Possible Spain trip - what would you do?

Old Jul 30th, 2013, 12:07 PM
  #141  
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Thank you Joann! I have never been this nervous before & am hopeful as I said my umph will return.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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I'm sure it will! And, you will be fine!

I was nervous the year I went to Italy because of all the dire warnings about pickpockets and petty crime that I had read here. Once I got there, I was fine... no reason to be nervous if you just use some common sense. But, I also live in NYC so it is second nature to me. ;-)

You'll have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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Mom; joannyc made very good suggestions. But logistics getting to each place without a car may be tedious.

Our hotels have already been rented for three of those locations, [with much help for Fodorites]but we have a car.

I would try to end up in Salamanca, as there is a bus that goes direct to the airport.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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I could rent a car in Madrid the day my husband leaves and my daughter and I could explore ... We will have been in Spain for two weeks and will have drove for part of the trip. I would prefer not to - but am not completely adverse if it makes sense.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 01:20 PM
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A lot depends on your flight time home. Salamanca is a bit of a drive, perhaps two and one half hours to the airport.

With a car, you could consider something in reverse. Start in Segovia, then Salamanca and finally Toledo.

A shorter drive to the airport.

Have fun planning.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, and Avila!>>

yes, yes, yes! I've not been to Toledo or segovia, but I've no reason to beleive that you're going to be anything but perfectly safe there. As for Salamanca, the plaza major is one of the great architectural wonders of Spain, and should not be missed if you can possibly help it. And Avila is worth a visit if only for the gruesome sight of various bits of St Teresa.

sounds like a great way for you and your DD to finish the trip.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 01:59 PM
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Ann - my daughter is Theresa.. We will have to check out Avila ...

Iris thank you for the tips!!
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Ann - my daughter is Theresa.. We will have to check out Avila ... >>

I hope she doesn't find the remains of her namesake too gruesome, Mom!
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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Ann, I only remember seeing her finger with ring in the museum alongside the Convento. What else did I miss? I thought I saw everything including a visit to the Convento de la Encarnation.
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Old Jul 31st, 2013, 02:22 AM
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joannyc - good question. I turn to my trusty Michelin green guide [25 years old at least] as it's the book we had with us on that trip, and find.....nothing!

I have such a strong recollection of seeing something that was supposed to be her heart, and other bits - am I wrong? I don't think that i was so impressionable then that a mere finger would have freaked me out.

more research required, obviously, but i have to go to work so it will have to wait!
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Old Jul 31st, 2013, 05:20 PM
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I think she will be fine

She does not want to go to a bullfight - at all... After over a year of not eating meat she is becoming a bit of an animal rights person... I cannot even imagine her horror at a bullfight...
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Old Aug 1st, 2013, 01:55 AM
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still drawing a blank on St. Teresa.

as for bullfights, I've never been to one and I'm hoping to keep it that way. co-incidentally there was a programme about Alan Whicker last night; he was an innovative broadcaster of the 60s -80s, and he broadcast the 1st bullfight on the BBC, showing it quite neutrally, but it was clear how brutal it was.

The closest I've got is to turning on the TV in my hotel room in Spain and finding it being broadcast! I was really shocked and turned it off straight away.

so no need to go to a bullfight in Spain, just turn on the telly.
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Old Aug 1st, 2013, 06:57 AM
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MomDD

I have traveled just with my daughter to places where we stood out as foreigners - Morocco, Tanzania, Beijing, Turkey, Egypt. I always am cautious and book a hotel based on safety as I'm sure you would. We've never had a problem.

In Morocco in Fes I will say that no one "let" us out at night alone. If we went to dinner the restaurant sent a driver to pick us up and bring us back. I think this is more cultural as you just don't see local women out alone in some places there. In Rabat it is more modern and women are around and we went out alone.

In Spain we never felt unsafe. We are both small so I always feel like more of a target and act accordingly.

I've felt more unsafe visiting my daughter in west Philly than just about anywhere I've traveled.
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Old Aug 1st, 2013, 07:15 AM
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Gruezi - I had to LOL at the west Philly. When my daughter was about 11 or so we went on a trip and stopped in Philly (where I was born) and one night I felt a little unsafe. I don't want to project the wrong impression - I have been to NYC alone with her, DC and other places... I just have been a little hesitant since my last experience in Mexico. I am sure it will come around...

