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Introduction

Spain Overview

Catalonia:
Barcelona, Tarragona, Montserrat, Andorra, Girona, Besalú, Figueres

Mallorca/Majorca

Andalusia:
Granada, Jaen, Úbeda, Córdoba, Lucena, El Torcal de Antequera, Malaga, Torremolinos, Caminito del Rey, Ronda, Seville

Tenerife

Madrid Area:
Madrid, Segovia, Ávila, Béjar, Hervás, Plasencia, Cáceres, Toledo
« Last edited by cgr on October 15, 2023, 07:13:52 PM »

Author Topic: A Month in Spain (Mainland, Mallorca, Tenerife) and a Day in Andorra  (Read 13279 times)

Offline Sam 77

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Re: A Month in Spain (Mainland, Mallorca, Tenerife) and a Day in Andorra
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2023, 03:19:40 PM »
For some odd reason #netfree doesn't let this TR

Offline AsherO

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Re: A Month in Spain (Mainland, Mallorca, Tenerife) and a Day in Andorra
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2023, 09:06:29 PM »
For some odd reason #netfree doesn't let this TR

Maybe the host of the embedded images makes them block the entire page?
DDF FFB (Forum From Birth)

Offline g8trgr8t

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Re: A Month in Spain (Mainland, Mallorca, Tenerife) and a Day in Andorra
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2023, 12:57:38 PM »
great TR and pictures. thanks for sharing

Offline theyankel

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Re: Spain Overview
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2024, 11:28:16 PM »
I’m including an overview of the basics I picked up on my travels. If you’re not planning a trip, feel free to skip this section and continue on to my adventures!

Research: I did a lot of research for this trip in the form of books, academic papers, podcasts, and YouTube videos. I also relied heavily on the “Paths of Sefarad, Network of Jewish Quarters in Spain” association which has recorded and where possible marked the various structures that are of Jewish significance. Some of these buildings across Spain are marked with a plaque bearing the associations logo (sefarad in color, zachor in relief):



Others are marked by the sefarad symbol embedded in the cobblestoned streets:



I also watched all of Dr. Henry Abramson’s “Sephardic Jewish History” videos. Fascinating!

In an effort to keep this about my trip and not about history I won’t be listing all the historical facts I picked up on the way in my report, although I do recognize that it can be helpful if you’re taking a trip and don’t want to do a deep dive yourself. Here’s a link to my IG where you can see some of the basics saved to the Highlights section. I did include a short list before each city of some of the famed Rishonim- note that some Rishonim moved around and are thus associated with more than one city, and more importantly some of the information is disputable.

Attractions/Museums: Many points of interest such as attractions, museums, and restaurants, were closed for a few hours during the day for siesta. Additionally, most attractions & museums were closed on Monday (I had to rework my route multiple times to ensure that I didn’t spend Mondays in a place where I would have nothing to do because of these mandatory closures). I have a bunch of GoCity Passes left over from this DDMS deal, and customer service was more than happy to switch two of my US cities to Barcelona and Madrid. I did not use the passes fully as there weren’t five attractions on either pass that were of interest to me, but it saved me a few bucks on those items that were of interest.

Tours: I reached out to some of the reputable tour guides in the cities that previously had large Jewish populations where I felt that I would benefit from a guide (mostly Barcelona, Córdoba, and Seville). Due to the last-minute nature of this trip none of my preferences were available, and I opted to skip the mediocre options rather than pay hundreds of dollars (Jewish tour guides are expensive in Spain!)

Kosher: Chabad of Barcelona has an app that is programed with the Spanish Kosher list and made my life a whole lot easier. Chain grocery stores like El Corte Ingles, Carrefour, Lidl, Aldi, and even some smaller ones had a surprisingly large selection of OU and MK (Manchester) certified items such as plant-based milk, condiments, and cereals. Whenever I landed in a new place, I would make a grocery order consisting of eggs, pasta, almond milk, cereal, mayonnaise, ketchup, fruits, and veggies. This made for hearty meals when paired with my wraps, cheese, and tuna packets from home. Many supermarkets and cafes, including Starbucks, sell freshly squeezed orange juice. See details on kosher restaurants and supermarkets that I visited in each location’s writeup.

Payment Options: Amex is not generally accepted. Many places insisted on cash, while others did not accept cash at all, supposedly due to the pandemic.

Transportation:
Navigation: I used Google Maps to navigate in Spain, and it worked well.

Public Transportation: Public transportation in Barcelona and Madrid was superb, and parking was a nightmare, so definitely don’t get a car if that’s your only destination. There are also congestion fees and environmental fees in some areas. At the time masks were required on planes and public transportation, but not in airports or train stations.

Rideshare: There is a mandatory 15-minute wait in Spain the first time you open a rideshare app in the country such as Uber, until you can use it. If you plan on using this as your method of transportation I suggest downloading and opening the app as soon as you land, so that you do not have to wait the additional 15 minutes once you’re actually ready to order a rideshare. Uber in Spain requires you to enter a passport number before using it. Cabify (the local version of Uber) does not require a passport number (although it is also bound by the 15-minute law). I found Cabify to have better driver availability and slightly cheaper prices than Uber.

Rail vs Car Rental: From my research it appears that most people use trains to navigate between cities- I assume that this is because most people travel during peak-season, when car rentals are expensive. In my case car rentals ranged from ridiculously cheap to normal (coming from NY) so it was a clear winner (no schlepping on and off trains, more flexibility with scheduling, and the ability to visit smaller towns that are not serviced by fast trains). Spain requires drivers with a US license to have an IDP. I got one at my local AAA branch in 20 minutes for ~$20, although it was not requested by the car rental agencies. One of the rental clerks did tell me that if I get stopped by police and don’t have one, I’d be in trouble. For me it was worth it as I’d rather be safe than sorry, and it wasn’t much of a hassle to get one.

Tolls: None of the car rentals on the mainland had toll tags available so the cash lane was my only option (they accept credit cards)- note that toll roads are expensive in Spain. There are no toll roads in Mallorca and Tenerife.

Highway driving:
-On the mainland, most bigger highways have speed limits of 100 kph and toll roads have speed limits of 120 kph. Once you’re away from the cities you’ll see cars going 200+ kph, with the “regular guys” doing 150 kph.
-Except for around the cities, the left lane is sacred in Spain- there’s none of that tri-state nonsense where cars sit in the left lane because they’re eventually going to pass a car. You pass and then you immediately get back into the right lane, just short of cutting off the car behind you.

Now let the fun start…
great trip report and i am still in middle
you mentioned chabad has an app for kosher Chabad of Barcelona has an app that is programed with the Spanish Kosher list and made my life a whole lot easier
can you share where i can find this to download?

Offline cgr

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Re: Spain Overview
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2024, 12:08:29 AM »
great trip report and i am still in middle
you mentioned chabad has an app for kosher Chabad of Barcelona has an app that is programed with the Spanish Kosher list and made my life a whole lot easier
can you share where i can find this to download?
Thanks.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jabad.kosherappspain

Offline theyankel

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