Author Topic: Yuey's Spain Trip  (Read 5209 times)

Offline Yuey

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Yuey's Spain Trip
« on: November 18, 2015, 11:17:20 PM »
Spain Vacation
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Planning
•   Hotels:
o   Barcelona: W (25k SPG, suit upgrade with SPG Gold)
o   Seville: Alfonzo Luxury Collection (20k SPG)
o   Gibraltar: Sunborn ($443 for 2 nights, used Barclays card to get full reimbursement)
o   Madrid: The Westin Palace (12k SPG, , suit upgrade with SPG Gold)
•   Flights
o   JFK – BCN 30k AA Advantage
o   BCN – Malaga $89/ticket (used Barclays card to get full reimbursement)
o   MAD – JFK 45k AA Advantage
•   Transportation
o   BCN and MAD, Double Decker Bus (reimbursed with Barclays card), subway and cabs.
o   Malaga – Granada – Seville – GIB – Malaga – Car rental ($203 Rented Mercedes with Chabad corporate code, used Barclays card to get full reimbursement).
•   Food
o   BCN – Macabi
o   Malaga: 2 restaurants
o   GIB: several restaurants and a bakery
o   Granada, Seville and MAD wraps, Haagan Daz, hard salami, tuna, salmon, and fruit.

•   Payment – used Barclays and Chase BA card for all purchases as they have no foreign transaction fee (1USD = 1.111 EU)


Day 1 Schedule – Barcelona
To kick off our Spain vacation, we took "fat tire bike tour." 🚴🚴🚴  Cameron, our tour guide, gave us an excellent overview of the magnificent city of Barcelona. We stopped at all the "hot spots," including the famous Sagrada Familia. After the fabulous bike tour we took a stroll on "The Ramblas." It was hustling & bustling with tourists. We ate an early dinner by a delicious restaurant called Maccabi. We then went to the Park Guell, the colorful Gaudi-designed park overlooking the city. It was unbelievably gorgeous! We then walked back to our hotel, the W, passing through Barcelona's magnificent beach walk.

Day 2 Schedule – Barcelona

The jet lag definitely hit us today.. We went to sleep at 10pm (after touring from 8am-9pm) and woke up at noon, refreshed, and ready to continue seeing the magnificent city of Barcelona. We started our day visiting the Museo Picasso. (We booked tickets in advance, with a 1:30pm time slot... (Very important to book in advance so you can skip the line.)  The works of Picasso were eye opening & so creative. We then took the "hop on, hop off bus" (best way to see any any new city!) to the Ramblas to eat an early dinner by Maccabi Restaurant, one again 🍴🍝🍻.  We then walked through the beautiful streets of Barcelona. We went through the Barri Gothic (City's Gothic quarter, seeing remnants of Barcelona's Roman past), went to see Casa Batllo, Gaudi designed home topped with fanciful dragon-inspired roof. (It's thought that Guadi based the work on the popular legend of St. Jordi slating the dragon. We then continued walking down the Psg de Gracia, filled with all the fancy shops. Then we went toward the Placa d'Espana to see how beautiful the National Palace looks at night 🌜... (There is only a magic fountain show Thursday-Sunday). We then walked home, passing the beautiful Port Vell to our hotel. Another wonderful day...

Granada/Seville
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Day #3 - Granda/Seville

•   Hotel: Alfaso Luxury Collection (20k SPG)
•   Arriving 9:15 (Flight: Vueling BCN - Malaga, I used Barclaycard Arrival Plus to get full reimbursement)
(No Known Kosher Restaurants)

We woke up bright & early ☀️ and took a flight ✈️ from Barcelona to Malaga. At Malaga airport we rented a car 🚘 and drove to Granada. We had 4pm reservations for the Alahabra. (We booked these tickets weeks in advance. They sell out at least a week, sometime months during high season, in advance. They are very strict with the time slot. We came an hour early and they wouldn't let us in. (This wasn't a problem at all because there is soooo much to see around the grounds surrounding the Alahabra.) The Alahabra, the last and great Moorish palace, highlighting the splendor of that civilization in the 13th and 14th centuries, was absolutely breathtaking! We then went to the Plaza Nueva to get a much needed Ice cream! (There are 2 Haagen Daaz shops on that block that carry ice cream with an OU). We then, drove to Seville. We took a nighttime horse & buggy 🐴 around the entire Seville. It was such an amazing overview of the city. Tomorrow we'll get to explore the city of Sevilla in detail....

