one day over additional 3 days in Madrid. However, this is just how I set my priorities. You have your own.
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Old Jun 11th, 2009, 02:42 AM
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I REALLY appreciate everyone's comments! I am somewhat torn now as we want to see Bullfight (only avail on Sun in Madrid) and I assumed we would enjoy Madrid (we are not likely to see art museums, but do enjoy architecture, history, visual and auditory cultural experiences)for 2 nights before heading south to seville. I have made a few reservations in Madrid and one in seville, tho these of course can be changed. After one of the above posts, decided I should cancel the 4 day Eurail Pass (?) and just do 1-2 train transports. I wish for son and I to find 'the real deal" for Flamenco-music would take precedence over the dancing, but REALLY not sure I will be able to stay awake till 1AM or later!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think also that son & I would perhaps enjoy at least a fair amount of 'country time'-seeing geography.
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 05:32 AM
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Looking for good flamenco may be tough if you are not able to stay up later

Also do a search on flamenco here on this forum there are informative posts on flamenco.

I am always harping on the fact that the cante (song) is the foundation for this artform & one should really understand a bit about this for better enjoyment.

Also for your son is is lucky to have greg an actual guitarist to connect with. Greg I am looking forward to hearing more from you that would be a treat for us.


Do you have a favorite flamenco club or peña?
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 05:50 AM
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I'm going to put my own input in here...Although I am sickly obsessed when it comes to playing and listening to Flamenco, I don't want the trip to be STRICTLY for Flamenco. I'm also a big history buff, so I would love time to just explore some of the older parts of these cities(safely of course) and enjoy some general leisure time in the area.

And amsdon: Thank You for those links! I was not aware of them. I've actually only been seriously playing for about 2 months. Will check them out. So far I've only been able to find classical lessons in my area, no flamenco. But I absolutely agree, the dance classes with a live guitarist is the way to go, their just not in my area. It will probably be awhile before I can make it out to one of those, but I look forward to the day.

Thanks for everyone's input! You are helping us so much!!
-SON
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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Flamenco happens at night. The rest of the time you can spend doing everything else. I forgot to recommend La Carboneria, a bar in Seville where you can see a more informal Flamenco thing with no cover charge. It's a great place but very hard to find, just has a red door. All the locals know where it is so just ask someone, it's on calle Levies. It used to be a local spot but now is more popular with tourists and international students.
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 10:19 AM
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"<i>but REALLY not sure I will be able to stay awake till 1AM or later!!!!!! . . . . . </i>"

That will be a problem - you won't be eating dinner until <B>late</B> at night and the music starts after that.
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Old Jun 13th, 2009, 10:24 AM
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Spain operates on a much later schedule than you are probably used to. Dinner is around 10 PM, and people are out in the streets well after midnight, including small children. In Madrid, I just adjusted my internal clock accordingly. The nicest time of day, at least in the summer, is after dark, when it is cooler. I didn't see when you are planning to go, but if in the summer, this will be true.

Especially since your son has a passion for flamenco, I would really try to stay up late, even if it means sacrificing some morning touring time.
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