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Spain Trip.

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by whnay., Feb 21, 2010.

  1. marin

    marin Well-Known Member

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    I'd recommend Barcelona - good for 2 - 3 days. Many people I know have gone, and most have warned against pickpockets on Las Ramblas. Keep your wits about you.

    Standard but good advice. My wife and I were walking through the metro station when she felt something strange about her backpack.. When she turned, she discovered what appeared to be a mother and daughter... we were the subjects of a pickpocketing training course! They disappeared quickly.

    Only a minor annoyance, though. Barcelona is a world-class city with outstanding people and food. Can't really go wrong anywhere in Spain. Each region has its charms. How you spend your time depends on whether you're looking for something urban vs. country, active vs. relaxing, etc.
     
  2. medtech_expat

    medtech_expat Well-Known Member

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    Having lived in Barcelona, I cannot recommend it enough and would base myself there for your entire trip. The Costa Brava in June should be reasonably free of massive crowds (just avoid the weekends) and is a short drive away. Terrific food, wonderful people watching, culture and architecture in one of the most temperate climates in Europe. Almost pulled the trigger on a return trip with the gf in June, but we're going to Sardenga instead [​IMG]

    PM me if you want any hotel or restaurant recommendations.
     
  3. Matt

    Matt Well-Known Member

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    I was about 4 days in Barcelona a couple of years ago and loved the place - actually IIRC Bill, it was one of those trips where you and I were in Paris at the same time, but the ever useless RJMan was unable to put us a the same table. Anyhow, I was in Paris as a weekend-long layover, southern France for business, and took an overnight bus to Barcelona from there.

    Anyhow, 3-4 days is ample. Great city to wander in, get completely lost, then completely found again. Lots of Attractions as well, so I just ended up going to An Attraction, and then trying like mad to work out how to get back...and, as with all trips, that part was the best part.

    I've never been anywhere else in Spain, so I speak with no experience at all, but figuring if you wanted a beachy trip, or a spring break style party, you'd just head for Florida from where you are, so maybe 3-4 days Barcelona and 3-4 days Madrid would make a pretty solid trip.
     
  4. Matt

    Matt Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you do, promise that you'll eat well.

    I actually found it a hard place to eat. As a solo traveler, in a place where everywhere wanted to feed me tapas, I was like 'OK, so option A...i buy a plate of olives and eat a bunch of olives and am now full on olives alone, or option B, I buy nine different dishes, eat one thing from each plate, am now full, and a hundred euro poorer, and watching the uneaten ninety euro of that be scraped into the trash'.

    Not a cuisine set up for those traveling alone!
     
  5. Acephale

    Acephale Well-Known Member

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    I'd recommend Barcelona - good for 2 - 3 days. Have a good walk around town, visit the Gaudi places, especially La Sagrada Familia, go on the cable-car across the plaza to the port, sample the local restaurants, visit the old Olympic village. The subway system is cheap and easy to navigate.
    +1 on Barcelona... Gaudi park and unfinished cathedral - you must walk up as far as you dare as it is really not for the faint hearted... The Picasso museums, squares of taxidermists (for perusing or even procuring a stuffed stallion) and the alleyways on the wrong side of Les Ramblas for tiny local tapas places and laundry strung across the eaves by weathered but most divine hags of the night. . .
     
  6. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Well-Known Member

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    I actually found it a hard place to eat. As a solo traveler, in a place where everywhere wanted to feed me tapas, I was like 'OK, so option A...i buy a plate of olives and eat a bunch of olives and am now full on olives alone, or option B, I buy nine different dishes, eat one thing from each plate, am now full, and a hundred euro poorer, and watching the uneaten ninety euro of that be scraped into the trash'.

    Not a cuisine set up for those traveling alone!


    completely off-topic, but last summer i went with a friend to a new tapas bar in santa monica that had just opened. we spent over $100 and walked out of there hungrier than when we walked in. ended up eating at a sports bar down the street. [​IMG]
     
  7. zalb916

    zalb916 Well-Known Member

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    My fiance and I just did a quick four night trip to Madrid. We found it was a good amount of time to leisurely enjoy the city. I think trying for a day or overnight trip to another city would be pushing it with only four or five nights, but I enjoy a relaxed pace.

    I'm not a big museum guy, but I thought the Prado and the Reina Sofia were excellent. We did the obligatory bullfight, which was interesting. Otherwise, a lot of wandering in different neighborhoods and mostly eating. Overall, I was really impressed with the food, which exceeded my expectations. A great mix of fancy restaurants and low-end places. Not a fan of tapas style eating in the U.S., but found the culture much more fun and appealing over there.

    Anyways, I highly recommend 4-5 nights in Madrid. It's an easy overnight trip from Atlanta, so you can hit the ground running on the first morning. Plus, you can stop into Carmina.
     
  8. otc

    otc Well-Known Member

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    I think trying for a day or overnight trip to another city would be pushing it with only four or five nights, but I enjoy a relaxed pace.

    With 4 or 5 nights, you could definitely do Segovia (salamanca would be pushing it). It is like a 30 minute train ride with awesome country views. The aqueduct is truly a marvel and the tower/castle has some amazing views. High speed trains run quite frequently and you only really need a few hours.
     
