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The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

The Train In Spain And Maybe Take A Plane?

Old May 29th, 2014, 06:26 AM
  #101  
 
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el escorial is a very nice trip.. amazing place.. magnificent. also the scenery is a nice change from a city.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 06:32 AM
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there are so many great small towns..

http://www.theguardian.com/travel/20...dalucia-madrid



http://www.thelocal.es/20131007/spai...tiful-villages

I'd see Alcala de Henares with no car on commuter train from madrid unless you will only make a coffee stop, walk around and continue onwards with luggage in the car., then drive many places towards your destinations in Andalusia, dropping car in Sevilla. or parking it for the Sevilla duration. then continue on to other small places along the way. it seems you like small towns, of which Spain is FULL of and are really the most interesting places.. and with a car mush easier. No car needed in Madrid, Seville or Barcelona.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 07:40 AM
  #103  
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I enjoyed El Escorial, but unless your plans have changed quite a lot, I don't see how you would fit in. I certainly would not give up time in Toledo or Segovia for it, nor would I give up a day in Madrid unless you have at least 3 or 4 days just for Madrid, but maybe that's just me. I stick to my recommendation to put as much time as you can to your destinations other than Madrid, with the plan to visit It on a different trip.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 08:11 AM
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yes.. so much to see... with a farm though, you CAN do two of the stops at nonce quite easily.. then move on . Segovia and El Escorial are doable.. but a long day, or then sleep near there or a bit onward on your trip.

There will always be trade-offs. You plan well, so I know www are going to see a great report! I wish I were on one of your paths but I do not see Valencia in the workings.. yet!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 09:06 AM
  #105  
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Sorry, maitai -- I just now realized that the question about El Escorial was not yours.
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Old May 29th, 2014, 09:41 AM
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Re Madrid, I spent 3 days there in March, and while I enjoyed myself in what I did and saw, I wouldn't make a big effort to return. It just didn't stand out as other cities have done.

However I loved the food! I'd go back just for the Arroz Negro at La Barraca! And the 6 euro ham, bread, olive and wine platter at Museo de Jamon was a quick tasty treat.

As someone who is overwhelmed by big museums and has a low-ish boredom threshold, I booked my ticket for the Prado, but did my research first because I knew I really wanted to see and spend time with the Velasquez and el Greco paintings. I noted which rooms had paintings by certain artists whose work I admire, and just went to those rooms. Obviously I saw a lot more, but by planning my visit I could be specific about what I saw.

I love small museums, private collections, and there are 3 wonderful ones in Madrid. The Sorolla, the Lazaro Galdiano and the Cerralbo. I visited the Sorolla one morning, and walked the short distance to the Lazaro Galdiano, stopping for lunch along the way. I found a stunning el Greco in the Lazaro Galdiano which I spent a long time admiring, and I had him all to myself as this museum was virtually empty. I also had the Museo Cerralbo to myself for the hour I spent there shortly after it opened one morning. A glimpse into the lifestyle of a wealthy family a hundred years ago, it is packed with fascinating antiques and artefacts.

I went to Ronda way back in the mid-80s! I have no idea what it is like now but then it was a charming small town with lots of shoe shops in the back streets! There was also this bar kind of under the bridge - you had to carefully stumble down some steep steps into this sort of cave. I hope it is still there and as atmospheric as my memories tell me it was!

I'm already looking forward to your trip report, and if you can fit in a GTG with jamie and scott, then you'll all have a blast!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 10:27 AM
  #107  
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So many great ideas...so little time...although I seem to be adding time to this trip as we go (now at three weeks). El Escorial is definitely on my radar.

lincasanova..thanks for those links.

Momd - Ronda is going to be hard to fit it...but never say never.

and juliat thanks for the smaller museum tips. Probably no Sticky Toffee Pudding or Julia's Home Made Gin in Spain, however. Damn!

I'd love to meet jamikins and bikerscott so I can get their photography secrets (plus it seems like they love their vino).