Day # 4 Seville 
We walked to from our hotel (the Alfonso XVII.. Which was extremely centrally located.. a quick 10 minute walk to all the attractions) to the Alcazar Palace(the picture below was taken in the "Hall of Ambassadors."  Here, in the throne room, Pedro received guests and caroused in luxury. The room is a cube topped with a half-dome, like many important Islamic buildings. In Islam, the cube represents the earth, and the dome is the starry heavens. In Pedro's world, the symbolism proclaimed that he controlled heaven and earth. Islamic horseshoe arches stand atop the columns with golden capitals. lattice windows are above those.)  The Real Alcazar, which was built by the Moors in the 10th century, revamped in the 14th century, and still serving as royal digs. After the palace, we took a relaxing boat ride on the Guadalquivir River. (They had an adorable costume set, where we took the photo below. In the background of that picture is the Torres del Oro/Gold Tower.) We then went to the Plaza de  Espana. It was absolutely gorgeous! (Felt like Central Park with people row boating🚣around the gorgeous views of the ️Stunning plaza.) We then drove to Gibraltar... Continue to the next e-mail for details about our amazing experience in Gibraltar...

Gibraltar
Restaurants
Abudraham
Deli Express
Uncle Sam's Deli
Tamid
Amars

Shuls
•   SHA’AR HASHAMAYIM - Esnoga Grande or Great Synagogue -  47/49 Engineer Lane (Box 174), Gibraltar, Tel: (350) 200 74030
•   ETS HAYIM - Esnoga Chica or The Little Synagogue - 91, Irish Town (P.O. Box 31), Gibraltar. Tel: (350) 200 75563
•   NEFUTSOT YEHUDA - Esnoga Flamenca or Flemish Synagogue - 65 Line Wall Road, Gibraltar. Tel: (350) 200 76477
•   ESNOGA ABUDARHAM - Abudarham Synagogue- P.O. Box 190, 19 Parliament Lane, Gibraltar. Tel: (350) 200 77789

Schedule Day 4 & 5
We arrived in Gibraltar at 4:30pm. (You have to pass through border patrol to get from Spain to Gibraltar. We got very lucky because there was absolutely no line. They advice you to give yourself an extra 2 hours, just on case there is a long line to get in.) We went straight to the Rock of Gibraltar. (At first we were disappointed because the cable car was closed due to strong winds. This was definelty a blessing in disguise, because we ended up getting an amazing taxi driver/tour guide that took us to all the stops, including the "Walls of Hercules 💪"   The Caves, to see the  famous monkeys 🐒🐒🐒 jumping around and of course, "The top of the Rock!" We got especially lucky because it was a very clear day so we were able to see Africa & Moracco from the top!
We then went back to our hotel, The Suborn, which is yacht 🚢 that is permanently cemented into the ground, to get ready for Shabbos.
We had the most wonderful time over Shabbos. The community in Gibraltar are so friendly & warm. Gibraltar is tiny so everybody know everybody. It was a fabulous experience!

Madrid
Day #6 Schedule - Madrid

We woke up bright & early 🌅 to drive to from Gibraltar to Malaga Train Station (return our rental car there) to take a high speed train 🚉 from Malaga to Madrid.
We got off the train at Madrid and walked 5 minutes to our hotel (The Place by Westin). We then went to see the Royal Palace, Spain's sumptuous, lavishly furnished national  palace.
After seeing the magnificent Royal Palace, we went to pick up our tickets to the bullfight. 🐂🐂🐂🐂 Wow!!! That was an eye-opening experience!! Crazy!! Definitely an experience!
After the bullfight we went walking through the Plaza Mayor, center of town, to our hotel to rest up for our final day of touring around Spain...


