My first trip to Spain

Old Nov 6th, 2002, 08:42 AM
  #1  
Jackie
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My first trip to Spain

Will be next year in the fall. Can you please tell me what to expect? I have been to Italy 2 times and several people have compared Spain to Italy. What were your obervations? What food did you like? What are must sees? <BR>I value the opinion of well traveled persons on this site. Thank you in advance for helping me out here.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 09:56 AM
  #2  
lynn
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Spain is a beautiful country of many geographical and cultural contrasts. Barcelona is nothing like Cordoba, for example, and some of the rugged countryside in the south reminded me of California. <BR><BR>Which areas or cities do you plan to visit? Each region will have its own culinary specialities. Of course, paella is magnificent (when done well). Gazpacho, maybe. Fried squid - a real taste treat. The cathedrals in Toledo and Sevilla are beautiful, if architecture is an interest.<BR><BR>Share your proposed itinerary, and you'll probably get a few more responses.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 10:05 AM
  #3  
Jackie
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Hi Lynn,<BR> We will be in Spain for 3 weeks and plan to go to Barcelona, Madrid/Toledo area,Seville, then in the south. We may want to see some white hill towns and we would like to spend time on the beach. We dont know what beach area is best. We are low key people and like to drive around. Is Granada a must see?<BR>Thanks....
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 10:12 AM
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Marz
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Seville is a nice city. Visit the Expo site (the first one, there are two)I 'think', part of the latest star wars movie was filmed there (it looked like it in some parts of the film). It it really nice.<BR><BR>Plus visit the huge Cathedral.I belive it is the 3rd largest in thw world, I may be wrong there.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 11:38 AM
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CathyM
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Jackie:<BR>I had visited Italy on 3 european vacations and absolutely loved (and still love) Italy.<BR><BR>However, when I took my first trip to Spain last fall I fell head over heels for Spain. I've been back twice since!<BR><BR>The people are friendly, food is magnificant, the culture and family is very strong, cities are generally clean....I could go on and on. Although I love Italy, it's almost a little jaded by all of the tourism while Spain is almost behind in times.<BR><BR>I'd suggest with three weeks that you don't spend alot of time in the larger cities but visit the smaller towns (Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, Girona, etc...) to really get a feel for Spain.<BR>There's another good bulletin board at madridman.com where you can find out all kinds of information.<BR>
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 11:47 AM
  #6  
lynn
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It also depends on your interests. If art, then don't miss the Prado Museum in Madrid and the El Greco house in Toledo. Toledo also is interesting in that it is not permissible to construct modern buildings there, so the town's historic character is preserved. <BR>History: Segovia's Roman aqueducts are amazing. Salamanca and Avila might be explored on foot - fascinating smaller old towns. <BR><BR>Most people recommend not spending too much time in Madrid, and I would agree that other cities have much more interesting architecture and character.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 12:25 PM
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Paula
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I agree with most of the posters above. I've been to Italy several times and only once to Spain, but am going back next year and checking what people say in fodors to help decide on new places to visit.<BR><BR>Some of my favorite places were: in Seville--the Plaza de Espana, the Barrio de Santa Cruz (loved getting lost in the twisty streets on the way to the Cathedral), the Alcazar, and seeing the flameco show at Los Gallos; Barcelona--the Gaudi architecture, especially Casa Mila, Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter with the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum; the Alhambra (did it as a day trip, which I was glad we did as I didn't like Granada that much); Toledo; the caves at Nerja; Ronda; the old city of Marbella.<BR><BR>While I wasn't thrilled with Madrid itself, it certainly is worth going to the Prado and Sofia if you're an art lover (which I am). But if I went again, I'd do it as a side trip from Toledo and stay at the Hostal Cardenal again.<BR><BR>I liked most of the people (honestly believe there are all kinds of people wherever you go and that if you are kind and polite, people will usually be that way in return). Liked the food (except the bread). We didn't have a bad bottle of wine the entire time there and it was very inexpensive. <BR><BR>While I love Italy too, there was something about Spain that really captured me. So much so, that I'm trying to learn Spanish now!<BR><BR>Check out some of the websites suggested--I like okspain.org, tourspain. es, spainalive.com, spainlist.com, and eurotrip.com--and guide books--I liked Foders, Frommers, and Rick Steves. <BR><BR>I'm sure you'll have a great time.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 12:31 PM
  #8  
tommy
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My advice to you would be to narrow down the area or cities that you want to visit, then ask again on this forum some more specific questions. And then do everything Maribel tells you to.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 01:27 PM
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Jackie
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Maribel,<BR> Any suggestions?
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 04:29 PM
  #10  
Maribel
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tommy,<BR>Thanks for your nice words, but no, not everything!! I just told the poster on another thread to go to the sparkling wine cellars-he doesn't drink!- and 4 museums in Barcelona-he's not a museum fan! Didn't know his interests well enough, and what I like might not be someone else's passion!<BR> gt<BR><BR>Seriously, Jackie,<BR>You've already been given some great suggestions above, and I really agree with CathyM that if you concentrate on the smaller cities you'll have an even more wonderful trip. And when you have your dates set, we can also direct you to any special festivals going on during that time that you could attend to make your visit even more spectacular. <BR><BR>Although I'm Spain obsessed, I do love Italy too and have done 4 trips there, feeling almost as &quot;at home&quot; there as in Spain. The 2 are actually similar in life style and in general character, so I think it's a guarantee that you'll enjoy Spain just as much, if not more.<BR><BR>I'm very glad that you have 3 weeks in the fall to spend. I just wouldn't overload my time with too much ground to cover. Spain is more than two-thirds the size of Texas. Madrid + the south alone makes a good, solid 2 week trip. And from Madrid you'll want to see Toledo, Segovia, Avila. If you also include beautiful Salamanca, another Castilian gem, and want time at the end to rest on a beach, then you'll be cutting into your time for Barcelona and other excursions in Catalunya (another &quot;country&quot; really in its own right, that you might want to leave for your 2nd trip). I think you'll want to pair it down a bit, decide first what areas are most important to you, of most keen interest and draw up a trial itinerary.<BR>(CathyM is very, very good at this). <BR>Then, if you'd like help refining it, come back and we'll give you more specific ideas. (I'm better at specifics than general info because I haven't been a first-timer in Spain for 30 yrs. plus I see the possibilites as just endless!)<BR>If you'd like to email me, feel free. I can better help you if I know a little more about your preferences, particular interests (history, art, architecture, hiking, gastronomy), age, budget, travel style as in fast,/slow, bus/train/car, country/city, budget/moderate/high end lodgings, etc. How did you travel in Italy, what areas did you visit and what did you most enjoy? Knowing this would help us to help you better.<BR>But I promise you'll have a great vacation!<BR>
 
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