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What is your favorite city in Spain and why?

What is your favorite city in Spain and why?

Nov 6th, 2002, 04:36 PM
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What is your favorite city in Spain and why?

If you could only visit one city that really represents Spain which would it be?
Nov 6th, 2002, 05:21 PM
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Salamanca, without a doubt or hesitation.

One of the most beautiful, interesting, cosmopolitan cities I've ever been to. My first impression of the city left me breathless and how could you not? There is the most gorgeous architecture, buildings facade in plateresque style, with exquisite details, made with this material that glows a golden tone at sunset. It blew me away.

The sights are worth taking your time to explore in depth. The Roman Bridge still heavily used (any engineer would agree with me in appreciating the sign next to the adjacent newer bridge "Attention, Trucks over 18 tons use the Roman Bridge." it cracked me up).

Salamanca is also a University town; probably has some of the best universities in Spain. Loved so many things about this city.

P.S. Seville is a close second. The tie breaker was a statue to Lazarillo de Tormes near the Romam Bridge in Salamanca. Lazarillo, a book written in 1554, was one of my favorite books growing up.
Nov 6th, 2002, 05:35 PM
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Couldn't possibly name one favorite! It's 5, all the S's.

Santiago de Compostela
San Sebastian
(in no particular order)
Nov 6th, 2002, 07:11 PM
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Santiago De Compostela

I loved the cobblestone streets, the huge plaza which hasn't been comercialized with outdoor cafes and the awesome Cathedral.
Nov 6th, 2002, 07:20 PM
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Of the hundreds of outstandingly good post I have read from you, this one may be at the top. How eloquent.

And this one has one of the best chances of influencing travel plans in my immediate future.

Thank you... and as always...

My very best wishes,

Nov 7th, 2002, 08:44 AM
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anymore? I am planning a trip also....
Nov 7th, 2002, 08:53 AM
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two different questions, I think.

If I could only visit one city that really represents Spain, it would have to be Madrid. It's the capital, after all, and all of Spain is represented there.

As for my favorite, it's impossible to choose. Santiago de Compostela is up there (for the same reasons as everyone else) plus La Coruña, Segovia and Logroño. San Sebastian is wonderful as well.
Nov 7th, 2002, 12:25 PM
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Hard to choose,
if it has to be only one,
Salamanca could be it.
Nov 7th, 2002, 02:51 PM
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topping, for Suzette
Nov 7th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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Rex, thank you so much for such kind words. I often wonder if anybody really reads what I post. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

I believe Spain in high up in your travel plans. Have a great time planning!!
Nov 7th, 2002, 03:43 PM
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Thank you all for all your help. Maira and Rex I value your opinions. Spain is so big and we are in the prossess of making a itinerary. I will post again after wards to see what you think of the plan. Right now we are leaning toward.....
Barcelona 3 days
Madrid/Toledo area 4 days
White Hill towns 4 days
Somewhere on the beach 4 days
Seville 4 days

Thanks everyone....
Nov 7th, 2002, 07:37 PM
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You're very welcome, Maira. And thanks for the remarks, Suzette.
Nov 8th, 2002, 06:33 AM
Cervantes fan
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And remember how the city of Salamanca cast its spell on Cervantes: A quotation from one of his most well known Novelas ejemplares:

"Salamanca, que enhechiza
la voluntad de volver a ella a todos los que de la apacibilidad
de su vivienda han gustado"
               El Licenciado Vidriera, Cervantes

Nov 8th, 2002, 09:55 AM
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Nov 8th, 2002, 09:59 AM
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I'm partial to anything with water - hence Barcelona and San Sebastian top my lists. Also liked seeing all of Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona. Spain was pretty amazing everywhere we went - Pamplona, Madrid, San Sebastian, Bilbao - a bit disappointing except for the museum.
Nov 8th, 2002, 02:13 PM
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Seville is my favorite...
Nov 8th, 2002, 02:32 PM
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santiago...but probably because we "did" the pilgrimage from the French border with 5 strangers who ended up being lifelong friends. I say "did" because we only walked 10-15 miles per day over a 10 day period and were transported intermittently. Seeing the spires from the Mount of Joy and walking into town was a thrill.
Nov 10th, 2002, 07:10 AM
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I'm just starting to replan last year's aborted Spain trip and now you've put a monkey wrench into it.