Day #7 Schedule - Madrid
We started our of day by taking a tour around Madrid along the "hop on, hop off bus" 🚌... After we completed route 1 (took about 1 hour & 15 minutes), we went to the Prado Museum. The Prado is one of the world's great museums, loaded with masterpieces by Diego Velazquez, Fracisco de Goya, El Greco, Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Durer, and more. It was truly remarkable!
We then went back on the Mardid City Tour bus to take Route 2 around the city. We hopped off by the Puerta del Sol, Madrid's lively center square, Calle de Serrano, with all the beautiful shops and just enjoyed soaking in the city of Madrid.
We then went to Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the modern-art museum featuring Picasso's epic masterpiece Guerica.
The day was topped  off by Flamenco street performers by the Puerta del Sol.
Spain is such a beautiful county. We feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to see its magnificence!

Special thanks to Bex for an awesome tip and for contributing to this trip report!
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 11:21:23 PM by Yuey »

Offline Sholom123

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2015, 12:24:28 PM »
Very nice thank you.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2015, 06:57:07 PM »
Wow, sounds like you had a blast! Brings back great memories from this past summer. Do you have any pictures to share?

Offline theeari

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2015, 12:36:01 AM »
Looks amazing thanks  ;)

Offline SamKey

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2015, 12:52:19 AM »
Wow, sounds like you had a blast! Brings back great memories from this past summer. Do you have any pictures to share?
+1

Offline sam28

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2015, 09:52:44 PM »
Nice tr any picture ?

Offline Yuey

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 09:37:25 PM »
I hope to add pictures shortly. Yehoshua, thanks for all your help planning the trip.

Offline DMYD

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 10:02:28 PM »
I hope to add pictures shortly. Yehoshua, thanks for all your help planning the trip.
Yes please 

Offline yg99

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 10:39:38 PM »
Curious how you get a suite upgrade with just SPG gold.

I've been gold since the SPG program started and never got a suite.

Offline Adam101

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 10:42:24 PM »
Curious how you get a suite upgrade with just SPG gold.

I've been gold since the SPG program started and never got a suite.
Did you ask nicely?

Offline yg99

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 10:44:09 PM »
Sure have. The most I've gotten is the nicest room they have.

Offline Yuey

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 12:44:15 PM »
At the W in Barcelona we got lucky. They gave us the option between a Fabulous Room on a higher floor with a better view or a suite on a lowed floor. We took the suite.


Offline Yuey

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 12:45:43 PM »
In Madrid they initially just gave us an upgraded view. However, the beds and the linen in the hotel were terrible so although I'm generally reluctant to complain this warranted a complaint. I called SPG directly to complain and they dealt with the hotel. Within the hour I was moved to a junior suite...

Offline Josef.koney

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2018, 12:35:03 PM »
Would you say it's worth it to stop in Madrid for a day to tour mid dec, or just have a small stop over... (from tlv to Mia)

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2018, 12:38:20 PM »
Would you say it's worth it to stop in Madrid for a day to tour mid dec, or just have a small stop over... (from tlv to Mia)

Yes. One full day in Madrid is perfect.

Offline Josef.koney

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2018, 12:39:54 PM »
Yes. One full day in Madrid is perfect.
Thanks!  Any updated trip notes or help of what's there that's good ?  Hotels activities restaurants...

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Yuey's Spain Trip
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2018, 01:01:10 PM »
Thanks!  Any updated trip notes or help of what's there that's good ?  Hotels activities restaurants...


Check the Spain master thread, lots of ideas there. There are also plenty of trip reports on the forums too.