  9. whnay.

    whnay. Well-Known Member

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    Thread update.

    Going to San Sebastian for 4 days for some sun and food. Mugaritz and Arzak in addition to a pinchos tour is on the schedule. Any other places worth checking out?
     
  10. culverwood

    culverwood Well-Known Member

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    Places close by Biarritz, the Pyrenees, Bilbao, Guernica (not much to see but seeing where it is), Pamplona (depending on when you are there). I would say spend your time in San Sebastian and when you need a change of scenery go up into the Pyrenees if the weather is good or to Bilbao if it is not.
     
  11. whnay.

    whnay. Well-Known Member

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    Places close by Biarritz, the Pyrenees, Bilbao, Guernica (not much to see but seeing where it is), Pamplona (depending on when you are there). I would say spend your time in San Sebastian and when you need a change of scenery go up into the Pyrenees if the weather is good or to Bilbao if it is not.

    How about Getaria on the coast?
     
  12. culverwood

    culverwood Well-Known Member

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    1. Noma, Copenhagen
    2. El Bulli, Spain
    3. The Fat Duck, Bray
    4. El Celler de Can Roca, Girona
    5. Mugaritz, Errenteria Gipuzkoa
    6. Osteria Francescana, Modena
    7. Alinea, Chicago
    8. Daniel, New York
    9. Arzak, San Sebastian
    10. Per Se, New York
    11. Le Chateaubriand, Paris
    12. La Colombe, Cape Town
    13. Pierre Gagnaire, Paris
    14. Hotel de Ville, Crissier, Switzerland
    15. Le Bernardin, New York
    16. L'Astrance, Paris
    17. Hof van Cleve, Belgium
    18. D.O.M, Sao Paolo, Brazil
    19. Oud Sluis, Netherlands
    20. Le Calandre, Padua
    21. Steirereck, Vienna
    22. Vendome, Gladbach, Germany
    23. Chez Dominique, Helskinki
    24. Les CrÃ[​IMG]ations de Narisawa, Tokyo
    25. Mathias Dahlgren, Stockholm
    26. Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York
    27. Quay, Sydney
    28. Iggy's, Singapore
    29. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Paris
    30. Schloss Schauenstein, Switzerland
    31. Le Quartier Francais, Franschhoek, South Africa
    32. The French Laundry, Yountville
    33. Martin Berasategui, San Sebastian, Spain
    34. Aqua, Germany
    35. Combal Zero, Rivoli
    36. Dal Pescatore, Milan
    37. De Librije, Netherlands
    38. Tetsuya's, Sydney
    39. Jaan par Andre, Singapore
    40. Il Canto, Sienna
    41. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, Paris
    42. Oaxen Skärgårdskrog, Sweden
    43. St John, London
    44. La Maison Troisgros, Roanne
    45. wd~50, New York
    46. Biko, Mexico City
    47. Die Schwarzwaldstube, Baiersbronn im Schwarzwald
    48. Nihonryori RyuGin, Tokyo
    49. Hibiscus, London
    50. Eleven Madison Park, New York
     
  13. whnay.

    whnay. Well-Known Member

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    Booked Arzak and Zubercoa for our three day trip. Also doing a Pinchos tour one afternoon.

    Just an FYI, Mugaritz burned down. ;(
     
  14. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Well-Known Member

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    Arzak is really good, but brace yourself for uneven service.


    - B
     
  15. whnay.

    whnay. Well-Known Member

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    Arzak is really good, but brace yourself for uneven service.


    - B


    So I hear, I'll be crossing my fingers.
     
  16. emptym

    emptym Well-Known Member

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    Sep 22, 2007
    I love Spain. Barcelona would have been my first suggestion. The Miro museum is one of my favorites for how they show his work by historical progression from his untrained childhood drawings through young adulthood spent mastering classical techniques to his increased efforts/achievements at simplification.

    But if you'll be based in San Sebastian, you could see the Guggenheim in Bilbao (one hr SW of SS). A half day trip is probably enough. I loved it. Went w/ my brother who's an architect and just marveled at the building. We also went to Lourdes is about a two hour drive east through some gorgeous scenery. Didn't see Ignatius of Loyola's hometown, but wish I had.
     
  17. feynmix

    feynmix Well-Known Member

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    NYC
    Will be in Barcelona for a few days in a couple of weeks. Any recommendations for hostels to stay, nightlife, and touristy things to do would be great. I am f'in excited to check out Barca.
     
  18. epliohunk

    epliohunk Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if Madrid in mid-august is a complete waste of time? What about Barcelona?
     
  19. Infrasonic

    Infrasonic Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I don't know where people are eating in Barcelona if they're paying 100 euros for tapas.
    Tourist traps by the sounds of it.
    Get yourself the Timeout guide and go to the red starred cheap places.

    I was eating fresh seafood platters for two, 20 euros. The area was extremely dodgy though...[​IMG]
     
  20. radicaldog

    radicaldog Well-Known Member

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    Arzak is really good, but brace yourself for uneven service.


    - B


    Ah, the American obsession with 'service' [​IMG]

    In Yurp we live & let live.
     

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