Tagged With "spain"

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Re: Spain or Portugal?

PHeymont ·
Your budget will take you WAY farther in Portugal than in Spain, although with care you can do well in Spain as well. Portugal, and especially Lisbon, is the home of filling delicious meals in every neighborhood for 5-7€ which lets you spend a bit more on frills and excitement. You might think of something like a week or so based in Lisbon, a few days in Porto and then...if the budget stretches...a budget flight to a last few days in Barcelona (or other city of your choice with US-bound flights.
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Re: Spain or Portugal?

Travel Luver ·
Thank you, PHeymont, that's helpful. I've always wanted to see Lisbon and Barcelona, and your plan makes sense. Is there a specific guidebook you'd recommend?
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Re: Spain or Portugal?

PHeymont ·
Usually these days I put together a "trip book" with articles and information from a lot of sources, but I also usually take along one full-scale guidebook as well. I'd be hard-put to make a recommendation for Portugal, because for that one I decided to overcome my feelings and give Rick Steves a try...and it was nearly useless. No special information, a smug tone, and maps that were too sketchy to be useful. In general, I've liked the Frommer guides (and I'm excited that the new ones will...
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Re: Spain or Portugal?

Travel Luver ·
That's very helpful. I'll give them a look and see what I find that suites me. Also, for getting around Portugal and spain, should I take the train? Bus? local planes? Any idea which works best (cost and efficiency both matter, but so does easy connections)
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Re: Spain or Portugal?

PHeymont ·
Portugal's rail system feels a bit worn in places, and some trains look terrible from outside...but the interiors are clean and the system seems to work. Not a terribly large country, so that time between the two largest cities (Lisbon and Porto) is about 3.5 hours. If you add in getting to the airport early and getting in from the airport at the other end, it's probably faster than flying. Other significant points in Portugal also have reasonable rail service, including Coimbra, the...
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Re: Spain or Portugal?

Travel Luver ·
I just visited www.seat61.com and it seems a fabulous website for travelers wanting to catch trains in Europe! So many tips and price comparisons!! And thanks for your info on trains. I think I'll take them even if they're a little beat up looking, LOL You been wonderful with all your help, PHeymont! I might have more questions later. Do you keep an eye on these posts? How does that work? What's the best way for me to get in touch with you if I have more questions?
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Re: Spain or Portugal?

PHeymont ·
Right here on Travel Gumbo is a great way to keep in touch. The Gumbo Gurus keep a close eye on our site, and asking here also involves the whole community and all their knowledge.
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Oct. 5, 2014: Tossa de Mar, Spain

IslandMan ·
I love fortified towns and this one is exceptional...thanks PH
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Re: Where do the "permanent travelers" go?

PortMoresby ·
I have one friend who's a permanent traveler. While he spends time in a variety of places, his preference is Asia, with Thailand at the top of his list. Chiang Mai is where we met and in nearby villages is where he spends the majority of his time. He has a private income so work has nothing to do with his choice. I'd be interested to see how the results of the survey would change if that element was removed from the equation. And how it would change if broken down by age group. Also, how...
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Re: San Juan's El Morro: Layers of Stone, Layers of History (Where Gumbo Was, #84)

PHeymont ·
A missing bit: El Morro and the historic site as a whole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but while I included that in the Tags and Collections for the blog, I forgot to mention it in the text! My apologies...
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Re: San Juan's El Morro: Layers of Stone, Layers of History (Where Gumbo Was, #84)

HistoryDigger ·
Fascinating history. Stunning photos. Thanks.
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Re: Marveling at La Sagrada Familia

Travel Rob ·
Thank you Karina. You gave me me another reason to get back to Barcelona. Great job capturing the splendor of the place!
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Re: Marveling at La Sagrada Familia

PHeymont ·
I've taken a lot of pictures outside Sagrada Familia and a few inside, but none of my inside pictures capture the light, space and shapes as these do—great! I'm not Gaudi's biggest fan (I've confessed that elsewhere here), but even if he had nothing but this place to his credit, he'd have earned that title: Genius.
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Re: Marveling at La Sagrada Familia

DrFumblefinger ·
Thanks for sharing this experience, Karina! Your photos of the interior are amazing. I've yet to visit Barcelona but it's definitely moved far up my list.
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Re: Granada, Spain: A Walk Through the Historic Albaicin

IslandMan ·
Thanks for the journey through the Albaicin, PH. I love walking through the old parts of cities where there is so much history to see. You've certainly captured the essence of this place in your pictures and I've added it to my places to visit list.
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Re: Spain: a campaign for quiet dining