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Old May 29th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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julia-t.. you are one of the few people who have posted about the Galdiano museum. plus it is open on Mondays!!
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Old May 29th, 2014, 08:30 PM
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Sorry I kind of piggy-backed my question about El Escorial onto this discussion. I plan to have 3 full days plus a bit on the first day in Madrid next year so am considering a day trip by bus to El Escorial and wanted to get some feedback on it. So thanks for the comments.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 10:20 AM
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Going in June of 2015...very much interested in your itinerary.
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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 10:40 AM
  #111  
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Hi JIm...here is where I'm at today itinerary wise (or with me...not wise):

5 Nights Barcelona
Early flight to Granada (2 nights)
Train to Sevilla (3 nights)
Rent Car - Cordoba 2 nights
Drive to Toledo (2 nights) via The Man Of La Mancha windmills (not their real names)
Train to Madrid (4 nights with a day trip to Segovia by train)

We have one or two extra days we might add. We could add a night to Barcelona or Madrid or Toledo or rent the car in Granada and drive to Sevilla through Ronda and a a couple of other towns. Fun problems to ponder.

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Old Jun 9th, 2014, 11:04 AM
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Do not miss Consuegra near the windmills and later further east of Toledo the impressive Oropesa ( great parador) on that drive to Toledo IF you have time!
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Old Jun 11th, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Sounds great, Tom! Just popping in to let you know that your petrol hint was mentioned in the International Travel Tips (see above). Gave me a little grin remembering that TR of yours.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 03:59 PM
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Well, we have our flight over there booked. This is my last time cashing in FF miles (patience is a virtue…wish I had it). Have to wait, of course, to get return flights.

Figuring we get to return from Spain (we'd stay there, but the pets would never forgive us), it's time to start thinking lodging.

I'll start with Barcelona (our first stop). It seems (but I could be wrong) that either L'Eixample or Barri Gòtic districts would suit us well. Looking for hotels, apartments or b&bs under $200 per night if possible. If you have enjoyed other areas, we aren't married to these two areas, they just seemed more central.

Suggestions appreciated. Gracias.

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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 06:03 PM
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First trip we stayed in Barri Gotic. Second trip a couple years ago we state in El Born which is "La Ribera's "neighborhood within a neighborhood. "El Born (more or less the lower part of the neighborhood) is now a very trendy area with lots of restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The upper part of the area is a little more traditional and less touristy. This area is home to the Picasso museum, and is close to the Arc de Triomf and the lovely Parc de la Ciutadella. There are more accommodations here than in the Barri Gòtic, but they’re still limited simply due to space constrictions."
We really liked el Born. We stayed in an reasonably priced apt, but have to see if I still have info on it.
L'Eixample is nice also.
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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 06:31 PM
  #116  
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Thanks yt!!

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Old Jun 30th, 2014, 07:15 PM
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I think adding a drive to Ronda might be interesting. I should drag out our memorabilia and review the route we took to Ronda. I remember it was quite dramatic… I distinctly remember a man on horseback perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the road… and there was no one else around. But then… who knows…. everything changes.

If it fits your budget you might like this hotel if you can get a room facing the cathedral . I remember seeing the sardana danced in front of the cathedral from the little balcony off our room.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...Catalonia.html
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Old Jul 3rd, 2014, 02:11 PM
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I am contemplating taking the train from Grenada to Seville, Seville to Cordoba, Toledo to Madrid (going to rent the car for a day to drive from Cordoba to Toledo via Consuegra), and maybe Madrid to Segovia and back on a day trip.

I have looked at the Man In Seat 61, but I have one question (maybe I missed it on the site)

If we take that many train trips (not set in stone yet), is there some sort of pass that gives a price break, or do I just book each leg as soon as that part of the trip opens up?

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Old Jul 3rd, 2014, 02:19 PM
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See: https://ricksteves-cms.herokuapp.com...in-rail-passes

And: http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-E...pass-guide.htm

Basically, you need to price it both ways. It doesn't sound like the flexibility of a pass is worth much for this itinerary.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2014, 03:06 PM
  #120  
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Thanks!
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