SURREAL SPAIN

Have you ever planned a trip waaaaay ahead and yet unforeseen circumstances managed to somehow pop up unexpectedly? I’m referring to months of uneventful spells at work and then urgent enquiries miraculously appear the moment you are about to go on leave. How about a family member whose surgery should have been scheduled 3 years ago ended up getting a slot right on the day of one’s flight departure? Life is sometimes a complicated b*#%h! There were so many reasons to cancel a dream vacation that it felt almost surreal when it actually materialized. Nevertheless, we were grateful for the safety of the family member post surgery and for the privilege to travel.

Journey covered

We covered at least 8 cities within 15 days in Spain; from the capital city also known as Madrid to the region of Andalusia in the south of Spain and lastly Barcelona city located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The starting point of our journey began in Madrid. For the next 5 days, our memorable passage across Andalusia by bus journeyed through Cordoba, Sevilla, Ronda, Costa Del Sol, Granada and Toledo. After we got back to Madrid, again we went on a day trip to Segovia, also by bus. Finally, we flew to Barcelona from the Madrid Barajas T4 airport via Iberia airline and spent 5 days 4 nights there before heading home.

MADRID

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1. Plaza de Espana. Get there from the Metro Plaza de Espana via the blue or yellow line. Metro Plaza de Espana operates from 6am to 9.30pm.
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2. Plaza Mayor. Get there from the Metro Sol via either blue, red or yellow line.
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3. San Miguel Market (Mercado de San Miguel) Easily accessible from the Metro Sol. Great place to sample a wide variety of tapas at 1 EUR per piece.
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4. Royal Palace (Palacio de Real) Reachable from the Metro Opera via the green or red line. It is not far from the Plaza Mayor. Entrance fee is 9 EUR per adult and free for children under 5 years old. Opening hours are daily from 10am to 8pm in summer and 10am to 6pm in winter.
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5. Prado Museum (Museo del Prado) Within ten minutes of walking distance from the Metro Banco de Espana on the red line. Entrance fee is 14EUR without the official guidebook. Opens on Mon to Sat from 10am to 8pm and on Sun from 10am to 7pm.

Madrid is relatively new in terms of history compared to other cities in Andalusia despite being the capital city of Spain. Founded in the 9th century, the population of Madrid is currently 3.2 million people. It is much smaller than other major metropolis such as Paris, London and Berlin. The top 5 touristic attractions not to be missed while in Madrid are as listed above.

Most attractions are easily accessible by Metro. A metro ticket within zone A cost 1.50€ each. A bulk of ten tickets can be purchased at 9.90€. Two person can actually share a single bulk metro ticket of ten by passing the same ticket back and forth. Been there, done that 😉

Better still, if you purchase a Madrid one day pass at the tourist information counter, it’ll only cost around 8.90€ per ticket for unlimited journeys within a day inclusive of train ride from the Madrid-Barajas international airport to the city center. In the event that your day pass fail to work after just several rides, you can actually request the metro officer on duty at any metro station within zone A to issue a new ticket. The magnetic force in a cellphone is so strong that it has the tendency to deactivate a metro ticket when you keep it within the cellphone’s casing compartments.

BUDGETARY

  • Madrid Day Pass: 8.90€
  • Royal Palace Entrance: 9€
  • Prado Museum Entrance: 14€
  • Vodafone Prepaid SIM Card: 15€
  • 3 Star Hotel: 70€ per night
  • Food: 13€ to 15€  per meal
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