Planning April trip to Spain, maybe?

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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:21 AM
  #1
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Planning April trip to Spain, maybe?

We have been in the planning stages for an April trip to Spain for several months. To be honest the economic/political situation in Spain has me nervous. A little background information, we are experienced travelers having been to Europe and Asia and Africa numerous times. In 2007 we were caught in the middle of the Air France strike that caused us to reroute and miss our entire journey to Italy. We managed to still have good trip but it cost us lost bags and a lot of extra money to avoid sitting at CDG for 5 days while it was all sorted out. We also experienced the riots in Bangkok several years ago. So perhaps a little apprehensive. The current airport strikes and the probably greatly exaggerated economic collapse of Spain gives me pause. I know no one has a crystal ball but looking for some local insight on this. Is this just the start of a cycle of travel chaos one week airports, another trains etc. So far we only have tickets from California to London which were reward upper class and are not exchangeable. I don't want to start a political science project but would like to hear from some people closer to the situation. Thanks.

Now for an actual travel question. I am trying to decide between Segovia and Toledo for a side trip from Madrid. We will also be going to Barcelona, Seville and Cordoba. Is one city more compact and easier to see in one day? Better, easier food options?
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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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Although both are lovely ,I found less to see in Segovia than Toledo.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:41 AM
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As your experience tells you those kind of strikes in Europe and elsewhere are, unfortunately, not that uncommon. I was caught in a wildcat strike at Barcelona airport in 2006, in the middle of the economic boom in Spain, so goes to show it can happen at anytime.

Regarding your other question, I like Segovia more. There might be more to see in Toledo if you like art, more specifically El Greco paintings. I think they are equally compact and you can go to either from Madrid via fast train (only 30 mins). I love to have cochinillo (baby suckling pig) in Segovia at Meson Candido or Meson Duque. I would suggest that you look at a travel book with pictures and decide which one is more to your liking. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer on this one.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Both Segovia & Toledo are easy trips. We took morning bus from Principe Pio station (12.50 euro round trip) http://www.lasepulvedana.es/ and were back by 4 pm. Viator resells day trips to Segovia/Avila & Toledo for people who prefer a tour http://www.viator.com/Madrid/d566-ttd?activities=all
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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:56 AM
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We liked them both. Tough decision. Here is a little general information on each city. As suggested many day tours to each city, but also an easy train ride. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/segovia and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_Spain
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Dec 6th, 2010, 11:59 AM
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P.S. www.maribelsguides.com
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Dec 7th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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I hope you have at least 3 weeks to see that much of Spain.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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Toledo! It is a remarkable place and we enjoyed it more.
Ejoy your time in Spain.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 10:09 AM
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Hi scfphoto,

as you already have your tickets to london, is there any reason why you have to book your spanish trip now? As you say the situation is very fluid - things may look very different in March.

Personally i would hang fire until at least January, so see what the new year brings. there are flight sales at the moment on Easyjet and Ryanair and I'd be surprised if there weren't some more after christmas, as the recession bites.

worst comes to the worst, you could stay in England [lovely in April] or choose somewhere in Europe that is easier to get to by train than Spain. as there are only two of you, accommodation should not be too difficult to find.

it sounds as if you are already aware of the advantages of travel insurance, but if not, I'd buy it now, before you book anything else. and look for the exclusion clauses - this is not the time for taking the cheapest option which turns out not to have volcano cover!
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Dec 7th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for all the info. We do have 3 weeks in Spain so we can spend at least 4 nights in each destination. We will probably wait till January before booking flights from LHR to Spain. We have to wait that long to book Renfe tickets anyway. Maribel broke the deadlock I think on Segovia vs. Toledo as she said it was her favorite day trip. Thanks again.
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Dec 7th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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I regret missing Segovia on our recent trip to Spain. We decided to go to Toledo as our day trip from Madrid. I really was disappointed in Toledo. To me, it was very drab and dull looking. I am not really a great admirer of El Greco because I find those elongated faces rather monotonous. One place I did appreciate was the synagogue strangely called synagogue of St. Mary Blanca. I advise you to pick up a map if the tourist office at the train station in Toledo is open when you arrive, if you go. The streets and allies are very poorly marked and I shudder to think about attempting a visit without a good map.

Pat
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Dec 7th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Oops! I stated it backwards Segovia was Maribel's favorite day trip in Spain and that is where we will try to go.
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