GarryRF ·
This is a big problem in the Caribbean too. You book a table in a fine restaurant. Candles on each table. Napkins and best silver cutlery. And the gentle tones of a Spanish Guitar soloist provide the entertainment. Then 2 families sitting at tables 15 feet apart discover they both come from Michigan. They have to shout to each other to be heard above the music. The soloist takes a break. The conversation continues and the noise level stays the same.
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Re: Spain, Portugal gain tourists in Greek crisis

Travel Rob ·
I think people are exchanging visiting GREECE now for a lot of other European countries too besides Spain and Portugal. Avoiding uncertainty in travel is very hard to do though when you travel no matter where you go as i've found out with a lost passport and ferry strikes
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Re: Spain's booming tourism hits record numbers

DrFumblefinger ·
Most countries would envy Spain this particular problem. Given how week other aspects of their economy are, I can't see the government putting a stop on this, despite the actions of some mayors. I'd suggest they look at diverting tourists to less traveled parts of the country. Spain is a large place and there are lots of places tourists hardly ever go.
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Re: "World's scariest walkway" re-opens; may be safer

DrFumblefinger ·
There are some experiences in life I can live without trying. This would be near the top of that list.
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Re: Driving in Spain: better be a hands-on experience!

DrFumblefinger ·
Tooooo much of Big Brother in all this for my liking.
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Re: Brits on Beach behaving badly? Call (British) cops!

GarryRF ·
Sounds like the British kids are copying the "Spring Breakers" in Florida. With a hint of "Bikers Week" for the older ones.
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Re: Brits on Beach behaving badly? Call (British) cops!

PHeymont ·
I think it’s quite a bit like that…away from home, in a place that has tolerated a lot to keep the visitors coming…and is now reaping the whirlwind. Don’t know who did it first or where, but it’s certainly sad to see…especially when people get hurt.
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Re: Bobbies on the Beat in Spain's Ibiza

GarryRF ·
I love the way you Americans call our British Cops "Bobbies" It's awesome !
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Re: Bobbies on the Beat in Spain's Ibiza

PHeymont ·
Has that gone out of style? It's what we were always told you call them (when not calling them something worse)! Here, from Brittanica: derivation of name Scotland Yard The London police force was created in 1829 by an act introduced in Parliament by the home secretary, Sir Robert Peel (hence the nicknames “bobbies” and “peelers” for policemen). This police force replaced the old system of watchmen and eventually supplanted the River (Thames) Police and the Bow Street patrols, the latter a...
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Re: Bobbies on the Beat in Spain's Ibiza

GarryRF ·
Haven't heard the name "Bobbies" ( on bicycles two by two) since Roger Miller sang about it in the 60s. We have a long list of things that have been attributed to us. Things that belong in a time capsule. But it keeps the tourists happy ! I love researching the origins of words. A word you use in the US more than we do. "Sherriff" has its origins in the English middle ages. But from where ?
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Re: Bobbies on the Beat in Spain's Ibiza

GarryRF ·
Just as I suspected Paul ! The History of Britain you quote is written by Paul R. Josephson Visiting Associate Professor of History, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts Without leaving the comfort of his leather chair ! Obviously ...
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Re: Silk Road becomes the Silk Railway

PortMoresby ·
As a huge fan of all sorts of surface travel, you had me going there for a moment. Until I realized I'd have to wear my chorizo disguise to get a ride on this train.
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Re: Silk Road becomes the Silk Railway

PHeymont ·
I’d have to agree there…visions in my head of having to stand out in the cold while the engines were changed (and sinister figures on the platform, with their collars turned up…thanks, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, etc.). The author of the article may, at the end, have crossed a line, though with the words: “It is certainly an epic monument to the lengths we will go to meet our unfulfillable desire for things we don’t need.” I can’t see how those words apply to olive oil and chorizo…
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Re: Silk Road becomes the Silk Railway

DrFumblefinger ·
Originally Posted by PortMoresby: As a huge fan of all sorts of surface travel, you had me going there for a moment. Until I realized I'd have to wear my chorizo disguise to get a ride on this train. You could always disguise yourself as a ham or a can of olive oil. As I recall, there was a famous character on the Popeye cartoon who liked to disguise herself as Olive Oyle.
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Re: Silk Road becomes the Silk Railway

PortMoresby ·
Originally Posted by DrFumblefinger: You could always disguise yourself as a ham... That would definitely make the most sense, actually requiring no disguise.
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, September 14, 2015. Hans Monheimus

GarryRF ·
During our lives we will meet 5 or 6 people who leave us with an impression of just having met a great man. Sounds like Hans' was one of your handful of heroes. We try to understand what makes him so outstanding. Then in our own way we try to copy some of his finest attributes. And hopefully we are a better person for it.
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Re: The Alcazar of Jerez: A Window into History

PortMoresby ·
Consider that an extra big "like".
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

