Diverse, World Famous Art Museums, Vibrant Nightlife, Flamenco Rhythms, Moorish Influences, Tapas Bars (I can’t wait to try this!), Zest for Living, Spanish Guitars, Solemn Easter Processions and a Rich History . . . these are all ways in which Spain has been described in many guide books! And now I’m “hooked!” From the Pyrenees to the Southern Coast just a stone’s throw away from North Africa, Spain will provide me with a fun and wonderful adventure!
I was considering doing a Northern Spain/Portugal combination but somehow Southern Spain was calling out to me in a big way. And how could I be so close to the African Continent and not hop a ferry over to see it! If you know me at all, you had to have known that I would attempt such a day trip.
MADRID MUST SEE LIST:
ALMUDENA CATHEDRAL – Sacred Destinations Travel Guide
Address: Calle Bailen 10, Madrid SpainPhone: 034-9105422299Nearest Metro: OperaBus: 3, 39, r 148Hours: Daily 10 am-2pm and 5-9 pmcost: Free
PRADO MUSEUM: Website Link (English)
Museo nacional del PradoCalle Ruiz de Alarcon 23Madrid 28014Telephone: +34 91 330 2800Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m (Saturdays open to 2:00 pm)
How to Purchase on-line: HEREOr Phone: 0034 902 10 70 77
THYSEEN-BORNEMISZA MUSEUM – Marta from Slow Travel recommended this museum during my stay in Madrid. They are closed on Mondays, so I think I may see it on the day of my arrival. Address
MUSEO THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA, Madrid
Palacio de Villahermosa
Paseo del Prado, 8. 28014 MADRID (SPAIN)
Tel.: (+34) 91 369 01 51 Fax: (+34) 91 420 27 80
Underground: Banco de España. www.metromadrid.es
Buses: 1, 2, 5, 9, 10, 14, 15, 20, 27, 34, 37, 45, 51, 52, 53, 74, 146 and 150. www.emtmadrid.es
Trains: Atocha and Recoletos railway stations. www.renfe.es
Public car park in Plaza de las Cortes.
Address: Palacio Real – 28071 Madrid – EspanaTelephone: 34 914-548-700Metro Station: Opera (5 minute walk from there)Hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm (Sundays 9:30 to 2:00 pm)Cosst: 8 Eur w/o Guide and 10 Eur w/guide
PUERTO DEL SOL – Traveling in SpainF
FIESTA DE LA ALMUDENA:
The capital of Spain, Madrid is one of the most famous tourist destinations. It is noted for the huge amount of cultural festivals and events that is held in the city which in itself is a great attraction for people. The Fiesta de la Almudena, Madrid is one such event that spreads color and joy in the air.
FOOD, WINE AND CHURROS:
TIME: Most people don’t head out for lunch before 2:00, and dinner may not be until 22:00 or 23:00 at night.
Madrid is also home to the legendary ‘churro’ which is a donut like strip that should be dunked in gloopy hot chocolate. To try churros at their sticky best you must visit the famous San Gines Churreria in the centre. I wonder if my hotel is anywhere near this famous Madrid Churreria! No matter they are open 6:00 pm to 7:00 am Mon thru Sunday! Ha, Ha!
Pasadizo de San Gines
Madrid 28013 Spain+34 91 365 6546Open Hours6p-7a M-Su
WEBSITE LINKS ON MADRID:
A VIEW ON CITIES – Website with Information on Madrid
EUROPE FOR VISITORS – Website on Madrid
MADRIDMAN – Website on Madrid
CHURCHES IN MADRID – Spain Travel Guide Website
MARIBEL’S GUIDES – Website on Madrid (Pdf File)
SLOW TRAVEL – Website
TOURIST GUIDE – Madrid Website
TRAVELING IN SPAIN – Website on Madrid
INDEX OF HISTORICAL ART IMAGES – Website on Historical Images To See
MADRID – CITY TRANSPORTATION:
MADRIDMAN WEBSITE – Metro Transportation Explanation
TRAVELING IN SPAIN – Website on Transportation
MUST SEE LIST – TOLEDO:
A Walk on Toledo Ramparts – Traveling in Spain
Address: Cuesta de Carlos V, 2 45001 Toledo (Toledo) Telephone: +34 925221673
Address:Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 45002 Toledo (Toledo)Telephone: +34 925222241
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10.00 am-6.30 pm. Sundays and public holidays, 2-6pm.
