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The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

Old May 5th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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annhig - After 20 years of marriage, I have FINALLY learned to take good advice. Those "Spain less visited" places look great, but sadly that will have to be another trip.

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Old May 5th, 2014, 02:47 PM
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Oh Tom, but you HAVE to rent a car and do a roadtrip, if only for the joy of reading the trip report, lol! Seriously, Spain -is- amazing road trip country.

The first time (pre-Fodor's) we went to Spain, we did the biggies. Could have benefited from better planning but we were still in our naïve 'winging it' days. We had a blast, this is what we did:

- Flew to Madrid, picked up a car in the airport and hailed straight to Segovia, spent 2 nights

- day trip to Avila (did not love it, it was rainy and cold), drove to Toledo, spent 2 nights. Stories involve a 25point turn with the car in the old town. Loved it.

- 1 night in Cordova.

- 2 nights in Seville (the car was a real handicap, driving into town was not an experience I care to repeat.

- 1 night in Jerez de la Frontera (nice!)

- Day trip to Cadiz (liked it but in hindsight, I would have skipped this), spent the night in a deserted roadside hotel and had an amazing unexpected seafood cazuela in their restaurant. I can still taste it....

- day trip to Gibraltar (also skipable IMHO) and spent 2 nights in Ronda (WOW!!!, the plan was only 1 but we liked it so much we stayed another). The drive to Ronda is a destination upon itself.

- 3 nights in Granada... and could have easily stayed 3 more. This is one of my all time favorite places in Spain. So much more than the Alhambra (do day AND night visits). If we ever meet in person I will tell you about driving to the hotel through an alley (as per their directions) with 2cm on each side of the car....it was hilarious (afterwards).

- visited friends in Denia (skip)

- we were looking for a place to overnight before Madrid and picked Cuenca out of the map...WOWOWOWOWOW! Stole a day from Madrid just to stay another full day and savour the town. Still one of my favorite places

- Madrid, 3 nights. It is a wonderful place, art is amazing, food is great, but, ya know, I prefer others.

--------------

So, I'm going to suggest you take a look at The Backroads of Spain guidebook.... might keep you occupied for a year of two.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 01:59 PM
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annhig - After 20 years of marriage, I have FINALLY learned to take good advice. Those "Spain less visited" places look great, but sadly that will have to be another trip.>>

yes, but who's advice, maitai?
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Old May 6th, 2014, 05:16 PM
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Thanks marigross..thanks for the insight. Yes, Granada is an interesting conundrum for me as to how long to stay. I might just retire so I can get more days in on this trip.

annhig - the one-word answer….Tracy's

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Old May 6th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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Yes, rooting for the bull is a no no, we never went to an actual fight but saw many on big screen TVs in bars. I got horrible looks when I cried.
Glad the advice tip has sunk in, my DH learned a bit quicker than you, but it's 20 years today for us ! And we're in Bali blissing out !
Wouldn't be dead for quids....
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Old May 7th, 2014, 01:12 AM
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Maitai - of course, i should have known.

Well, Tracy will never forgive you if you don't do the night-time visit to the Alhambra as well as the day time one. the illuminated Nasrid palaces are just magical, and they let in far FEWER people than they do during the day.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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sartoric - congrats

annhig…I think that is what we're planning to do! Thanks.

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Old May 8th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Next question: I keep hearing about all these Flamenco shows. I pretty well assume that we will only go to one.

So, in your expert opinions, in all the cities we are visiting (Barcelona, Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba, Toledo and Madrid), what Flamenco show would be the ONE we should attend? I have my Flamenco boots on in anticipation. Gracias!

