Spain - Specifically Madrid and Parts South

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Spain - Specifically Madrid and Parts South

Post #1 by PredsFan77 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:36 pm

Ok peeps. I'm looking to go to Madrid and parts south for a week in early December. Anyone been and have some advice? Planning on maybe 2-3 days in Madrid at the museums and maybe a Real match. Then hoping to get to Toledo and Sevilla at some point. Maybe Granada? Other idea is to get down to Gibraltar for a day and then take a ferry to Tangier. I need to arrive/depart in Madrid, however.
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Post #2 by MP » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:48 pm

I've only been to Barcelona.
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Post #3 by Dr_Chimera » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:54 pm

I badly want to go to Albarracín some day.
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Post #4 by Dr_Chimera » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:56 pm

Make sure to see Las Meninas (one of the greatest paintings) at the Prado and a trip to Toledo is worth it just to see The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.
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Post #5 by zamboner » Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:58 pm

Dr_Chimera wrote:Make sure to see Las Meninas (one of the greatest paintings) at the Prado and a trip to Toledo is worth it just to see The Burial of the Count of Orgaz.


Las Meninas is a must see. Just as interesting are Picasso's treatments of Las Meninas at the Picasso museum in Barcelona. The Prado is one of my favourite museums, because I am a huge Goya fan. Be sure to check out his black paintings, which are brilliant. The best museum in Madrid is the Thyssen-Bornemisza. It's a chronologically-ordered, stunning art collection from every artist you have ever heard of. And you can take pictures in the gallery. I was there a few weeks ago. And speaking of Picasso, you have to go to the Renia-Sofia to see Guernica.

Real tickets are crazy expensive, but they can be had.

Driving is a great way to see Spain, because the Federal highways are basically empty, and you can speed like a motherfucker. I once drove from Valencia, to Granada, to Algeciras (where you take the ferry to Morocco) to Seville.

The Alhambra and the Arab Quarters make Granada worth seeing. Seville is grand and beautiful, but very different from Granada.

It will be fucking cold in December. I was in Madrid 2 weeks ago and it was cooling down.
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Post #6 by Germz » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:21 pm

I agree with a lot of what zamboner said.

Madrid: Puerta del Sol is a nice central place to be. Goya's black paintings and Las Meninas in the Prado are a must, as is Guernica in the Renia-Sofia. Careful at the Prado, though, you could end up getting lost looking at 65,000 Velazquez paintings. The Buen Retiro Park in Madrid is a beautiful place to walk around. Get yourself some traditional Spanish hot chocolate, especially if it is cool weather. Make sure to get chocolate with churros - fucking delicious. The Royal Palace is nice but for me the real highlight there was the Armory. A very manly tourist pursuit. Fantastic exhibit of early modern armor and weaponry, especially for a 17th-century lover like me.

Toledo is a fantastic day trip from Madrid. Just a great place to explore. A pity the El Greco museum was closed the day I went.

I didn't have time to do Sevilla justice, but Granada is fucking awesome and very manageable in a short visit, for the reasons zamboner mentioned. Damn good food. See if you can get in on some tapas tours at night, maybe see some flamenco.
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Post #7 by Dog » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:01 pm

We were also thinking of Spain for next summer's vacation. I've only been to Barcelona before. Will be checking in this thread for advise. Thinking of flying into Madrid and driving to the south. May or may not drive up to Barcelona (wife hasn't been) -don't know how doable that is without pushing it (will have a 4 year old with us). Would probably go 2 weeks. Friends have also recently invited us to rent a catamaran with them in the Bahamas next summer. Will have to chose.
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Post #8 by PredsFan77 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:31 pm

Looks like I'm going to London instead.
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Post #9 by MP » Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:48 pm

PredsFan77 wrote:Looks like I'm going to London instead.


Expect it to rain.
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Post #10 by Dog » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:15 pm

You guys can still post stuff for me in case I go...
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Post #11 by Dr_Chimera » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:07 pm

I am not a big fan of Barcelona. Had the best time in Madrid though.

This said, the market in Barcelona is amazing. Nothing better than a swordfish steak and beer at 10 in the morning.
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Post #12 by Germz » Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:33 pm

London in December? lol have fun lol lol

Dr_Chimera wrote:I am not a big fan of Barcelona. Had the best time in Madrid though.

This said, the market in Barcelona is amazing. Nothing better than a swordfish steak and beer at 10 in the morning.


Agreed on all counts, although our market experience, while enjoyable, did not have this swordfish beer breakfast combo.
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Post #13 by zamboner » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:41 pm

Dr_Chimera wrote:I am not a big fan of Barcelona. Had the best time in Madrid though.

This said, the market in Barcelona is amazing. Nothing better than a swordfish steak and beer at 10 in the morning.


I prefer Madrid as well. Barcelona has better architecture, but it doesn't feel like Spain. Madrid is relaxed, fun and authentic. If you liked the Barcelona market, Mercado Central in Valencia is even better in my books.

London: I actually went to London the other week, on the way home from Spain. It was cold, wet, and a glass of wine cost me $20 CDN. Nonetheless, a spectacular-looking city that should probably be seen once. Give me like 15 cities in Spain over London.
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Post #14 by Dog » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:52 am

London is my favorite city. It feels like the world's capital. Incredibly cosmopolitan and vibrant. That said, the weather is misrerable in the UK in the winter. Spent a year there and I actually prefer canadian winters to the UK's cold, rainy and gloomy weather in the winter.
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Post #15 by AD » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:02 am

NYC is the capital of the world dog.

Silly pooch.
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Post #16 by habfan4 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:21 am

AD wrote:NYC is the capital of the world dog.

Silly pooch.


Debatable. Both are global cities and exert financial and cultural influences well beyond their national borders. You could make the same argument for Tokyo with its almost 2 trillion dollars worth of GDP.