Salamanca? And not only that, it appears on many other's lists as well.

Please tell more. It's about 2 hours from Madrid. Probably a bit too much for a day trip. How about a day or two at the end of the Madrid part (beginning) and then get up in the morning and train back to Madrid and immediately on to Seville.

Is it really worth the extra effort?

How much time would you allow for Salamanca? More please.

Nov 11th, 2002, 07:04 AM
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Topping for Maira but she may be travelling.

Before leaving for a trip to Castilla this evening, I'll try to help answer your questions. I love Salamanca as well, having lived and studied there.

How much total time have you alloted for your trip? Madrid and points south make an ideal 2 week itinerary, and there's plenty of beauty to behold there. Andalucía is best savored slowly (and life there moves more slowly) and is a very large, wide region.

To include Salamanca, you could do it after finishing up in Madrid, but you'd need to add an additional night to fit it in, and the long trip tp Seville would cut into your time there (it takes 3 full days to see Seville well).
From Madrid to Salamanca it's a 2 hr. drive or a 2 1/2 hr. train/bus ride.
I would most certainly head out of Madrid early, spend the day and overnight. It's not a day trip. As Maira says, Salamanca becomes even more magical (hechiza aun más) at night. Sit on Spain's most beautiful Plaza Mayor and have a drink (blanco y negro, granizado, mosto) and watch the children at play, the conservatively well dressed salmantinos go about their evening paseo and catch an impromptu performance of "Fonseca" by a strolling "tuna" (university student musicians dressed in medieval troubador costume).

Here are the practicalities of getting down to Sevilla from Salamanca via public transportation:

There's a TRD train that departs at 7:45, reaching CHAMARTIN station in Madrid at 10:15. Then you would need to transfer with all your luggage to a CERCANIAS train (quick ride with 2 stops) to the ATOCHA station where you'd catch the 2 1/2 hr. AVE to Seville. This is a total 5 1/4 hr. trip.
Or you could take an Auto Res express bus from Salamanca at 7, 8, or 9, reaching the Auto Res terminal south of Atocha 2 1/2 hrs. later. Then taxi to Atocha for the AVE to Seville. The bus is quite comfortable and safe.

Just in case you were considering picking up a car after Madrid and driving to Salamanca and then south (forgoing the AVE), the most direct driving route from Salamanca to Sevilla would actually be through the heart of Extremadura, the land of the conquistadores, through Cáceres and Mérida (those important Roman ruins). But the journey is 300+ miles. Expect a 6 1/2 hr. drive. If driving, I'd recommend you overnight in Cáceres (lovely Old Town with Parador), but then you'd be adding 2 days to your trip.
The drive from Salamanca via Madird-Córdoba is far too long, 8 1/2 hrs.

But do you really want to add more regions, Castilla-León or Extremadura, to your trip and can you afford the time? This is what you must decide. Hope this info helps a bit in your decision. And I'm happy that you're able now to make your trip postponed from last year.
Nov 11th, 2002, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for your response. At this time I am just tinkering with ideas.

What do you think of some of these ideas. The trip would be 14 days. Maybe one more or one less. I was not aware that the train station from Salamanca to Madrid was not the same as Madrid to Seville. That's a bit much for one change. Travelling by train (try to avoid bus).

Possibilities. Various combinations of the following.

Drop Toledo.

Add 2 days. Afternoon in Avila. Sleep over and spend the next day in Salamanca. Return to Avila and on to Madrid in the evening. If we did this I would be tempted to keep our room in Madrid and spring for an extra in Avila for 1 night. Avoid packing for 1 night.

Original plan from last year was 10-11 days.

We were going to end in Marbella for a few days but I could skip this. We live near the ocean. What we would also miss is visiting some of the white villages.

Possible Itinerary.
Madrid - Arrival day plus one more (2).
Toledo - day trip from Madrid (3).
Avila/Salamanca - 2 days (5).
Seville - arrival day (train) plus 2 plus day trip to Cordoba (9).
Granada - arrival day plus 1 (10 - 11).
Possibly skip Marbella but add Barcelona.
Barcelona - (Sleeper train from Granada) 2-3 days (14).

As you can see still just tinkering.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

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