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Madrid plus Castile or Madrid plus Eastern Andalusia for a week in April

Madrid plus Castile or Madrid plus Eastern Andalusia for a week in April

Dec 31st, 2008, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,453
It sounds like you have your heart set on Pedraza, it fits your description of what you like (quaint, relaxing, picturesque *villages*), you can spend an entire day in Segovia from your base there (a 40 min. drive), and you have an afternoon flight so can certainly make it to the airport from there.

I wouldn't skip it. I don't think there's a Castilian medieval town quite as picture perfect with such nice lodging options (the Hospedería de Santo Domingo is sophisticated, supremely comfortable, relaxed, well priced and utterly memorable). Amsdon, escrunchy and I have all extolled its virtues.
And I certainly wouldn't omit a day in Segovia in an Old Castile itinerary.

We sometimes do Pedraza first, driving straight from the airport, but I don't know how long your international flight is and if your husband is bothered by jet lag upon arrival or if he enjoys driving that first day. (We have a self-imposed 2 hr. limit to our first day drives from the airport).

I would keep Pedraza on your itinerary, particularly since it has appealed to you from the very start.
But for your provincial capital 2 night base, I'd choose between Salamanca to the northwest and Burgos to the north and not try to fit both of them into this---Either or.
(or add more days)

In your original post, you mentioned that your husband refuses to do a series of one nighters (we don't like them either!), so I don't see a Segovia (or Avila), Salamanca, Burgos, Pedraza series for you with one night in each. Doing so wouldn't be the relaxing, slow paced exploring that you wanted, covering little but doing it well. And it wouldn't allow for the day trips to see other charming, picturesque villages like La Alberca (Salamanca province) or Covarrubias (Burgos province).

A Madrid-Avila-Salamanca-Valladolid-Burgos-Silos detour-Pedraza detour-Madrid loop (with day trip to Segovia from Pedraza) would be possible-it looks on the map somewhat like a triangle- but it would require more days so as to be nicely paced, not a marathon.

And remember that timing is of essence to hear the Gregorian chant in Silos. I've ventured down to Silos several times at the wrong time of day only to be disappointed (missed mass, cloister closed, etc.)

I wouldn't cut a day from your stay in Madrid to fit all of the above in either, since you want to attend the Sunday afternoon bullfight and a flamenco performance one night.

Just some thoughts...O

Maribel is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,453
Sorry I forgot your driving times/distance questions!

From Pedraza to Salamanca:
2 hrs. 40 min.-225 km.

From Pedraza to Burgos
1 hr. 50 min. -169 km.

I use www.viamichelin.com as my source for driving directions. It's a great resouce used by many here.
Maribel is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 228
Hi all, thanks Ann for your help.
Maribel, thanks for the thoughts they are very useful.
I think we are going to go with Salamanca. I have a degree in Literature so I was wondering if there are particular places that might interest me. Also my husband and I are both interested in seeing sites particularly influenced by moorish/muslim heritage.
I will use the viamichelin site a lot, it is very useful. Thanks for telling me about that.

lol is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,453
If you'd like to read (or have read) works by Miguel de Unamuno, the Basque existencialist author-philosopher, member of the Generation of '98, the following works have been translated into English:
"The Tragic Sense of Life", "Mist", "Three Exemplary Novels" (Two Mothers, Nothing Less than a Man, Marquis of Lumbria).

Unamuno's house-museum is in Salamanca on Calle de los Libreros. He was a former rector of the University.

Maribel is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Hi Maribel,
I haven't read any of his work yet. I'll be sure to do so before I go to Salamnaca since I am a great admirer of existentialist thought. Thanks a lot, you really helped me enormously.

lol is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 03:32 PM
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The above tomes by Unamuno were once on my curriculum, as I used to teach his works. My favorite is Niebla, "Mist", so I hope you can find a copy in English.

Another you would enjoy is the short novel "San Manuel bueno, mártir". It's also been translated into English.
Maribel is offline  
Jan 1st, 2009, 05:07 PM
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On the web site developed by Spain's Tourist Board,

Under Multimedia Highlights, to the right on the home page, there is some helpful planning info.

Under Videos, you can watch videos of Segovia, Salamanca and Cuenca. (But my mac doesn't have the correct plug in, so I can't see them!).

Under Guides, you can download their complete guide to Castilla-León

Under Features, articles on Segovia and its Aqueduct plus the Old City of Avila are available for download in pdf.

These might be useful in your planning.
Maribel is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Maribel, you are full of surprises. Does that mean you are a lit. professor (don't mean to pry). I'll make a note of these readings, they are now on my to read list.
The site is great, I already downloaded those guides and will read them tonight. I haven't checked the videos yet because my Mac too won't play them but I'll check at my husbands laptop later. Thanks a lot.
lol is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Hi Maribel and lol,

I have a PC with Windows and also couldn't load the videos, I just get a black screen that says "done"! That's too bad.
I have most of the guides they offer. If you don't want to download and print you can write to any of their tourism offices in the US and request them ( I write to the one in New York). You will get them within a couple of weeks. I find them very useful
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2009, 11:59 AM
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Hi lol,
Yes, I'm retired from the teaching profession. I retired really, really early O

Speaking of Spanish literature and Salamanca,
The first picaresque novel "El Lazarillo de Tormes" began in Salamanca. It was published anonymously in 1554 in Alcalá de Henares. Its protagonist, the pícaro (a resourceful "rogue or rascal"), Lazarillo, was born in a mill on the Tormes river and was raised in Salamanca by his widowed mother who ran a student boarding house. There is an episode in the novel when Lazarillo leaves the city as an apprentice to his first "master", a very wily blind beggar, and they cross the Roman bridge together. He's given a "hard knock" life lesson on that bridge, having to do with a stone bull. There is now a statue of Lázaro and the blind man at the entrance to the Roman bridge, which itself is amazingly well preserved.

In English the novel is called The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (and of his Good Fortunes and Adversities) and is available on Amazon.

Since you're interested in bullfighting, Salamanca does have a bullfighting museum, located on Calle Doctor Piñuela 5, near the gorgeous main square, the Plaza Mayor.
It's open Tues.-Sat. from 11:30-1:30, then 6-8 and on Sun. from 11:30-1:30.
Salamanca has a noted taurine tradition that I learned about as a student when I lived with my hosts, the Galache family, who owned a prestigious bull raising ranch.

I wish that those videos on the www.spain.info site would work with a mac.
If you'd like more specific brochures of the cities you'll be visiting, just click on Contact and send them an email giving them your itinerary. We work with the Beverly Hills office now, and they send us brochures and maps all the time. Your materials will be sent from the closest Spain tourist office to your location, I think.

Maribel is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Bookmarking - I'm going in April for about 10 days ... thanks lol
Bokhara2 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Marking the great thread for future trip to Castille, etc
ekscrunchy is offline  

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