Biggest difference between NYC and London is that in London no one feels the need to tell you its the centre of the universe.
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Post #17 by habfan4 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:25 am

zamboner wrote:I prefer Madrid as well. Barcelona has better architecture, but it doesn't feel like Spain. Madrid is relaxed, fun and authentic. If you liked the Barcelona market, Mercado Central in Valencia is even better in my books.

London: I actually went to London the other week, on the way home from Spain. It was cold, wet, and a glass of wine cost me $20 CDN. Nonetheless, a spectacular-looking city that should probably be seen once. Give me like 15 cities in Spain over London.


Its all subjective but the should be seen once comment on London is way off the mark.

I really have nothing to add in terms of Spain as I've never been. Was all set to visit this past March but instead decided to return to Italy (Florence & Rome) a place I've visited a number of times. Made the call partly because Mrs. hf4 had not visited Florence and partly because every Spainard I've ever met was an insufferable twat.
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Post #18 by Dr_Chimera » Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:47 pm

I bought some awesome cigars in Barcelona once.
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Post #19 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:34 pm

So I'm going to Madrid or Dublin next weekend. Where should I go? If not there, where in Europe?
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Post #20 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:38 pm

So 2-3 days roughly. Going with people who don't enjoy art the way I do. So keep that in mind. Also prefer not going to france, England, or Italy.
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Post #21 by Murphy » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:40 pm

So are you asking us where to go in Europe, or are you going to Spain?
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Post #22 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:49 pm

Madrid or Dublin are the top two choices. But I was open to suggestions.
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Post #23 by Murphy » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:55 pm

I always suggest Budapest and have a premade guide to it.

I liked Dublin. I spent quite a few nights drinking here: http://www.porterhousebrewco.com/

Never been to Spain though.
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Post #24 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:56 pm

I'd love Budapest but American doesn't fly there and not really efficient to fly somewhere and train in for the weekend.
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Post #25 by Murphy » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:00 pm

Dublin fits into to your 2-3 day timeline. Just the right amount of time to spend there.
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Post #26 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:05 pm

Dublin doesn't look good flight wise. Would Amsterdam work if I don't get to do any of the red light stuff?
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Post #27 by AD » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:08 pm

Amsterdam is cute. But it's a stretch for 3 days. When are you going?
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Post #28 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:35 pm

Next weekend.
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Post #29 by AD » Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:38 pm

Do you mind cold rain?
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Post #30 by PredsFan77 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:28 pm

I can deal with it. It was supposed to do it while I was in London but never showed up.
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Post #31 by habfan4 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:27 pm

AD wrote:Amsterdam is cute. But it's a stretch for 3 days. When are you going?


Stretch in what respect?

Museums alone would take three days.
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Post #32 by PredsFan77 » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:39 pm

I'd plan on going to the art museums.
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Post #33 by PredsFan77 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:50 pm

I've decided on Madrid. 3 nights. Staying near Puerta del Sol. Anyone been to Botin before? My boss who thinks himself as a modern day hemingway said it was a can't miss besides the black goya collection.
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Post #34 by zamboner » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:52 pm

PredsFan77 wrote:I've decided on Madrid. 3 nights. Staying near Puerta del Sol. Anyone been to Botin before? My boss who thinks himself as a modern day hemingway said it was a can't miss besides the black goya collection.


The black Goya collection is a must-see. It contains this piece called drowning dog, which haunted me for days:

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Post #35 by zamboner » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:23 pm

One cool thing to do is to go to the Círculo de Bellas Artes, pay the small fee to get in, and go up to the roof top. You get amazing views of Madrid, and there are often cool art exhibits. If you are not into art, there are drinks and hot art students. On the way down, have a coffee in the cafe. It's Art Deco and superb.
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Post #36 by PredsFan77 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:45 pm

That sounds nice. I'll be sure to check it out.
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Post #37 by PredsFan77 » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:29 pm

Lucked out into this trip. Deep freeze in the states. Around 60 in madrid
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Post #38 by PredsFan77 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:33 am

Man fuckin 6 hour flight. Fuck jet lag fuck jet stream.
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Post #39 by PredsFan77 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:17 pm

MERCADO DE SAN MIGUEL FTW
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Post #40 by Dog » Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:28 pm

We've settled on Spain for this summer's family vacation (with wife and 5 year old daughter). About 12-14 days.

The rough itinerary i'm think is this -would appreciate thoughts/comments:

- madrid for about 4-5 days (with day trips to Toledo and Segovia);
- train down to Cordoba (1 night)
- train down to sevilla (1-2 nights)
- train to granada (1 night)
- flight to Barcelona for about 4-5 days (with day trip to monserrat and Dali museum). I've been to Barcelona, wife hasn't.

Thoughts? Better to rent a car than take the train (train seems convenient)?
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Post #41 by Dog » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:20 pm

He going in July?
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Post #42 by Germz » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:26 pm

It's gonna be hot as fuck.

EDIT: But you're a Portuguese Water Dog, correct? So maybe you've experienced Iberian summers before?

Also, you might want to cut one city out, or cut a night out of Madrid/Barcelona, so you aren't constantly running from one place to the next.
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Post #43 by AD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:33 pm

You have a 5 year old and you want to drag her to 5 cities in 12 days. (Actually, 5 cities in 6 days in the middle portion of the trip).

Why do you do this to yourself dog?

Add a day in Barcelone, one in Madrid, and take Cordoba and Malaga out or sumthin...

Or take Barcelona out. Its no place for a nice little family and its out of the way. Give yourself more time in the middle and south.
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Post #44 by Dog » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:13 pm

Negative. 5 years old is plenty old enough to run around Europe.

:crossarms:

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