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The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

Old Apr 12th, 2014, 03:22 AM
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Following this! I'm planning a trip to Madrid & Andalucia in April/May 2015, and this is very helpful. And would love to attend a GTG, if possible!

Paule
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Old Apr 12th, 2014, 07:10 AM
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Here is the Shutterfly book my wife made of our trip to Spain last year. Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada, Ronda, Cadiz, Seville, short stay in Madrid.

http://share.shutterfly.com/share/re...=1EYt2Llw1ZMhA

Click on the book. Then click "full screen"

Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 12th, 2014, 10:24 AM
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I like your latest itinerary, Tom.
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Old Apr 12th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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Completely agree to add Ronda.
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Old Apr 12th, 2014, 01:00 PM
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Seville article in this weekend's NYT

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/tr...pain.html?_r=0
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Old Apr 12th, 2014, 03:33 PM
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Hi Tom
I'm late to this discussion but have read all the posts and like your latest plan best.

I had 3 weeks Spain in March/April 09, & my only regret was that I didn't take a car & wander around the "white towns" & other countryside a bit. Like you, I enjoy exploring the byways by car, with fluid plans.

My itinerary was Madrid about 10-12 days, with overnight trips (by train) to Segovia, Toledo & Salamanca.

That worked well and, as is often the case with "day-trip towns", the character was quite different at night.

I took a bus Madrid to Granada. I now can't remember why, perhaps because the schedule suited me better or maybe I just thought it would be a more interesting route.

There was nothing wrong with the bus/coach and we did go through some interesting countryside. However, I discovered my back doesn't particularly care for long trips on coaches. I think the seats may be contoured for taller people than my 5'5". No big deal, I just did my exercises & it was fine. It's a lesson I can forget quickly.

Loved Granada & was there for about 10 days, with a 2 night trip to Cordoba - up by bus & back by train.

I had friends in Madrid & Granada, so my trip was both greatly enhanced by seeing them & visiting their cities on a different plane than I'd have done otherwise - and also somewhat circumscribed by having only these two bases. Of course, another couple of weeks on my Spain leg of the trip would have been nice!

My friend in Granada has a little weekender farm about an hour out of town and we had a day & a night there, which was heaven.

Some people say they don't like Madrid. I thought it was beautiful, interesting & had plenty to keep me occupied in museums, galleries, gardens, restaurants & just walking around absorbing. We even went to the cinema one wet afternoon. It was my introduction to Spain & I've not been to Barcelona, so perhaps I'd divorce it if I were seduced by other Spanish cities.

In Granada I stayed in an utterly charming small Carmen just a few minutes from the Alhambra. Also a few minutes' walk down to Plaza Neuve, with spectacular views to the mountains and across the city in the valley below. It was my home away from home, and the owner a great source of info & assistance. As I write, it's a drizzly Sydney Sunday morning & I'm dreaming of the wisteria decked pergolas, a plate of cheeses & jamon, figs & a glass of vino in the sun.

I was lucky enough to be there for Santa Semana & the sights, sounds & atmosphere were truly memorable.

Tom, there's plenty to fill 2-3 days & nights, even for "energizer bunnies" like you 4.

I was going to say I hope you have a great trip - but I know you will. You can always find the off-beat, interesting & the charming wherever you go. Having a car for selected bits will enhance your experience. I'm sure. If not, you can always bail out & go back to trains.
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Old Apr 12th, 2014, 05:12 PM
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Just got home and saw all these great suggestions, photos and stories that will help enhance our Planes, Trains and Automobile (hopefully only one this trip) journey to Spain. By adding a few more days, it frees us up a little bit to not go at quite an accelerated pace (oh, who am I kidding), although day care for the cats and dogs could exceed the price of the vacation at this rate. Thanks again!!

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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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Another vote for Ronda. Also, we stayed at the parador in Toledo. From there the view of the town was like the El Greco painting. (It was awhile ago tho, so I don't know if the parador is still operational… I should do a Google………..)
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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It's still there. Mostly positive reviews on Trip Advisor.
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Grandma, was it possible to walk into town from the parador in Toledo?
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 11:54 AM
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No, it is too far to walk from the Parador into town. You need to drive, take a taxi, or I think there may be an hourly bus. That is the only reason I would not recommend this hotel. It is a lovely hotel with gorgeous views!