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Old May 8th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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when Kimhe sees your exact dates he will tell you who the biggest and most up and coming dancers are so you can decide. He is a wealth of info. I don´t think Granada is going to be the place. Most likely Madrid, perhaps Sevilla depending on the schedules.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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I am in Madrid as I type this and was worried that 4 nights would be too much...and planned a few day trips (nothing booked but just knew what our options were) I have to tell you, I am IN LOVE with this city... today we spent the day riding bikes in Parque del Retiro - stunning... loving the slow travel - we have gone to several different areas - and loved them all. Madrid was the least interesting to me as well before I landed...now... just excited to see more of Spain.

Our apartment (too large for you and Tracey) is simply stunning, I love the area it is located (Thanks Fodorites!) The food...oh the food! The Sangria ...oh the sangria!

I don't think you will regret Madrid!
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Old May 8th, 2014, 04:53 PM
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I completely agree about Madrid. I never had any desire to visit it but on a trip 2 years ago I booked 5 nights using points. Thought I would spend a couple of days seeing Madrid but the bulk of the time doing day trips. Found so much to see and do in Madrid that none of the day trips ever happened that year! It is a city that I could live in. Heck, even the beggars dress better than I do! LOL!!!

Mom, do do the convent cookies purchase while there! Great cookies and a very cool story to bring home.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 03:30 AM
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<what Flamenco show would be the ONE we should attend?>

On a general basis, I would say that Casa Patas in Madrid has been the best tablao (flamenco restaurant) in Spain in recent years. Only top artists and great atmosphere. http://www.casapatas.com/

Some clips from Casa Patas the past two years:

Fuensanta La Moneta, voted best female flamenco dancer 2009 by Spanish critics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbO_lw2xWtU

Pastora Galván, voted best female flamenco dancer 2010 by Spanish critics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY6Vy9tKW3U

Olga Pericet, voted best female flamenco dancer 2011 by Spanish critics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55waEsaBzjM

Fantastic and cutting edge Israel Galván has revolutionized male flamenco dance during the past decade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL9Wav9v7Jc

Estrella Morente, now the world's most famous cantaora (female flamenco singer): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sejSYMSQDZo

In Córdoba, there is this new place called Arte y Sabores de Córdoba. From reactions both on tripadvisor and their newly established facebook-page, it shows that the place has gained a high reputation among both flamenco aficionados and flamenco artists in a very short time. This is the atmosphere and spirit of a local peña/flamenco club:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4gMn1fqRf4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whP0qSXAy8s
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Old May 9th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Thanks moms and joannyc - Looks like Madrid is in!

kimhe - lots of fun info (and videos). I danced my way through breakfast. Thanks.

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Old May 23rd, 2014, 08:37 AM
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How far in advance can you purchase Alhambra tickets? Thanks.

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Old May 23rd, 2014, 03:46 PM
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Gosh Tom - I'm not sure... I purchased our tickets for May 11 in Feb... I'm glad I did - they were sold out for that day.
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Old May 24th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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Looks like it is 90 days…

I don't know if Robert is hanging around here, but his suggestion of Valdepeñas and then windmills on the way from Cordoba to Toledo sounds great. Robert do you know of any special place in Valdepeñas to stop for a good vino experience? Gracias!

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Old May 27th, 2014, 01:10 PM
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When we went to Spain a few years ago we stayed 5 nights in Madrid with a day trip to Toledo and an overnight to Segovia. Worked out great for us. We took the bus to Segovia and back to Madrid - very easy. Then we flew to Barcelona for 4 nights.

We really liked the sights in Barcelona but preferred the vibe in Madrid.
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Old May 28th, 2014, 02:03 PM
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I might have to just retire so I can enjoy all these places without worrying how many days I spend in Spain.

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Old May 28th, 2014, 09:21 PM
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Any opinions on the day trip to El Escorial from Madrid?
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Old May 29th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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maitaitom - enjoy! We truly loved our two weeks in Spain and each city has it's own flavor and feeling. We are really glad we rented a car and went to Ronda and spent a two nights there - it has a different feeling after the day trippers leave and the Parador room 220 overlooking the gorge was stunning!!
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