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The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

Old Apr 4th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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It is interesting that the journey (rather than the destination) gets such short shrift. Often we've found delights along the way. Spent a month in May in Spain some years ago, all by train, with some memorable transit moments.

My thoughts, don't miss Granada, Cordoba or Toledo. If you have time in Barcelona, go to Monserrat, an easy day trip and spectacular scenery. Getting there by public transport is fun.

I like your idea of the car (my DH is a maniac driver, so out of the question for me - who needs to spend a holiday full of sedatives) and bet you will stumble across some ideal out of the way spots.

If the middle spot in the back seat is available, so am I.

Enjoy.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 11:52 AM
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Here's my latest wrinkle. In reading about all these cities and towns, the place that looks the least interesting to me (granted, this is only by reading) is Madrid. If we got in by train early enough ( 9:30 a.m.), would two days and nights in Madrid be enough?

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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 11:55 AM
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Do you plan to visit Segovia from Madrid?
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 11:57 AM
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Din't think of that. could that be a day trip?
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 12:23 PM
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I am very envious. I have wanted to do this trip for a few years now, but my work schedule is such that I can only really get away during the dog days of summer, and that's no good for Andalusia.

We lived in Spain for a year when I was a little girl, but I don't remember much.

Looking forward to seeing how your itinerary shakes out.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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I'm with you on Madrid have been there 3 times now and its never really stood out as a wonderful city. I've enjoyed the museums and the food has been good. I find the smaller towns far more interesting and Barcelona is fabulous.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:11 PM
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Like I said up above: If museums and nightlife are not top of the pops for you then skip Madrid or just use it as a "base" for day trips. I don't know why you are asking if 2 nights would be "enough". Is there anything in particular you want to see? You are not obliged to see it otherwise.

I happen to like Madrid a great deal but I like modern Spanish architecture and I spend all my time in museums. I also think the food and wine is much better than Barcelona and Sevilla (but not as good as other parts of Spain). and that the cafe scene in Madrid going on beyond midnight is great fun. But you can find that elsewhere in Spain.

I often recommend to people who are not interested in painting to immediately go elsewhere immediately if they are landing in Madrid airport. Take a train to Sevilla or switch flights to Granada or drive to Toledo or Cuenca.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Yes, Segovia can be a day trip from Madrid. I spent 2 nights there and enjoyed it. The aqueduct, castle, cathedral, suckling pig, etc. are the highlights but there is much more to see.

Loved Salamanca! But, not really a day trip from Madrid. Need a few nights there, IMO.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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It's obvious many here do not know much about Madrid. It's more interesting than Barcelona (overpriced) and has a lot to offer besides its dozen or so great museums. If you only hang out in and around the Puerta del Sol, then yes, it doesn't stand out quite as much, but try heading out into some of the other the neighborhoods and see what the rest of the city has to offer (Malasaña, Chueca, Alonso Martinez, El Madrid de los Austrias, Lavapies, Letras, Chamberi, Salamanca, Retiro, La Latina).

http://www.esmadrid.com/en/portal.do
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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I found two days plenty for Madrid, but then, I prefer Portugal to Spain and Lisbon to Madrid. There are other places in Spain I would revisit before Madrid, although mostly in the north.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 02:41 PM
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Segovia is, indeed, easily visited as a day trip from Madrid. I spent a night and full day there, but it was my recover-from-jetlag location. I suspect that seeing it as a day trip would have been sufficient for my interests.

As for Madrid itself, I think it really depends on your interest in art. I love art and found 4 very full days in Madrid itself barely adequate. For those who are not interested in art, a day or so, plus whatever time you allocate for day trips, may be sufficient.

That said, based on your last proposed itinerary, I still think you are trying to fit too much into this trip. Shifting time away from Madrid -- a gateway city -- to Andalucia -- which is harder to reach -- makes a great deal of sense to me.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 03:10 PM
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I generally don't like big cities while on vacation. My first trip to Madrid was for 5 nights with a couple of day trips on the agenda. I never got to do the day trips because I found so much to see in Madrid. And, I didn't visit the big three museums. I did spend a few hours at the Prado.

Here's a link to my Madrid itinerary for my first visit. Scroll down a bit to see it. Further down are a few photos of some interesting places I saw. And, do buy the convent cookies! Not only delicious but make a cool story to tell when you get home.

http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott...ge/63847#63847
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 04:14 PM
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I think everybody who is saying Madrid has more than art museums is of course correct (I think I said some version of that myself) but I don't see any configuration of the particular trip under discussion where it makes sense for this traveler to spend time in Madrid investigating its likable lesser known neighborhoods. My feeling is that if he likes Spain he will come back and catch up with what Madrid has to offer. For this trip it might make more sense to head straight to the stuff that is exciting him (and his companions) about Spain. This is not a long trip.

Or course if the OP reads these added descriptions of Madrid and gets excited then sure. But a lot of people go to Madrid thinking they "should" because it is the capital but I don't think it is a big deal to skip it if it isn't calling to you when you are making travel plans.
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 04:27 PM
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We spent 5 nights in Madrid in '12 and 1 night last year - and we loved it. We visited one museum - a "house" museum. Our thing is non-modern building architecture, conservatories, palaces, and interesting neighborhoods - which were abundant in Madrid. We dined at some fabulous (but expensive) restaurants.

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 6th, 2014, 05:34 AM
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BTW, have you considered flying from Barcelona to Granada and just putting Madrid at the end? Vueling has direct flights starting at 50 euro. I am not usually a fan of flying rather than taking the train, but it would save a chunk of boring backtracking.
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Old Apr 6th, 2014, 08:39 AM
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Bookmarking for all the fabulous information as I plan for upcoming trip.
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Old Apr 11th, 2014, 04:53 PM
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My newest crazy plan….added some days to the trip…you only live once

5 Nights Barcelona
Early flight to Granada (2 nights)
Train to Seville (3 nights)
Rent Car - Cordoba 2 nights
Drive to Toledo (2 or 3 nights) drop car (if I can)
Train or drive to Madrid (4 nights with day trip to Segovia by train)


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Old Apr 11th, 2014, 05:02 PM
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Seems a pity to miss the white towns, especially if you're renting a car. If you're renting in Seville you could visit, say, Ronda, before Cordoba. I'd take the train rather than a car to Toledo. Even with a change in Madrid it will be faster.
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Old Apr 11th, 2014, 05:14 PM
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IMO, much better!

And (as is so often the case) I agree with thursdaysd.

Should be a wonderful trip.
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Old Apr 11th, 2014, 06:35 PM
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Re-calculating!

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