Spain....a surprise of a lifetime

Old May 18th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Spain....a surprise of a lifetime

Dear friends, My mother's dream has always been a visit to Spain. I would like to give her the surprise of a lifetime by arranging a trip to Spain for 7 days. Where should i start? What cities should i consider? What areas would be memorable for a 69 years old to see and visit? Alas, any help, would be deeply appreciated.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Lord, lay off the guy. You don't know him, so why are you so quick to play psychologist? You appear to be quite the jackass here.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 01:49 PM
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dear bob, jeez, a control freak?? hardly!!! In the midst of your reprimand you have given me an excellent idea that of giving her a tour book....keep those ideas coming....
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Old May 18th, 2003, 01:52 PM
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Hey Bob, bad day? How rude!

Bluewater - DON'T let him ruin a beautiful gesture and what can be a beautiful trip. Get a guidebook or 2 and see what you think might interest your mom. There are many people here on this sight who know a lot about Spain and I'm sure you'll get helpful input. Have a great time planning!
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Old May 18th, 2003, 02:24 PM
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I visited Spain only once, rather superficially, and it was more than 30 years ago. However, if Spain appeals to your mother's imagination, I think is is quite likely that Andalucia is Spain of her dreams. That was certainly true for me. I would very very strongly recommend going to Granada and Sevilla, also Cordoba (but absolutely don't miss the Alhambra in Granada and the old part of Seville). Thirty years ago I was in love with Ronda, a much smaller white town in Andalucia perched high up on a cliff straddling a gorge. There were not too many tourists around, and the way of life seemed simple and traditional. I very much doubt that that would be true now, although the geographic setting would still be spectacular even if the town may now be ruined by too much tourism.. I also liked Segovia very much, but was there for only a few hours. If I were to go to Spain again now, I would probably want to see Catalonia and also the Basque areas around the Pyrenees, but if I had a long enough time to re-visit places I saw 30 years ago in addition to seeing new places, I would go back to the Andalucia region and simply skip Madrid, which I did not find very appealing.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 02:30 PM
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I agree that the Spain of your mother's dreams would be Andalucia. You can start your research by perusing the Petrabax offerings here:
www.petrabax.com/tours/
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Old May 18th, 2003, 02:51 PM
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Dear Iregeo,cmt,and Maribel,
Iam jotting down all your wonderful suggestions. Please know that your help is much appreciated.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:10 PM
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Hi Bluewater.

I am no expert on Spain, but have been there once. I seem to have some favorites different from most people who post here. While most people love the Alhambra in Granada (and the city as a whole), I was awestruck by both the Mezquita and ancient, tiny synagogue in Cordoba. Also, I did love Seville, but also loved Madrid, a very beautiful cosmopolitan city. Many people here say stay away, but I loved it. Toledo was interesting, but, in my opinion, too touristy. Do investigate staying in a parador, which are interesting castles, palaces, monestaries, etc. which have been purchased by the Spanish government for tourist lodging and dining. We stayed in one in Jaen (a good medieval castle reproduction) and it was a fun experience.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:12 PM
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thank you iregeo!!!
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:15 PM
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I would definitely second the Andalucia suggestion. I was there 2 years ago, and eventhough I am Mexican (we have strong Spaniard roots), it was an incredible experience. Which places to go? I loved Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba and Cadiz. One piece of advice: if you are sending her to Granada to see the Alhambra, buy tickets in advance (on-line, I do not have the website but I have seen it in this site). It can happen that if you arrive without tickets you will not be able to enter, as there is a limited amount of tickets issued everyday.

My best wishes
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:19 PM
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Aw, gee, I think Bob was really out of line the way he expressed his thoughts, but I do agree that your mom ought to be doing most of the planning here. Don't know about anyone one, but for me, planning is half (or more) of the fun. It would be a beautiful idea for you to give her a tour book with a card in it saying "I.O.U. one trip to Spain--where and when would you like to go?" You're a wonderful son. Hope your mom has a dream trip of a lifetime.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:48 PM
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I also agree with last poster. Bob was a dick, but I think his essential point was near the target:

Buy her a Spain guide book, inside with plane tickets (I'm sure you can imagine her reaction... gee son thanks for this book.. flips pages... sees plane tickets...faints). Let her use the book and pick out places (of course you can help, but if it's a trip for her, she should make the final decisions).
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Old May 19th, 2003, 04:39 AM
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Dear betogarcia, Swan 51, And RAR,

Thank you for all the wonderful ideas....and, by the way, iam her daughter (wink).
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Old May 19th, 2003, 05:22 AM
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<<Thank you for all the wonderful ideas....and, by the way, iam her daughter (wink).>>

Oh, in that case you'd be a rotten son and a wonderful daughter (winking back at you). Happy planning!

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Old May 19th, 2003, 06:25 AM
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Have been to Spain many times. Maybe the best bet in this case is to have a guided tour throughout SOME of Spain through a reputable travel agent. This way there may be nothing to worry about since most arrangements are made and she can relax and enjoy. Too much could be hectic so try to limit to several major cities with some day trips. What a glorious present!!!
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Old May 19th, 2003, 06:41 AM
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bluewaterpond -- having only been to Andalucia myself (for my honeymoon in 2000) it is the only part I can recommend. I agree with the others, though, that it is magical. We loved Granada, Seville, Ronda. Cordoba we liked, but it is a quick trip (like Ronda) perhaps a day.

One tip besides getting your Alhambra tix in advance -- we intended to get our tickets from the local bank when we got to Spain. However, we missed getting them Friday, then it was the weekend . . . long story short, we saw a flyer in our Granada hotel for a bus service that will take you round-trip to the Alhambra, get your tickets and also provide a guided tour. I think it was around $20 or so per person -- more than the tix alone, but the guide was well worth it! I'd do it this way again in a heartbeat.

Also, you might try to reserve one or more of the paradors for your trip. Some of them (like the one at the Alhambra) are quite popular and book up to a year in advance for high season. But, they are usually in historic buildings with beautiful scenery and most include a lovely restaurant with traditional foods. Very enjoyable.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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Dear Swan51, Thomas, Lissetemac,
How gracious of you all to provide such an useful information. thanks Again!!!
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