Spain – Madrid, Seville, Córdoba
Spain – where did the idea for February trip come from?
The idea for this trip was born by an accident. We did not plan to go to Spain in February, but there was an opportunity that “pushed” us towards this place. We planned a short vacation at the time, but with no specific idea about the place.
Due to my numerous business trips, at the end of February, one of my meetings was going to happen in Porto (Portugal). My meeting took place during weekdays, so there was an opportunity to extend my stay for a weekend or the whole following week. I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity and convince my husband to join me there. However, we were in Porto together two years earlier, we realized that we do not want to come back to the same place after such a short time. Although I consider Porto as an extraordinary place, with beautiful views, an amazing old town and delicious wine – we were hungry to see a new place.
Looking at the map of the South part of Europe and checking the cost of air connections from Warsaw, I came up with the idea of spending a few days in Spain. When I managed to convince my husband to apply for one week of holidays, I started planning our trip.
Although Spain is a great place to visit it throughout the whole year, the end of February was going to be cold and rainy. We were dreaming about basking in the sun and spending some nice time outside – close to nature, and that’s how the idea for Andalusia came about.
SPAIN – IDEAS FOR OUR TRIP
We decided with my husband to meet in Madrid on the first evening of our trip. I was supposed to fly there directly from Porto, and my husband directly from Warsaw. This was a new experience for both of us, as we have always travelled together so far. This time we agreed to have a “date” in Madrid. Air connections from Porto and Warsaw were the most convenient in terms of dates, travel time and attractive in terms of price.
Of course, as many times before – we had some “additional” attraction in this part of the trip. Unfortunately, my evening flight from Porto to Madrid was delayed by “only” 4.5 hours. It was not a nice experience, but thanks to it now I know how to apply for compensation resulting from this type of delays. On my blog, there will be a separate post about this topic.
We spent only 2 days in Madrid, mainly due to the really nasty weather and freezing wind coming from the north. Visiting the city was done mainly from the deck of a tourist bus or under an umbrella. We took a few pictures only, as our cameras were exposed for rain. Anyway, we saw the city, its architecture and we felt Madrid’s heartbeat when we were strolling along Gran Via and Fuencarral streets.
Seville and Cordoba
From Madrid, we took a direct train to Seville, where we spent 4 days. In Seville wonderful sunshine and spring weather was waiting for us. It was worthy to spend the rest of the planned time in Spain.
During our stay in Seville we saw all the main city’s attractions, and the majority of the distance we took on foot. For one day we went to Cordoba. There are direct trains from Seville (about 1 hour), so the trip is very easy and comfortable. A visit to Cordoba is also an extraordinary adventure, so I will write a separate post about this place on my blog.
Below I would like to present my tailor-made travel plan.
SPAIN – TAILOR-MADE TRAVEL PLAN
Day 1 – Spain: beginning
Early in the morning, my husband has started his trip to Madrid (flight from Warsaw with one stopover in Munich). I started my trip from Porto to Madrid late in the afternoon, after all my business meetings. This day we agreed to meet in Madrid around 9:30 PM. Because my husband’s flight was earlier than mine, we agreed that he will pick me up from the shuttle bus stop, in the city centre, not far from our hotel.
Unfortunately, this part of the plan did not happen due to a terrible delay on my plane. Instead of landing in Madrid at 9.00 pm, I arrived there at 1.30 am. My husband was already asleep at the hotel, and there was no shuttle bus at the airport that could bring me to the city. At the airport, in the middle of the night, there was not even a taxi, because there are no regular arrivals scheduled at that time. Fortunately, I had MyTaxi application on my phone, which has allowed me to order a taxi. The cost of night travel from the airport to the hotel at Gran Via street was 35 Euro.
Day 2 – Madrid
The second day greeted us with rain, low temperature and strong wind. We started this day … from the purchase of two umbrellas and Hop-on-Hop-off bus tickets. The whole day we spent on the bus trip. We got off of the bus several times, but mostly to visit some cafeterias to warm up with a mug of warm coffee or tea.
Day 3 – Madrid
That day it did not rain and even a few rays of the sun came out. Umbrellas were not needed anymore. We decided to spend this day in the vicinity of the Royal Castle and the city gardens. In the afternoon we had only a short walk around the city because the weather changed, and it was very cold again.
Day 4 – Madrid – Seville
This was the day of our train journey from Madrid to Seville. Because I bought train tickets earlier via the internet, we already knew to which train we are going to board. In anticipation of his arrival, we visited a beautiful railway station – the Atocha. Travel time from Madrid to Seville – 2h 40 minutes. We came to Seville in the afternoon. That day we managed to stroll thru the old town streets and along the Guadalquivir River.
Day 5 – Seville
We started this day from visiting the Metropol Parasol building. After that, we went to visit Pilate’s House and the largest in the world Gothic cathedral. We went to the Alcazar Castle and the beautiful Royal Gardens. It is worth to plan a full-day trip and visit all those places with no rush.
Day 6 – Seville
That day we went to visit the Bullfight Museum and the nearby Golden Tower. We saw the San Telmo Palace and went towards the Spanish Square. We have spent the rest of the day there, admiring all buildings erected around it. All of them were created in connection with the Ibero-American exhibition, organized in Seville in 1929. The exhibition featured novelties of Spanish industry and craft. The whole area is adjacent to the largest green area in Seville – Maria Luisa Park. That day we went on foot over 20 km. At the end of the day, we were tired enough to return to our hotel by taxi (cost about 6 euros).
Day 7- Cordoba
We spent this day on a trip to Cordoba. We booked train tickets in advance, so we already knew which train we want to take. Travel time about 1 hour. In Cordoba, we have visited everything that was the most important to see during a one day trip. We visited the historical district of Juderia (the old Jewish quarter). We also went to a beautiful church (former mosque) – La Mezquita, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We visited the Castle of the Christian Kings (Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos) and beautiful castle gardens. After, we crossed the historic stone Roman Bridge to the other side of the river.
In the evening we returned to Seville, but with a little surprise, due to our train did not arrive. We spent over 1 hour at the train station waiting for the next train and re-booking our tickets. Fortunately, in the end, everything went well. We returned to the hotel an hour later than we planned.
Day 8 – Seville
It was our last day in Seville. Because the weather was beautiful, this day was dedicated to rest and walk around the city. That day we walked to the other side of the river and visited the Triana district. There is the Castle Museum of Saint George and Food Market. From this side of the river, there are beautiful views of the Old Town and the Golden Tower. Also worth to take a look at the Cathedral and the Giralda Tower. It is a very nice place to rest and relax. In the evening, once again, we visited Metropol Parasol, which after dark attracts attention with colourful illuminations.
Day 9 – Spain: return home
Return home. That day we had to get back by train from Seville to Madrid. (2 hours 40 minutes). At the Atocha station, we caught the airport shuttle bus (5 Euro). After about 30-40 minutes we were at the airport in Madrid.
A return flight to Warsaw was with one stopover in Frankfurt. Fortunately, the whole trip took place without any delay and without any surprises.
Spain: useful links:
- Rail Europa – you can book and buy train tickets valid across the whole of Spain
- Spain.info – Spain’s official tourism portal
- Airport Express – shuttle bus timetable from the airport in Madrid
- Turismo Madrid – official tourism website about the city of Madrid
- Sevilla – Seville tourism website
- Cordoba – Cordoba official website