Spain Solo - Part 2

Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:16 PM
  #21  
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junknira is getting me excited about Spain too! I have read that Feria isn't really a tourist event since the casetas are mostly private, but I think it will be fun to be there during so much excitement.

Still trying to figure out a hotel. The Casona de San Andres is in between the El Centro & Macarena areas. Is this a safe place for a solo woman?

Comfyshoes, since you are also going during Feria - do you have any tips on reasonable lodging ($125 or less per night for a single?). Also, have you looked into getting tix for a bullfight?
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:31 PM
  #22  
 
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i have a colleague who does fun courses down in sevilla with cooking or flamenco classes, etc.,etc. and he says the people have a ball. it is a family stay so you are practicing everyday, along with the lessons.

has a lot of japanese going.
email me at my screeen [email protected] and i will send you his address.(donīt have it right now anyway!)
lincasanova is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:12 PM
  #23  
 
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Lolly, sorry for going missing a couple days....but I think your plan to limit your trip to Madrid and Seville is excellent. I think you'd need at least 2 days to see Madrid and I would absolutely try to get to Cordoba from Seville and Toledo from Madrid. I liked Madrid a lot but I am really a museum person, so I spent quite a bit of my time in the city in the museums near the hotel. Over time, I've realized that I liked Seville more than either Barcelona or Madrid, but I'd go back to both Seville and Madrid. I think spending time during the festival in Seville will be wonderful.

If you find you've overbudgeted your time in Madrid, definitely shoot for Toledo. It was magical for me and a nice place to walk (and shop!). If I had it to do over, I'd skip Segovia and Avila and spend more time in Madrid. I could have used more than 2 full days there.

As for buying train tickets, you can do it at any of the El Corte Ingles department stores (they have a travel agency), I did that a couple times. I was always near one it seemed and it was a minor surcharge for them to do it for me. But I bought my tickets to Toledo in Madrid at the station itself and the agents were easy to work with. I think you'd just get stuck in a line if you were there during rush hours.

I don't think you need too much time in Cordoba. I think I spent about 3 hours at the Mezquita. Stopping en route to Madrid is probably a great idea. I can't remember seeing lockers, but I read somewhere (Rick Steves, I think) that they have them there.
amyb is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:27 AM
  #24  
 
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if you plan to go during feria i would get your train tikcets ASAP. trains do sell out for holiday periods.
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Jan 23rd, 2007, 08:18 AM
  #25  
ComfyShoes
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Lolly100, I am staying at a Hilton resort within an hour or so of Seville for a week where I own a timeshare so my stay is, well, free until year-end when the taxes etc are due.

Haven't found a way to get tickets for bull fights because haven't thought about it. If you have pointers, I would welcome and very much appreciate them.
 
Jan 24th, 2007, 06:38 AM
  #26  
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amyb, you are fantastic! You already answered my next questions before I even asked them.

I was wondering how long I'd want in Cordoba...so it sounds like if I stop there for the afternoon on my way to Madrid, that would be good.

Also thanks for the tip on where to buy the train tickets. I'll be sure to purchase them as soon as I arrive, just in case.

I'm really happy & excited about my itinerary! I know it will be a quick trip, but I think it will give me a great taste of Spain without feeling too rushed.

Now I'm on to the hotel search. I did book a room at the Casona de San Andres in Seville for now - I got a pretty good rate - about $110 per night - which seems like a steal during Feria. I'd still like more feedback on this hotel from others though - any familiar with it?

In Madrid, I'm leaning towards the Room Mate Mario. The style really appeals to me - it's about $125/night - but I'm confused because the only way I've seen to book it online is to pre-pay & I don't really want to do that.

comfyshoes, how nice you have a place to stay! As far as the bullfights, it sounds like you have to wait to get your tickets there - you can't do it online. But during Feria, there is a fight every afternoon. I think that will be quite an experience! I'll let you know if I find out any other details...
Lolly100 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #27  
ComfyShoes
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Lolly, Yes, I am very lucky in this and a number of other aspects in life, and plan to relish this trip as well as many other things I reach out, touch, and do, both before and after.

Regarding bullfights in Sevilla, here is a website that lists couple numbers which I have yet to try:

http://gospain.about.com/od/bullfigh...lebullfigh.htm

I plan to call them in due course and will post here what they tell me.
 
Jan 26th, 2007, 09:32 AM
  #28  
kja
 
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Not to complicate your planning, but I thought a number of things in Cordoba in addition to the Mezquita (which is a must, IMHO!) were well worth seeing. For example, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos has lovely gardens and the glimpses of courtyards and gardens throughout the old city and Juderia were quite memorable and made strolling around a delight. I hope you enjoy your trip to Spain as much as I did!
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Feb 23rd, 2007, 11:00 AM
  #29  
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Thanks for the extra info on Cordoba, kja. I was looking at the AVE trains schedules. If I take a train from Seville to Cordoba that arrives at 11:45am, and then buy a ticket from Cordoba to my next stop Madrid that departs at 4:45pm - would that give me enough time to hit the highlights there? Or should I allow for more time?