I prefer to stay in the middle of things so I can walk everywhere... and have some wine with my meals without worrying about driving! ;-)

I stayed at the Fontecruz in Toledo. It was very nice and a great location. Took a cab from the train station and glad I did as I would have never found it! And, I doublt that my gps would have worked in those tiny, tiny streets!

I did rent a car (outside the walls) the day before leaving Toledo to drive out to Consuegra and the windmills. I left the car in a free lot by the bus station on my return and took the bus back into town. The next day, I took a taxi back to the car with my luggage.

That day, I drove up to the parador to take some beautiful photos of Toledo from their property.
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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Hi Tom, I like your last itinerary also. I'll be going to Madrid this Wednesday - Monday of next week so will add even more opinions. I'll actually only have Thurs-Sunday as Wed. and Monday will be for travel. So check when Easter 2015 occurs--Prado is closed on Good Friday, FYI. For my art bucket list trip, 4 days will be about right. Again, I'll share info after.

I hoped to squeeze in a day-trip to Toledo but not sure if it's possible. One book said you need 2 full days to "see all the sights" there, however, a long morning visit will get you into the Cathedral. There are ample busses and trains to and from Toledo to Madrid so your ending up in Madrid, sans car, makes sense. There's also a very good (according to guide books) archeological museum.

Over the years, friends have told me how much they loved the Prado. Yesterday another friend (and an artist) said she liked Thyssen-Bornemisza more! As others have said, it depends on your tastes. Sorolla museum is a must for me.

Another pal said she almost fainted at the sexiness of the flamenco dancer!

You guys always come up with wonderful itineraries, despite the various opinions from us!
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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PS, FWIW, below is what I've noted for my 'to see' list in Madrid:

Prado
Thyssen-Bornemisza
Arte Reina Sofia
Museo Sorolla
Museo Galdiano
Museo Arqueologico
Palacio Real
Caixa Forum
Plaza Mayor
Plaza de Oriente
Puerta del Sol
Plaza de la Villa
Plaza de le Paja
Plaza de Santa Ana
Real Fabrica de Tapices
Calle de las Huertas area
Real Academia Bellas Artes de San Fran
El Rastro
Parque del Buen Retiro
Jardin Botanico

Café Gijón
La Trucha for tapas
Casa Patas for Flamenco or
Corral de las Morerías for Flamenco
Bull fight??
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 12:47 PM
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Yes, the archeological museum in Madrid is excellent IMO, and has recently reopened.

TDudette: You might also want to visit the Monasterios de las Descalzas Reales while in Madrid.
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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TDudette,

Two of the greatest flamenco dancers on the current scene perform at Corral de la Morería in Madrid the coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Olga Pericet was voted best female dancer 2011 by Spanish critics. http://vimeo.com/30444448
And Marco Flores was voted best male dancer 2009 and received the critics award at the prestigious Jerez festival in 2012. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-FVsvGBsR4

Info and tickets. Reservation is a must.
http://www.corraldelamoreria.com/
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 01:22 PM
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td - I'll look forward to your report. A bull fight, however, will not be on my agenda, because just like people in Chicago, I would be rooting for the bulls, which I think would be a "no no" in Madrid. Have a great time.

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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 01:46 PM
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TD and others on their way to the museums in Madrid. Do yourselves a favor and get online entrance for the special exhibits you want to see as it can be very disappointing not to be able to visit the museum when you have "planned". The special exhibits are quite popular and really merit a bit of planning if you want to see them.
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Old Apr 13th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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The stairwell in the Monasterios de las Descalzas Reales is absolutely stunning! Well worth being persistent to get in!!! Took me about 4 tries before I actually made the cut for entrance.
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Old Apr 14th, 2014, 04:58 AM
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LOL, tom and thanks for info from others!
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Old May 5th, 2014, 10:27 AM
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Hi Tom,

just found this via mikelg's "Spain less visited" thread, where i saw that you are planning to go to Spain next year.

looks like you've had some great advice, and shown even better judgment by taking it.
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