Just got Back!!!

Old Apr 11th, 2000, 01:48 PM
  #1  
jason
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Just got Back!!!

Spent 10 days in Spain and had a wonderful time. The posts from this site were so helpful. Just to summarize our trip:

1st night in Madrid at the Tryp Ambassador, next day, took the AVE to Sevilla where we stayed 3 nights at Casas de la Juderia. We rented a car and took a day trip to the Sherry Triangle (Jerez, Arcos , and Sanlucar)
On our way to Granada we drove through the Sierras with pit stops at the white towns including Ronda. Arrived in Granada where we stayed at the Alhambra Palace the first night and the caves in Sacromonte the second. Then off to Nerja for one night at the Balcony de Europa??. On our way to Toledo, we stopped at Jaen and Ubeda and we stayed at the Holstal de Cardinal--then back to Madrid. All in all we put 800 miles on the car, dranks lots of sherry and wine, and ate muchas tapas. Please feel free to to ask for any details
 
Old Apr 11th, 2000, 02:12 PM
  #2  
Linda
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Dear Jason,

Welcome back! I will be in Spain (Madrid, Seville & Barcelona)in June. A few questions for you:

1) How was the Casas de la Juderia?
2) How long was the drive from Seville to town of Ronda?
3) Where and from whom did you rent your car from? If I may ask, how much was the rate per day?
4)Regarding the ride on the AVE, I'm wondering how 1st and tourist class compared.
5)Any of the towns you visited (near Seville) beach towns?

Thanks, Linda
 
Old Apr 11th, 2000, 05:16 PM
  #3  
Lisa
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Hi Jason

How did you like the Tryp Ambassador? I have reservations there for my trip in
Sept.
Also, did you get to Barcelona?
I am also staying at the Casas de la Juderia, did you like this hotel?
I am still working on hotel for Granada
I understand the alhambra palace is expensive. Do you have any suggestions for a hotel very close to Alhambra which is clean safe, has private bath and is relatively cheap?

Would appreciate any help you can give me thanks in advance
 
Old Apr 11th, 2000, 05:47 PM
  #4  
gina
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I've always wondered about the road to Ronda. Is it horribly scary? It just seems awful and I don't think I'd want to be in a big tour bus. Let me know if you get the chance.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 04:54 AM
  #5  
Pete
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also just back from 10 days in Spain...
stayed at Hosteleria del Laurel in Sevilla, excellent hotel, inexpensive but top-notch hotel: our room had two blaconies overlooking Plaza Venerables (double-paned glass) huge marble bathroom, two queen beds 12500ptas. ($75) excellent location in Barrio Santa Cruz and near Cathedral (we loved Sevilla)...in Granada we stayed at Hotel America right on the Alhambra grounds, nice hotel, small rooms, excellent lunch served, But next time I will stay down the hill at Plaza Nuevo, at either Landazuri or Hotel Macia. Some may like it up there, but we felt isolated from the town (it's a steep hike up and down the hill) and Plaza Nueva is real nice with good restaurants and shops etc. Stayed overnight in Ronda, but could see it as a drive-thru lunch stop. Grazalema was beautiful, also the other small towns up in the mountains. Arcos, was OK but we looked around and kept going after cafe con leche. Didn't like Madrid, great museums, but it's a large modern city with lots of people, traffic cars and fumes and loud noise. Also great: Toledo (Pintor de Greco, great little hotel, well-located in the old Jewish Quarter, windmills /castle stop in Consuegra, and Segovia (Los Linajes, the best hotel room of our entire trip!) thanks to Maribel and all you people at the Fodors site for excellent information, we had a great time...
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 05:14 AM
  #6  
henry
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Dear Jason:We are going to Spain in May.Have reservations for Tryp Ambass.& Casa Juderia.Opinion? Also any good resturants? Thanks.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 06:40 AM
  #7  
jason
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casas de la juderia was a wonderful place to stay and resonable (21.000 for a double) and they were very friendly. the rooms were very nice and the courtyards are like your own personal sanctuary .The hotel is in the old Jewish quarter about 10 min walk from the cathedral. By way of restaurants, we actually didnt eat a traditional sit down dinner--we just went from tapas bar to tapas bar. My suggestion is just to walk around the narrow streets in the area and you wont go wrong. Also, forgot the name, but the courtyard surrounded by orange trees was the most beutiful place.

ill get back to you for your other questions
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 07:05 AM
  #8  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Jason, Congrats on what I think is just
about the perfect Spain itinerary.
You hit some great spots for only 10
days of time and I like your hotel
choices as well. Good planning !
No wonder you had a great time.
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 09:51 AM
  #9  
jason
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answers to a few other questions--
the Tryp Ambassador was very nice (3 star), price was 25.500. Great location, quiet street, right by the palace, also 10 min walk to Plaza Mayor. Right around the block you MUST go to La Bola for lunch

Car Rental through Avis was $120 for 7 days.

