Spain Solo - Part 2

Jan 21st, 2007, 08:35 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
Spain Solo - Part 2

I'm sorry to be starting a new thread - but it wouldn't let me post to my old thread. Has this happened to anyone? What do you do?

Anyway, this forum is FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for the advice, kristina & cruiseluv. Kristina, I absolutely loved your Spain trip report & photos! I was laughing at you being a "travel tyrant" - I feel I'm kind of the same way. I love to plan, plan, plan! It looks like you had an amazing time & makes me want to go even more.

I was able to find an open jaw ticket - so let me know how this plan sounds-

Sunday - arrive Seville 1pm
Monday - Seville
Tuesday - Seville (1st day of Feria)
Wednesday - leave Seville & take AVE to Madrid. Could I stop in Cordoba on the way for a few hours? Are stops allowed on the AVE?
Thursday - Madrid
Friday - Madrid
Saturday - fly home from Madrid

Does this sound do-able for a first time solo traveller? Do you think that is enough time in each place? I'm really excited about the thought of being in Seville during Feria - although I will really only be there one day for it, I think it will give me a great taste of it. Or should I stay longer in Seville?

As soon as I work up the nerve to buy a plane ticket, I'll have to start researching hotels, esp. in Seville since I'm sure they get quite full during Feria. My open jaw ticket is running $639 plus tax from the midwest - does that seem reasonable?

Thanks again for all the help & advice.

Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:44 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,491
you can stop in cordoba, just buy two tickets. one to cordoba and one to sevilla.
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 10:00 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
If I stopped in Cordoba, is there a place to store luggage at the train station?
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
Another thought I had - would I be better off spending 4 nights in Seville & 2 in Madrid? After doing more reserach, I have a feeling I may be more interested in Seville. Especially during Feria. I'm sure there is quite a bit to do in Madrid, but could I see the major sights in 2 days? Maybe the Prado, Royal Palace & Botanical Gardens? I've read many conflicting reports on Madrid on this forum - seems like people either love it or hate it.
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 12:09 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,211
Hi Lolly,

That's strange that it didn't let you post again to your own thread!

Regarding the Fiesta in Sevilla... I didn't go to Sevilla during Feria so I can't comment from first hand experience. There was a very recent thread discussing the pros and cons of going to Sevilla during the Feria. I am not implying it's a bad idea as I have never attended it. Maybe those posters will comment under this thread.

Regarding the stopover in Cordoba, I found this post:

"Author: fluffnfold
Date: 07/20/2006, 11:17 am
thezanmiller:

I'm planning to stop over in Cordoba en route from Madrid to Seville next month. I purchased two separate tickets, rather than to try to squeeze in the visit on the 3-hour layover between parts of the same itinerary. Madrid to Cordoba, 2 hours, cost 58 Euros per person (Preferente Class); Cordoba to Seville, 45 minutes, cost about 16 Euros per person (Club class). I think that I chose non-peak times for each, although they were just the times that we wanted to go anyway. We're planning to "layover" for about 6 hours in Cordoba. While I'm sure that's not enough time to fully appreciate the city, I figure that it's better than not stopping at all, and we should certainly be able to see the Mezquita in that length of time. (We'll take cabs to/from the train station to save time; 4 to 5 Euros each way.) As for luggage storage, I'm hoping that what I've read is true, since we will also have our bags with us. Supposedly, there are three types of lockers available (small, medium, large). However, there are only 12 large lockers available. Prices are 2,40E, 3,00E, and 4,50E per day. I'm not sure where I found that luggage storage info, but I believe it's at the train station. If not, it's at the bus station, right next door. If you hear anything else, please post."


I like the way you have distributed the days. I would keep the 3 nights in Madrid. If you feel you have done everything you want to do in Madrid the first full day there, you could do a day trip to Toledo or Segovia.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 12:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 320
About Seville, have you made your hotel reservations yet??? I have read a couple posts here that rooms are very hard to find and very expensive, even for those willing to stay in surrounding towns.

If I were you, I would see what is still available in Seville before making firmer plans.
GBbabe is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 12:49 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Lolly-
Yes, I've heard of other posters having a hard time replying and I don't know why that happens.
I think you itinerary looks ok. Keep in mind your arrival day might be a bit of a wash. By the time you arrive at your hotel, settle in, maybe take a rest, it will be dinner time.
Yes, you should be able to make a stop in Cordoba. I do think they have luggage storage at the train station. Do a search here, I think that question has been asked before.
As for taking a day off Madrid, that's a tough call. I love Madrid, so I'm of the camp that would day leave your itinerary as is, giving equal time to both destinations.
Kristina is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:25 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
Another plus to keeping your schedule as you have it is that you could take a daytrip from Madrid to either Toledo or Segovia--both are great and well worth seeing.

IMO the Botanical Gardens in Madrid weren't really worth the trip, but the Prado and Sofia are both amazing.
artlover is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 01:34 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
Thanks once again cruiseluv & kristina!

Alright, I have made up my mind. I'm going to do this trip! Once I confirm tomorrow at work that I can have that week off, I am booking my ticket!

Thanks for all the encouragement.

After hearing your replies - I think I will keep 3 nights in each Seville & Madrid. However, I realized after reading amyb's trip report that many sites in Seville are closed on Monday. So I thought-

Sunday - arrive Seville 1pm, wander around
Monday - day trip to Cordoba
Tuesday - bullfighting & feria
Wednesday - alcazar & cathedral
Take Wed evening AVE to Madrid & stay there until Sat. Visit Prado, Palace, gardens.