One question Gruezi - did you wear a head scarf in Morocco?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Another Groupon, this one includes Moroco and Avila.

http://viajes.groupon.es/24888207?nl...0_0_214&a=2025

http://viajes.groupon.es/24844629?nl...0_0_214&a=2025
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Old Aug 3rd, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Hi Mom,

No I do not think we covered our heads in Morocco except in mosques. We had a guide the whole time in Fes and he was very attentive to our safety and comfort. (Finding western toilets and such.) I did have a large scarf in my bag.

Regarding DC and Philly... I don't feel this way in NYC which to me for the most part feels very safe. But I've got one daughter living in DC and the other in Philly and there are definitely neighborhoods where I'm uncomfortable and have been approached by obviously intoxicated or high men. That never happened in Spain or Morocco. But partly I just don't know my way around these 2 cities the way I do NYC. In general, my feeling is that the prolonged poor economy in our country has been hard on many city dwelling people.
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Old Aug 4th, 2013, 05:55 AM
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Momddtravel2,

Just saw this.

We just returned from 10 days in Spain and 4 days in Marrakech.

In Spain, we stayed in Mijas, Pueblo (Costa del Sol) at a villa with fabulous views, swimming pool with outdoor shower and bathroom, 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, patio surrounding pool, outdoor eating area, fully equipped kitchen, lovely living room and dining area, a game room and beautiful gardens.

We loved the area. The villa was a short walk to the town so we only used the car for trips to Marbella, Ronda, Granada and a few other towns in the area. There are numerous restaurants, tapas bars (one with the best gin and tonics we have ever had), shops, small grocery store and a place to buy the most delicious roasted chickens.

It was a very long (and scary for me) drive up the mountains to Ronda but we enjoyed our visit there. Marbella's old town was interesting to see. Shops were all closed when we went but we did stop for a light lunch at an outdoor restaurant in the old town. Alhambra was beautiful! If you go, get your tickets ahead of time. We did not purchase before leaving home, but went online when we arrived in the villa and got tickets the day before we wanted to go and were lucky to get 4 tickets for the time we wanted.

We dined out almost every evening (walking to and from town) in Mijas Pueblo. One evening we had dinner at the Beach House in Marbella. Since we had a pool, we did not go to the beaches, but we spent one morning at the beach near this restaurant.

We absolutely loved Marrakech!

We stayed at the La Maison Arabe – lovely riad in the medina with very kind and helpful staff. We hired a guide for the first full day we were there but, due to the heat (114-117 degrees), we opted for a 2 hour or so tour of the souks. I wasn’t interested in making purchases but just wanted to experience the place. It was amazing! We attended the cooking class and found that interesting and informative and enjoyed it very much. We made our own lunch (chicken tagine) and, even if I do say so myself, it was delicious!

We had breakfast each morning and dinner each night in the hotel restaurant. We were there during Ramadan which was interesting. We made time to relax so we chose only a few things to do while there. We were near a mosque so we heard the call to prayer several times a day. The riad has a relaxing pool area right on the property but they also have a larger pool area in a lovely garden setting a short distance away from the riad. They have free shuttle service for that. We found time to just sit outside on the balcony early in the morning and late at night - very relaxing. We also visited the Jardin Majorelle - beautiful! We also went on walks on our own and did not have any concerns about doing that.

We were surprised at how tourists (girls, young and older women especially) dressed both in Spain and in Marrakech with very revealing clothing.

Hope this gives you some info. I found TA very helpful as well.

Happy travels!
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Old Aug 4th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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Hi MomDD. I can't help you much on your itinerary (in Spain we've only been to Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo). But I did want to commend you on a GREAT award itinerary! To fly 1) direct, 2) with good seats; and 3) for so little in miles and fees is a major score on your part!

This past July we had 4 FF seats to Germany. We had to use 60,000 miles each and the total fees were $500 - and I thought that was really good!

Congrats and happy trip planning!
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Mom; For your consideration.

A gym friend [saw him today] has a business and needs to go to Morocco for a week almost every month.

He would not go as a tourist. Stays in the hotel mostly and does not go out at night. He does not consider it safe.

I hope you have read the State Department advisory.

In the end it does mean a tourist can go there and have a great time without any problems.

But you need information from official sources and take comments from Fodorites like me with 'a grain of salt'.
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Old Aug 8th, 2013, 02:48 PM
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I agree Iris - I am really going to push for not going over - ultimately my husband & daughter will listen to my advice in the travel areana.

have paused on the details for now - hotels are booked, airfare and car rental ..apartment in Seville. I need to check about changing (extending) my daughter & my airfare home but have had do much going on I have not even done that..
So much great information here - I am excited to read throug it all & plan out some details soon
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