Former Member ·
Wow ! That is a good deal. I need to drill down through those redeem mileage programs and see what I can learn. Thanks for this valuable lesson.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
Thanks for pointing this out! By the way, it is also possible to take a free stopover on the international end. For example, a couple of years ago, we flew from NYC to Copenhagen (the routing) but with a week stopover in Stockholm along the way. We've used that kind of routing a number of times. Adding to your point about Britain: Many of AA's European cities are actually served by their closely-tied partners, British Air and Iberia. With a little persistence, you can find flights that don't...
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PortMoresby ·
So, PHeymont, when you stopped for the week in Stockholm which airline was it and what fees were you charged for the stopover? You mention Madrid. Presumably that was a different trip, so same questions on that one. Also, can these stopovers be scheduled on the AA website or must you speak to an AAdvantage customer service person and pay the ($25?) fee?
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

WorkerBee ·
Originally Posted by PortMoresby: .... can these stopovers be scheduled on the AA website or must you speak to an AAdvantage customer service person and pay the ($25?) fee? I scheduled my flights using the website. When you go to the AAdvantage booking site there are three choices: round-trip, one-way and multi-city. When you choose your flights you see boxes showing the number of miles per leg. The leg between Dallas and San Francisco showed no miles. There was also some kind of comment to...
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
Similar to WorkerBee's experience, I've done these bookings using the Multi-City function, which allows you to specify a date for each segment. It didn't require assistance. Actually I've never had to pay a fee for help when booking something that could not be done on line, but who knows these days. I've done these stopover trips a number of times (NY-Budapest/open jaw/Prague-London w/stopover and then back to NY, etc.) The AAdvantage desk agents, by the way, are some of their best and can...
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PortMoresby ·
All potentially very useful information. Many thanks, Gurus.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
All things to be watched closely, by the way; by January the new AA will start rolling out updated program rules and procedures for what will be a merged program. We'll need to watch closely to see what changes!
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
WorkerBee, how long will you be in Spain, and when? We're going for 8 days (not counting the travel days) in February. We'll be in Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Gumbo fans would love to hear how your trip is going and to see pictures along the way!
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

WorkerBee ·
I will be there about a month, from February 12 to March 12. I will be in Madrid for a few days after I arrive and then off to Girona and environs for a few weeks. I may wander into southeast France for a few days as well before I return to Madrid for a couple of days before I fly out.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
I envy your trip! We'll overlap in time, but not in place. If you do add France to the itinerary, you might want to look into the new TGV service from Barcelona to Paris that starts this month. I'm not sure of its route as it leaves Spain, but it might go where you want to!
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

WorkerBee ·
Originally Posted by PHeymont: I envy your trip! We'll overlap in time, but not in place. If you do add France to the itinerary, you might want to look into the new TGV service from Barcelona to Paris that starts this month. I'm not sure of its route as it leaves Spain, but it might go where you want to! For some time the AVE has run from Madrid to Figueres which is north of Barcelona and Girona. The TGV has been running from Figueres to Paris for some time as well. I'm told that it takes...
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

WorkerBee ·
It required 40,000 miles for a round-trip economy ticket. All were in-seat miles and all were from a few years ago.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

DrFumblefinger ·
Now I know why your handle is WorkerBee. Persistence and hard work get the job done! Well Done!
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
Originally Posted by WorkerBee: It required 40,000 miles for a round-trip economy ticket. All were in-seat miles and all were from a few years ago. That's one of the things I like about AA...aside from the one-way awards. When everyone else was 50K to Europe, they were 40K offpeak and 60 peak. Now everyone else is 60K peak, and AA still has the winter bargains. Hope it lasts!
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

GarryRF ·
Wonderful piece of planning WorkerBee ! Missing off London to avoid the $18 Departure Tax for Spain seems a bit severe. I presume your return journey is more direct.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

Former Member ·
$ 18 ? I am puzzled by this. When I have taken flights from London to the US, the tax has been more like $ 150 - $ 200. It was worth it to spend time in London, of course. Still, it was not a small amount.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

GarryRF ·
The UK departure tax is "Banded" into distances and economy / regular / 1st class. London - Spain is only a short distance.
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Re: I get to Boomerang to Spain ! Cheap !

PHeymont ·
Well, but if Spain is the destination, passing up UK makes sense. On the other hand, APD leads to calculations such as Flying NYC-LON-Continental Europe: No problem; as long as your time in UK is less than 24 hours, you are a transit passenger and don't pay APD. Flying Continential Europe-LON-NYC: Not so good; you pay the APD on the trans-Atlantic leg, and that's high. The other issue with this is not APD at all; flying to the Continent through Madrid or Barcelona tends to be cheaper because...
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