Comfyshoes, find out any info on bullfights, other festivities during Feria?
Lolly100 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 12:30 PM
  #30  
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So I was really happy with my itinerary of 3 nights in Seville, then taking the AVE train to Madrid for 3 nights and stopping at Cordoba on the way.... UNTIL I kept reading posts on Fodors that rave about Granada. It seems like the Alhambra is overwhelmingly a favorite destination of those who have travelled in Spain. I would love to see it, but just can't think of a way to squeeze it in. What do you guys think?
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Mar 1st, 2007, 12:58 PM
  #31  
kja
 
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I'm a great fan of Granada and the Alhambra, but you can't do everything in one week! You could stop there, but to do so, you would have to spend less time in your other wonderful destinations. So you need to think through your priorities, and remember that you will be seeing and doing wonderful things with any plan!
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Mar 16th, 2007, 02:43 PM
  #32  
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kja, you're right. i want to see everything in Spain, but obviously i don't have time for it all. skipping granada this time will just give me an excuse to go back!

so regarding Cordoba, how long should i spend there on way from Seville to Madrid? i was thinking of stopping for 5 hours or so - will this be enough for the mezquita, or will i feel completely rushed?

from the advice i've received here, it sounds like i should buy my tickets for the AVE ahead of time since i will be there during Feria & it will be crowded.

it also sounds like if i buy online, then i just pick up at the train station using my credit card?
Lolly100 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 04:37 PM
  #33  
 
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Hi Lolly100

Your trip sounds great! I was semi-solo in Spain last year (I have a friend in Madrid, but he had to work a lot of the time, so I spent most days on my own) and felt very comfortable.

I know you are planning on the Prado. If you like art, don't miss the Reina Sofia, at least for Picasso's Guernica, and the Thyssen B...(can't ever quite spell it) for, in my opinion, a lovely collection.

Personally, after seeing the Palacio Real on a previous trip, last trip I had a great lunch in the elegant cafe across the square and just looked at it. Not my favorite palace on the inside, but nice to look at with wine in hand.

I loved shopping in Madrid and I am not a big shopper! I thought the clothes and shoes were cute and well-priced. I also found el Corte Ingles great for small last minute gifts of soap, etc. for friends at home.

The Retiro is nice to walk through.

The nightlife in Madrid is late and great! I did have said friend to take me around, but I felt fine alone in tapas bars and walking around lively pedestrian areas.

By the way, I found a post here on Fodor's that recommended an evening wine walk in Madrid that sounded fun, especially if you are solo.
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Mar 17th, 2007, 12:33 PM
  #34  
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Thanks so much for the advice on Madrid, annabelle2. I really appreciate it! I'm definitely getting excited for my trip - 1 more month. The tapas walk is a great idea! I'll have to do a search on here to find that post.

The only thing I'm still trying to figure out is how long to spend in Cordoba. I'm stopping there on my way from Seville to Mardrid. I'd like to buy my train tickets before I leave - since I'm there during Feria & it will be busy. Just not sure how many hours to allot for the Mezquita.
Lolly100 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2007, 09:22 AM
  #35  
 
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Lolly, in November I was in the Mezquita for at least 2 hours. I did the audio tour plus read whatever guidebook I had with me at the time, and sat for a bit and contemplated what I was seeing. That was with practically no crowd at all. Hope this helps you budget your time. I'd book a later train than you think you need and either eat or wander around the area nearby until it was time to head back to the train.
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Mar 19th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #36  
kja
 
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Hi, Lolly100. Your idea of 5 hours in Cordoba seems like a good one to me. I agree that 2 hours is about right for the Mezquita. As I recall, the train station is some distance away, so leave time for a taxi ride in both directions. With 5 hours in Cordoba, you would still have time to stroll through some of the old streets near the Mezquita, where you are encouraged to peek into people's lovely little courtyards, or to visit the gardens of the nearby Alcazar - and you would still have time for coffee (or whatever) if you want to take a break. Hope that helps!
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Mar 20th, 2007, 07:15 AM
  #37  
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Thanks so much, amyb & kja for the advice on Cordoba. I think I've decided to book the AVE train & arrive in Cordoba at 10:45am, and then depart at 4:45pm. I think I'd rather have time to spare than feel rushed. Plus I'm going to have to put my luggage in the storage lockers - and I'm sure it will take me some time for me to figure that out! That way I'll arrive in Madrid at 6:30pm - early enough to still enjoy the evening there.

What is the difference between tourist, first & club class on the AVE? Is it worth the extra money?

thanks again for your help, everyone. especially amyb - your trip report has been really helpful. i'm realy hoping to make it to Toledo from Madrid. even if i only go for a few hours, i'd like to get a taste of it. but with Toledo, i figure don't need to buy bus/train tickets in advance. it seems like there are plenty of ways to get there.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 10:55 AM
  #38  
 
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Lolly100
Here is the site for the wine walk of Madrid:
www.walksofspain.com

I didn't end up doing one, but it was recommended here at fodor's and sounds fun and interesting.

As you mention, it is easy to do a day trip from Madrid to Toledo and well worth it.

On my last trip, which was 2005, I did it by bus. I know the direct train is the newer option, so I can't comment on that, but even the bus was easy.

I took the metro from Atocha to the main bus depot and caught my direct bus to Toledo there (or you could take a taxi instead of the subway).

The trip was not long at all -- I am thinking about an hour?

The only slight inconvenience was that you must take a short city bus up the hill from the bus depot to get into old/historic Toledo. You get off at the central plaza and can walk through the meandering streets to all the main sites from there.
annabelle2 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2007, 11:08 AM
  #39  
 
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Oh, I meant to mention that I recently read about Room Mate Mario (your Madrid hotel) in an old Budget Travel magazine...I was trying to remember where I had heard about it, and I realized just a few minutes ago it was here on your thread.

Can you let us know how you liked it?
Thanks!
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Mar 30th, 2007, 07:10 PM
  #40  
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Thanks for the advice, annabelle2. I might check out the tapas walk, and I'm hoping to make a trip to Toledo if I can spare some time from Madrid.

I've received such great help on this board, I'll definitely post a trip report when I return.

My trip is just a few weeks away... Any final thoughts for Madrid/Seville/Cordoba? I'm getting very excited!
Lolly100 is offline  

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