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Trip itinerary has changed, now what do I do!!!!

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Mar 11th, 2012, 07:18 PM
  #1
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Trip itinerary has changed, now what do I do!!!!

Originally going to Europe with school and lots of teens, 14 days we were going to start in Rome and end up in Madrid, my son and I were then going to take the AVE train down to Malaga to stay and see my relatives.................but because of some events in Nice they flopped the trip to begin in Madrid! I am really torn and ask for your advice! My son has his heart set on staying the extra 2 days in Madrid and taking the AVE to stay on the beach in Malaga with the relatives. Simply put, when everyone is flying home from Rome we will fly to Madrid, stay 1 1/2 at the Westin, see the Escorial and outside "valley of the fallen" and take the AVE to Malaga 2.5 hours. Any advice, should I just forget this part of the trip? I need your thoughts. Thank you!
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Mar 11th, 2012, 07:54 PM
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So if i have you right, you are debating weather to fly from Nice back to Madrid for a few days in Spin to finish off your trip?

I recently spent 5 weeks in Spain touring most of the country and can tell you this, you can not go amiss by spending extra time there. Madrid is a beautiful city and has many wonderful attractions that cant be missed. One of the things that I loved most about Madrid is that (depending on how serious you intend to get) you can see much of it in a short amount of time. Most major destinations are within walking distance, and a taxi or subway ride across the city is very affordable.

I am assuming you know how great malaga is if you have family there, but if you dont know, then let me tell you... its gorgeous. The beaches are as you would expect (white, sandy, and warm), and the city is packed with a great mix of history and up-scale modern convineances. One thing that I would say is near the top of my list for cant-miss attractions in malaga is the the Alcazar. It is well worth the low entrance fee, and high on the list of my favorite experiences in all of spain.

Long story short, and as in most cases, it likely comes down to money. If you feel comfortable spending the extra cash to get tickets back to Madrid, AVE fares, and hotels, then I would say to definitely go. The extra time with your son will not be wasted!
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Mar 11th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Thank you for your email, it is much appreciated. In the 70s and 80's I went frequently with my parents to Malaga, and was there several years ago. The Alcazar is a great idea, and I will go there! Do you think the Escorial and Valley of the fallen (outside view) would be good, any restaurants or other things in Madrid? Also is it hard to get the AVE train tickets?
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Mar 12th, 2012, 09:44 AM
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We did not have a chance to get to El Escorial and The Valley of the Fallen on our trip, which was a bummer because the valley was one of the things i was looking foward to.

I can say that as day trips go, we took the train to Toledo, and loved it. Its a great lideavle town full of hand crafted knive and sword shops and trinkets. Do your self a favor and take a cab from th train station up to the old down and get dropped off at the Plaza in front of the Cathedral (location of the tourist information center). The cab cost us about 3.5 euros and save quite the hike up to the old city.

As for Madrid, the Museo Prado and Rena Sofia can easily be done in a day together and have some wonderful pieces. The Plaza mayor, Royal Palace, and newly re-done Palacio De comuniciones are all cant-miss locations. Our favorite Places to relax and have a snack were Plaza Santa Anna, and El Marcado De San Miguel.

These stops will of course need to be tailored around where you go when you first arrive in Madrid at the start of your tour.

Hope that helps a bit!
www.slynomad.com
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Mar 12th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Oh and as for the AVE, no it is not hard to get tickets. They can be purchased at any of the local train stations (I Recommend Atocha, just because it is so beautiful), and can be purchased the day of. Typically there is availability on the trains, so seats should not be an issue, but I must warn you that the ticket lines can be quite long at the train stations (we waited 3 hours in Valencia). You can buy the tickets pretty far in advance, so my recommendation is to grab the tickets the first time you stop through Madrid, and save the hassle your second time through. Just don't loose those things, or your out a good chunk of change.

www.slynomad.com
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Mar 12th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Instead of passing through Madrid twice why not go to Spain first on yuor own and the join the tour whenit starts in Madrid?
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Mar 12th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Slynomad thanks for your advice. nytraveler, I was thinking about that, but with a group you have to go on the outbound flights, so we decided against this. I was wondering any restaurants or places to eat that would be unique with a teenager?
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Mar 13th, 2012, 05:06 AM
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Are there any flamengo shows or events in the evening that anyone recommends?
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Mar 13th, 2012, 07:26 AM
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One place i would recommend for Flamenco in Madrid is a place called "Villa Rosa" located on the NW corner of Plaza Santa Anna. It is very slightly touristy, but we found it to have great tapas and paella, good house wines (not for your son of course), and a really energetic and fun flamenco show. In fact we ended up going back another time because we had such a good time.

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Mar 13th, 2012, 07:49 AM
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I am pretty sure you can buy train tickets for either no fee or low fee at local travel agencies - could save yourselves alot of hassel if the lines are 3 hours long (as they well could be at a main train station.)

Also I'd opt for a day trip to Toledo over Valley of the Fallen but maybe those sights have more appeal to you.
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Mar 13th, 2012, 07:49 PM
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We could probably do Toledo the second day. The Valley of the Fallen is a sight I saw when I was young. My relatives all worked for the Guardia Civil for many years, and my Grandfather was in the Guardia Civil and in the Spanish Civil war, so historical sights are interesting to me. I also loved the idea of a Flamengo show for my son, do we need reservations?
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Mar 14th, 2012, 05:34 PM
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We did not make reservations and had no trouble getting a seat (at Villa Rosa that is). We were asked if we had reservations when we arrived, thus i am surmising that a number of people do make reservations.
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Mar 14th, 2012, 06:16 PM
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Villa Rosa is a legendary flamenco venue (from 1911) and has recently revived the tradition.

Here's the great guitaris Sabicas telling of a night at Villa Rosa with a young Carmen Amaya (1913-1963), the greatest flamenco dancer ever:

"One day I was in a juerga with a group of gypsies of the Villa Rosa, and I saw her mother and father. I went over to the father and daughter and embraced them. I said, "What are you doing here?" I asked them to come in. Then I saw that Carmen was dancing in her chair. She wanted to dance. Two or three excellent bailaoras came out to dance, and then I gave my guitar to Carmen’s father and said "If it is okay with you?".

And I said, "Now, Carmen Amaya, a catalán gypsy, is going to dance a little." And she went to the stage. She danced. One man hit himself against the wall and cracked his head open. The plates and tables were all over the place."
http://www.flamenco-world.com/artists/amaya/amaya1.htm

Carmen Amaya, from a great documentary about her, "Granizo sobre los cristales":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQlk5AYsZtk
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Mar 15th, 2012, 05:08 PM
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Wow this place sounds exciting!
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