General admission fee: €7
San Martin’s Bridge (Puente de San Martín) – Index of Historical Art ImagesSinagoga de Santa María la Blanca – Index of Historical Art ImagesWEBSITE LINKS ON TOLEDO:TOLEDO – Wikepedia – Traveling in Spain – Index of Art Historical Images SOL – Website information on Toledo (and all of Spain)
Until I watched this video I really had no conception that Sevilla was so large. But then again it is the capital city of Andalucia so why wouldn’t it be a big city. It looks really pretty and the cathedral is huge! Going through it may take me an entire day! It’s funny how the architecture is so different than Venice and Italy. But I remember feeling the same way when I first saw Prague! I’m looking forward to experiencing something new and different! MY MUST SEE LIST & LINKS: Barrio de Santa Cruz – Traveling in SpainMacarena Basilique – SOL.comAddress: (Located in the neighborhood of La Macarena)Becquer, 1 Seville, AN 41002 SpainTelephone: +34 954370195Hours: 9 am – 1 pm, 5 pm – 9 pmThis is a baroque style church desgined by architect Aurelio Gomez Millan in 1949. It houses the city’s famous statue of Holy Mary (with tears made of glass). Duirng holy week (Semana Santa), the statue is featured through the streets of the City.s/n 41001Seville (Seville)Telephone: +34 954214971Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pmSundays 2:30 am – 6:00 pmEntry Fee: Admission Cathedral & Giralda only. 7 Euros
La Giralda – La Giralda Tower – Spain Information
16 Century Arabic Bell Tower. Decorated with bricks is this magnificent Bell Tower is the work of Architect Ali de Gomara. Possible to Climb tower to enjoy beautiful views of the town.Address:Calle Alemanes, s/n 41001 Seville (Seville)Telephone: +34 954214471Hours: Joint visit with the Cathedral. Same Hours. Fee is combined with fee to the Cathedral at 7.50 Euros.
Royal Alcazar (los Reales Alcácares) – Traveling in Spain – Spain On Line (SOL) – Wikipedia – Index of Art Historical ImagesChurches in Seville – Sol.comPlaza de Espana – Traveling in Spain – Wikipedia – Adalucia.com – Seville.comPlaza Nueva – Traveling in Spain Located near the Cathedral – should swing by for a look see after my visit to the Cathedral. Plaza Virgen – Traveling in SpainFOOD, WINE, DESERTS:Sevilla Tapas Blog – Found this great blog on the Slow Travel Spain-Portugal Forum and I love it!
Plaza de Santa Cruz 11
Reservations by Telephone: 0034 954 216981
Reservations by E-mail: email@example.com
At the recommendation of my Slow Travel buddy, Maria, I will have the great pleasure of watching an authentic Flamenco show at the Los Gallos Theatre House. It is a two hour show (8:00 pm and 10:30 pm) and I will need to make advanced reservations.
The most amazing thing about this recommendation is that Maria actually saw this show with her two year old son and husband in 1981. The quality of the performance can be summed up in the complete and utter expression of joy in her son’s face. Her then two year old son was so captivated that he stood and clapped and smiled throughout the performance. Is that not the cutest story! Just based on that story alone I will definitely plan to see a show at Los Gallos.
Thanks again Maria!
Guess what I have just added to my itinerary? As a day trip from Seville, I think I will plan a day trip to Cordoba, with its magnificent mosque is northern Andalusia’s start attraction.I just have to see the Mezquita . . . Cordoba’s great mosque, which dates back 12 centuries, embodied the power of Islam on the Iberian peninsula.