Travel time from Sevilla to Ronda (with a few stops) was about 3+ hours. I would suggest a night at the Parador to fit a hike down the gorge. The drive was unbelievable and I would suggest renting a car vs tour bus to really appreciate the sierras
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 12:08 PM
  #10  
Maribel
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Welcome back Pete and Jason. So glad you both had a wonderful time!

Jason: Glad you liked the Opera area and LA BOLA. Did you attempt the "cocido" (very, very filling!)? It's my husband's favorite dish, but I don't know how in the world he ever finishs it! Which bodega(s) did you visit in Jerez? What was your opinion of the Alhambra Palace?

Pete, Glad you dodged the threatened strike bullet on US Air! Also happy you liked the Laurel and good to know you weren't bothered by the noise on the Plaza. That double-glazing does the trick! I think the Plaza de los Venerables, smack dab in middle of the Barrio de Santa Cruz, is a really nice, picturesque location provided your rm is soundproofed.

Question for both: Did you reserve/purchase your Alhambra tickets in advance (on the web, by phone/fax, at a BBV branch, at the ticket booth?) Crowds in mid-March? (Haven't been in March in many yrs.)
Again, welcome back and please tell us more!
Maribel
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 12:42 PM
  #11  
jason
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hi Maribel

Yes, the Cocido was excellent--quite funny, we sat down and before we knew it the waiter brought over a bottle of Rioja, bread and cocido, without even ordering

Unfortunately we missed the Bodega tours by minutes--we spent too much time at a haborside restaurant in Sanlucar

We bought our tickets at the booth--the line wasnt too bad but they werent allowing anyone in the Palace till later in the afternoon--as for the crowds...unbearable
 
Old Apr 12th, 2000, 08:34 PM
  #12  
Pete
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Maribel, thanks again for your insights etc...we lucked out in Granada, it was cold and rainy the two days we were there (the sun came out occasionally, and it was dramatic, real clear blue sky with beautiful bright sun) therefore it must have chased alot of people away---no line at all for tickets, we walked right in, not empty, but easy to look around at out leisure, even got some photos of Pam with a wall or door or fountain in the background without other people. It's one of my pet peeves, taking photos and there's all the other tourists in the shot---I end up not taking many pictures--on the other hand, it doesn't bother Pam at all, she says the other people in the shot gives it perspective, oh well, different strokes for different folks. I was awesome, next time I will get the little tape-phone tour guide thingy, try to learn about the place. Also loved walking around the Albacin quarter and great little restaurants and shops around the plaza nueva, it even hailed for a few minutes...then the next day was a winnerwith sunny and clear plus warmer...but I didn't realize until later that the iffy weather worked in our favor. Yes Sevilla was magical, another great place to wander around and get lost, we did the tapaseo thing and found out what everyone was talking about, it's the way to eat, and eat well! Also recommend a flamenco show, it was really excellent, and not touristy like I thought, but really intense, a highlight for us. Another highlight was driving through the mountains stopping in Grazalema for cafe con leche and the best flan I've ever tasted, then continueing onward, rounding narrow mountain roads winding through vista after vista, rounding a corner and there was a bull grazing beneath some cork trees--Ole!!!
 
Old Apr 15th, 2000, 07:16 PM
  #13  
Josie
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Hi Jason, welcome back.
I will also be going to Spain (in September) and I was wondering about the AVE train, and any other kind of trains anyway. How complicated is it to get your ticket, know when and how to get on board etc... and where too! Because I think the train stations are quite big and one could get kind of lost... how do you know in which compartment you're supposed to hop in? Do you always have the choice between first and second class?
Thanks, your help is very much appreciated.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2000, 12:41 PM
  #14  
jason
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josie...

first place to start is this site which has all train info for www.renfe.es/ingles/index.html
you can even book tickets

Second--stations in Spain are very easy to navigate with huge boards which tell what track. the car you want is printed on your ticket as well as on the side of the car, etc.

As long as you have a timetable and make reservations on the AVE, i dont think you will have a problem

 

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