Granada, Sevilla and Málaga with kids

Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 01:51 AM
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Granada, Sevilla and Málaga with kids

Our 3 years as ex-pats in the UK is coming to an end. For our final fling, we spent our October Half term break visiting Andalusia, Spain for the first time. Our only previous trip to Spain was in 2009 visiting friends in Madrid.

Long blog with too many photos here:
http://ukfrey.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11...sia-spain.html

Some pertinent info:

Who: Family of 4 (daughter 14, son 11), American ex-pats living in Derby, UK.

When: 9 nights in October

Where: Granada (2), Sevilla (5), Málaga (2). Day trip to Córdoba from Sevilla.

Transportation:

Jet2 from East Midlands to Málaga

Málaga to Granada: coach from the Málaga bus station to Granada. 2 hrs. 45€ total for 4. Required taking a city bus from the airport to the main bus station. The express bus was there so we took it (3€ pp).

Granada to Sevilla: bus, 3 hrs, 86€

Made a classic rookie mistake here. When arriving in Granada I was so preoccupied about getting to our apartment that I didn’t take the time to buy the Sevilla tickets even though there was no line whatsoever. I subconsciously thought it would be like that when we came back on Monday. When coming back to the bus station on the departure day, the line was huge and our preferred slot was full so we had to take one 3 hours later. Involved storing bags and heading back to the city (7€ for lockers, 5€ each way for the bus). Lemonade from lemons as we got some extra visiting in, but some cost could have been avoided had I pre-purchased the tickets when at the station 2 days prior.

Sevilla – Córdodba – Sevilla: Mesa (table) seats for 4 on the AVE train pre-purchased ~4 weeks out. 45 minutes. Approx 95 €

Sevilla – Málaga: commuter train, 2+ hrs, 84€. Purchased 2 days earlier when at station for Córdoba (learned my lesson).

Lodging:

Recall that we are a family of four so our options are 2 doubles, a family room or an apartment (preferable 2BR). We look for well-located, roomy and clean accommodations with wi-fi. We don’t need many bells and whistles. Happy with all of our choices.

Granada: Habitat Suites on Gran Via 17

180€ pn for 2-BR semi-serviced apartment. Splurged for the 2BR -- still comparable or better than other options for 4. Great find IMO. Helpful staff. Well located. Big and clean.

http://tinyurl.com/o55nj3l

Sevilla: Meson del Moro from Spain Select

http://sevilla.spain-select.com/en_U...meson-del-moro

Two BR / two bath apartment in Santa Cruz. Not quite as grand as the photos and probably at the low end of the Spain Select offerings but it is also priced appropriately for 4. Great location. Wi-fi a little dodgy. 140€ pn.

Málaga: Hotel Don Curro

http://tinyurl.com/ptge97w

Very well located 3-star hotel for 120€ pn with breakfast. Not perfect (wi-fi in particular) but a reasonable value.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 02:05 AM
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Great snaps Indy. The reason that 1492 is such a critical date is that the Spaniards suddenly had some very nasty, violent, second sons who had lead the last few years of the re-conquest with nothing to do.

Once the top guys had been paid off with land that had belonged to the moors (plus a little plague cleared out a few) they had to get rid of these guys. Along comes CC offering to take a ship over the horizon so they filled the ships with these guys. it worked a treat, Spain could go get serious about enforcing Catholic rules on everyone, send the moors and the jews away (yet more property for the crown and the second sons) and the really nasty people could be sent to (the as yet unfound) Cuba and Hispanola. ;-) politics, what's not to like?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 02:09 AM
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Great extra info, bilbo -- thanks!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 03:04 AM
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Wonderful blog! I enjoyed the "visit" with your family - I feel like I've already gotten a good taste of the area. I'm saving this for my future trip to Andalucia (sometime in the next 2 years).
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 03:29 AM
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Great photos and report!

Regarding your expectations for flamenco; it's generally very little about duets and romance, more about "blues themes" such as poverty, hardship, death and tragic love, often with very much temperament and/or very much depth. Can also be full of humour and joke, just as blues.

Mostly individual artists, or a guitarist playing to a singer or a singer singing to a dancer. The idea of romantic flamenco comes mainly from Hollywood films of the 1930's to 1950's and the watered down and not "troublesome" version of flamenco promoted to tourists during the Franco years.

Many of the flamenco artists in the Holywood movies were the absolute best. Here's Antonio Ruiz (El Bailarín) and his cousin Rosario (Florence Pérez Padilla) in Holywood Canteen from 1944: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTe82N2q0gs

I can only think of Pilar Ogalla and Andrés Peña as the only ones who regularly do duets on the top level at the major theaters and festivals today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DQcMJqdD1c

But frequently you can see strong interplay between a singer and a dancer (or a guitarist and a singer). Here dancer Rocío Molina and Rosario La Tremendita: http://www.deflamenco.com/revista/ca...molina1-6.html
And Miguel Poveda and Eva Yerbabuena: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGpM6Qt0i1A

And just to indicate some of the fabulous diversity of flamenco, one of my absolute favourite clips, Joaquin Grilo and piano genious Davis Peña Dorantes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOjtXiPl8Rk
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 05:06 AM
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Another great family trip! Really enjoyed your pics and your descriptions. I just sort of quickly looked back through your whole blog again and I have to say all your family experiences over the last three years have been fun to follow. Thanks for posting them and I look forward to reading about your future travel adventures.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for the comments.

kimhe -- I appreciate the additional background. Clearly I had a different, false expectation in my mind likely due to a "traditional", touristy show I went to in Mexico way back on our honeymoon. (Not saying that's logical). Your help to me and others for a trip in this area was very valuable.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 12:51 PM
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.. and as said, many of the romantic duet "americanized" things used to be brilliant. And the Sevillanas, the festive flamenco like dance of Sevilla, are normally more or less sensuous duets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VljOe_DxsA
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 01:35 PM
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Another great indy_dad TR. Your family will have so many memories of all your great adventures in Europe and will enjoy reminiscing about them for years to come.

I've bookmarked your blog for planning a hoped-for trip to Scotland one of these years.

Along with john183, look forward to future trip reports.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 02:55 PM
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As always, you do a great trip report! I enjoyed this especially. Makes me feel as if I ought to go back to Spain and give it another try! My memories of Spain are from being a chaperone on a student trip 45 years ago.

That trip is still a haze of long days on the bus with infrequent bathroom stops (and those often in less than savory places), greasy unappetizing food, the night more than half of us got food poisoning, horrible hotels, boring city guides, standing too much to listen to ununderstandable stories, unfriendly hotel front desks, etc.

Your food pictures made me want to try some of the foods you had. We never saw anything that was even faintly appetizing, It was just mush heaped on the plate. I don't think we saw a fresh vegetable the whole trip. Breakfast was only coffee and a hard roll. Sometimes not even tea offered as an alternative to coffee. The pictures of the places you visited made me want to go back as well.

I guess there will be no more trips until you get back to the States. Boo-hoo! Will you be going back to Indiana?
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Old Nov 3rd, 2013, 09:02 PM
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That's right, Irishface. Back home to Indiana. I haven't even thought of where we might spend our holidays in 2014, but I'd imagine that we will skip Europe for next year.

But, you never know . . .

Sounds like a memorable trip for the wrong reasons! Perhaps you should give it another go.
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Old Nov 4th, 2013, 11:51 AM
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Very enjoyable trip report, Love looking at the food pics.The Spanish ham,can't get enough of them! We have similar traveling style. I also have 2 kids, 11 and 10 y. Glad I found your blog, since i 'm looking for ideas where to go next.
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