The City of Cadiz is 3,000 years old and is considered to be “the” oldest city in all of Europe. When intrigued me about Cadiz was the golden domed Cathedral and the historical background that Columbus (the famous explorer and adventurer) actually took off on his expeditions from the ports of Cadiz. There are so many beautiful and famous “White Villages” in Andalucia to choose from but the charm and history of Cadiz seemed to call out to me the most. But you only have to watch the YouTube that I posted to understand the draw to this wonderful City. I’m so happy to have decided to visit Cadiz! MUST SEE LIST – CADIZ: Cathedral Nueva – by Spain On Line (SOL). Interesting that it took 116 years to build. A great eye catcher is the golden gilded tile dome which stands out over this mass of white buildings that make up the Old City Center and most of the town. Puerta Tierra – Originally built in the 18 Century the Puerta Tierra was the Gateway into Cadiz’s old town. Only a few sections of the walls remain. Cadiz Tours (Hop-On / Hop-Off) – eThis double decker Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus tour has nine stops throughout the City and will give me a great overview of the sights around Cadiz. The cost is only $17.95 Euros and has the benefit of a 24-HOUR UNLIMITED USE ticket!This narrated tour will cover the major sights of Cadiz in an approximate 75 minute circle or choose to utilize your hop on and off flexibility at any of the nine stops to create your own customized tour. Here are the Hop-On/Hop-Off Stops:~~ Plaza San Juan de Dios
~~ Plaza de Sevilla
~~ C.C.El Corte Ingles
~~ Puerta de Tierra
~~ Playa de la Victoria
~~ Playa de la Caleta
~~ Parador Hotel Atlantico
~~ Plaza de la HispanidadCool!PLACES TO EAT, DRINK & ENJOY MUSIC:Travel Guide: What Cadiz.com – Website provides some places to eat tapas, drink and enjoy music. Beach side cafes, bars and restaurants where locals and tourist hang out! Cool! Cadiz Travel Guide – Suggestions on places to dine and drink are: El Quinto Pina – Located in Plaza San Juan De Dios. drink with the local’s in this small, intimate bar/cafe.Pasaja Andaluz – In Plaza San Juan De Dios -a typical Spanish bar with cheap booze and reasonably priced tapas.El Faro – In Plaza San Felix 15. A bonus here, the bar also serves excellent tapas. Situated in the atmospheric old fishing quarter. WEBSITE ABOUT CADIZ: Adalucian.com Cadiz Travel Guide Spain On Line (SOL) Wikipedia
Wow, the Alhambra looks so awesome! MUST SEE LIST IN GRANADA: Alhambra: Traveling in Spain – Virtual Tour by Granada Tourism Office – Wikipedia Book & Reserve Alhambra Tickets: ServiCAixa PLACES TO EAT, DRINK & ENJOY MUSIC: Top 10 Tapas Bars In Granada – Another great article find on the Spain-Portugal Forums. Numbers # 7 and #8 sounds pretty good! WEBSITE LINKS ON GRANADA: Office of Tourism – GranadaAndalucia.com Traveling in Spain Website Wikipedia about Granada
MUST SEE LIST IN RONDA: Puente Nuevo “New Bridge” – 18th Century bridge that spans the El Tajo gorge – Andalucia.com BARS, CAFES, RESTAURANTS: Andalucia.com – A selection of places to eat while in Ronda.Traga Tapas opened in November 2006 and its the very latest addition to Ronda’s hip hideouts. Situated on Calle Nueva no 4 this fashionable bar opens Tuesday till Sunday. 12-4pm and 8pm till midnight.La Leyenda, calle Los Remedios (closed Tues)
The smartest bar in Ronda, and where the latter-day señoritos and their mujeres gather for a sherry after mass on Sundays.La Farola, Plaza Carmen Abela (off La Bola, where the taxi stand is). A great local favourite for a lunchtime or evening drink.Limbo, Plaza Carmen Abela. Next door to La Farola.Faustino, calle Santa Cecilia (off Carmen Abela) – Without question the funkiest bar in the whole of RondaSiete Copas, Paseo Ernest Hemingway (back of the Parador). Once a month live gigs, and a small constellation of Ronda’s hip and cool lounging louchely around to a recorded jazz soundtrack. It’s open late, and also at lunchtimes,Villa Paz, Plaza Mondragon (next to the Palacio in the old town). Open erratically, but has a lovely garden with stunning views west towards the mountains.