GBBabe, I have checked out hotel rooms in both Madrid & Seville. In Madrid, I am pretty much set on Hotel Mario. I like that it looks fun & funky - it also got good reviews. It's $125/night which seems reasonable. It seems to be in a good location - near the Opera metro. Would that be a safe area for a solo woman traveller?

As far as Seville, you're right. That's a little harder. I found Hotel Casona de San Andres on booking.com for about $125/night also. It got pretty good reviews on tripadvisor. And I like the looks of it - moorish influence. It is near Calle Amor de Dios & Calle Jose. Again, is this a good area for solo woman?

Any advice on those hotels would be appreicated. Also, how do you buy tickets to a bullfight during Feria? I've done searches, but can't find anything. It is really fun planning! I am off to the library now to get some books on Spain for more research...can you tell I'm an over-planner?
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:12 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Lolly-
We liked the hotel we stayed at in Sevilla (the Puerta de Sevilla). The rooms were small, but it was right in the center of things and we were able to walk everywhere.
I checked the rates and while they have not changed, I was shocked to see they were DOUBLE during Feria. Still, a single is 130 euro if you're interested.
As for the area near the Opera in Madrid, that should be fine. My mother and I never felt unsafe walking at night in Madrid. However, use the same precautions you would in any big city.
I can also recommend the Hotel Intur Palacio in Madrid-looks like the rates are 115-120 during your dates.
You might also consider Priceline for Madrid. We got very lucky and "won" the Westin Palace right across the street from the Prado for $130 a night I think. It was fantastic. Looks like 4 stars are significantly less too.
Kristina is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 02:51 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
Thanks for the hotel info, kristina. I know, rates during Feria are definitely pricier! That's why I thought the Hotel Casona de San Andres was a good deal - it's just hard to decide based on a few reviews on tripadvisor.

I have to admit I'm kind of a chicken about Priceline - just for the fact that since I'm such an over planner, I like to choose a particular hotel for myself. But wow, that's a deal for the Westin!

As far as taking the trains to Cordoba & Madrid, would I be ok just buying them at the station? I'm not sure I want to buy them ahead of time because I don't want to be locked into a time. I'd rather go with the flow.
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Train tickets....I don't know. I'd think during a holiday week, it would be best to buy in advance.

We bought our tickets on arrival in Madrid in the airport. I don't know if there is a similar office in Sevilla at the airport. You could go to the train station or travel agent however. I don't think I'd wait until the day of however.
Kristina is offline  
Jan 21st, 2007, 08:03 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,211
Hi Lolly,

How exciting that you are taking the plunge!

Regarding train tickets.... You should try to get in advance. I remember when I was in Sevilla ( again, not during Feria or any major Holiday) I bought the AVE tickets the day before and my son and I had to seat separate. The train was packed!!!

I think your trip sounds great, Not a lot of days but it will give you a flavor of the cities you are visiting.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:13 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
Thanks kristina & cruiseluv!

Who am I kidding - being such a planner, I'm sure I'll want to have those AVE tickets in hand before I go. I'll just have to figure out my schedule.

So work approved that week off...now nothing is holding me back from buying that airline ticket...except FEAR!

I really want to do it, but am definitely nervous about travelling alone. Especially since I don't speak any Spanish. Although I was thinking of taking a beginning Spanish class before I go. I guess it's both scary & exciting at the same time.
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:25 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,491
how about a one week course in sevilla with language, excursions and family stay?

an economical way to travel and meet people at same time, and see all the important sights guided by an expert.

lincasanova is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
That's an interesting thought, lincasanova. Where do I find more info?
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 08:11 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,400
Lolly-
Get some beginner's Spanish Language CDs and listen in your car on the way to work. if you take public transportation, then listen on an ipod or something.
Spanish is one of the easier languages to pick up IMHO.
I honestly don't know if you will be able to buy your train tix in advance without paying a premium to a 3rd party service. Unless things have changed, I could not figure out how to do it when we went.
Kristina is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 657
-Lockers were available Cordoba Stationa acouple of years ago. Presume still there.
-I'd book all train tickets as soon as I arrived. I happened to hit one Mothers Day and had to upgrade to get the schedule needed.
-Re schools: I did precisely what was suggested a few years ago. I wanted to be in Seville during Semana Santa and rates were high and availability low. I signed up for classes at "Lenguaviva" and they found me a studio in Santa Cruz on Plaza Invaledades. Fantastic. Just google "Spanish schools Seville" and you find plenty of options.
weber6560 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:09 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3
i have found spain to be very safe for lone travelers, a long as you remember the basics for any travel, don't keep all money/credit cards on you or at least in the same place on your person. the feria's are notorious for bringing out the pickpocketers. if you will use your atm, which is fine/easy there, you will need to change your pass to 4 digits only! don't worry about not speaking spanish, you will get by with a phrase book, the spanish are very accomodating. do get your hotel/ave tix asap, Sevilla will be crazy packed! don't forget to prepare yourself for their schedule. most importantly, enjoy yourself and try everything! (a little tip from azureva.com "Though the casetas are often private parties, and it is difficult for tourists to get an invitation, it's in the alleys between the casetas that the real party happens. The flamenco rhythms whip the crowd into a frenzy of dance and good times. Don't be afraid to join in. You'll see. It won't be long before someone grabs your hand and you're dancing with the rest of them! "
junknira is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #20  
ComfyShoes
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Junknira, Your last sentence is making me look forward to our trip too. Of course, I am referring to the excitement. As a married man, my hands usually are either in my wife's hands or in my pockets where it can be hard to reach'em unless someone is trying to pick my pockets!
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:11 AM.