MALAGAMUST SEE LIST:
Picasso Museum – Official Picasso Museum WebsitePalacio de Buenavista
c/ San Agustín, 8
29015 Málaga, España
Tel: (34) 952 127600
Fax: (34) 952 127607
Tuesdays to Thursdays, 10 am to 8 pm
Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am to 9 pm
Sundays and public holidays, 10 am to 8 pmFee: 6 Euros
Malaga Tour – Hop On-Hop Off Bus Tour – Good for 24 hours. 15 Euros and Good for 24 hours I will be able to get a good overvview of the City of Malaga. I can get off and get back on at 14 different spots. Here are some of the sights I will be passing:ROUTE 1:
Estación de Autobuses
Edif. Correos / Museo Arte Contemporáneo
Paseo del Parque
Paseo de la Farola
Playa de la Malagueta
Plaza de toros
Castillo de Gibralfaro
Santuario de la Victoria
Plaza de la Merced / Casa Picasso
Alcazaba / Teatro Romano
Avd. Andalucía / El Corte InglésGibralfaro – Traveling in Spain
LOGISTICS: USEFUL LINKS
Logistical Planning (ie., booking lodging, airfares, planning ground transportation, etc) is probably my most least liked part of trip planning. I enjoy learning about the country, culture, foods/wine, sightseeing options, etc.That said, I’m starting the logistics part of my planning now that I have a vague idea of where to go and what I “sort” of want to see and do! But I have to deal with part of the planning in order to get to where I want to go, so here goes:
AIR TRANSPORTATION: LAX TO MADRID/MALAGA TO LAX And so begins . . . . the nail biting hunt for a decent airfare using from Los Angeles to Madrid and returning from Malaga to Los Angeles. I’ll keep a close eye on the prices using the search engine, KAYAK!*With the help of a fellow Slow Traveler (Thanks Maria!), I purchased my tickets for a great price! Spain Here I come!
GROUND TRANSPORTATION:RENFE is the Train provider in Spain!There is a great high speed (AVE) train route from Mardrid to Sevilla! Cool!There is also an AVE route from Sevilla to Cordoba (for my possible day trip there).Here’s a really good explaination I found on the Train System in Spain.
GROUND TRANSPORTATION: MADRID TO SEVILLA Est. Time: 2.5 hours Est. Cost: $74.60 Euros (Tourist Class) SAMPLE RENFE AVE TRAIN SCHEDULE – MADRID TO SEVILLA GROUND TRANSPORTATION: MADRID TO TOLEDO: Est. Time: 1.5 hours Est. Cost: $9 Euros (Tourist Class) SAMPLE RENFE TRAIN SCHEDULE-MADRID TO TOLEDO
RESOURCES USED TO PLAN MY TRIPThese are resources that I used in my trip planning for this year’s trip to Spain:
GUIDE BOOKS: DK Eyewitness Travel Spain, by Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, 2007 Rick Steves’ Spain 2008, Avalon Travel Publishing (www.ricksteves.com) TRAVEL WEBSITES: Slow Travel – Awesome Travel Webiste Resource Slow Travel – Spain Madridman – This is a good comprehensive website on Madrid filled with great practical information that will help me navigate around Madrid. Maribel’s Guides – A great website that Maria shared with me. Excellent resource on anything and everything about traveling to Spain! Thanks so much Maria! Traveling in Spain – This website is pretty comprehensive and provides a very good explanation in each of the cities. Great overivew information. MAJOR SIGHTS: USEFUL & INTERESTING LINKS: INDEX OF ART HISTORICAL IMAGES – Great link passed on by Slow Traveler AnnieNC. It has some great images of churches in Spain! Thanks so much Annie! SACRED DESTINATIONS TRAVEL GUIDE – Great Resource for locating great sacred sights all over the world. TRIP REPORTS/TRAVEL NOTES/BLOGS: Slow Travel Trip Report: The Romance of Moorish Spain by Jamie&Geoff Slow Travel Report: Madrid and Rome – One Week Apartment Stays by Love2Plan Slow Travel Report: Three Weeks in Spain by Doru Slow Travel Article: A Spectacular Sojourn in Sunny Seville by Staci Bilko Slow Travel Trip Report: Three Weeks in Spain by Shannon BLOG: Madridman POCKETMOD:There was an excellent post by Marta on Slow Travel about these PocketMods. Christine from Australia did a sample that she did on Restaurant recommendations in Paris. I thought this was an excellent idea. I always do something similar on Excel but I have to cut and paste to make it look like a book. This will be great to create all my itinerary information.Here’s what you have to do:– Type eight pages either on Word or Excel– Use at least a 20 font size text– Convert to Pdf file– Download and save the Pocket Mod Converter– Convert your pdf File to PocketModBelow is an example of one that I did:
FOOD TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS I really like the PocketMod idea and will definitely create one for my itinerary, account numbers and all my hotels and important contact information to keep with me at all times.However, a recent post by Roz on Slow Travel has convinced me that I need something more easier to transfer and maintain my information to use. There is a new software that is available to use with an iTouch so I can drag and transfer all my travel notes (without converting them to a pocketmod) onto my iTouch. I think this will be much easier to handle the loads of information that I need to have access to (without carrying so much paper work) on my trip!