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downundergal Consuegra - A travel report by Kerrie
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Consuegra,  Spain - flag Spain
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downundergal's travel reports

Travel tips for Spain

  13 votes
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This is a general report on Spain and I have picked Consuegra to upload this report on as this small village is well worth a visit and I would not have enough information to complete a full report.


Windmills of Conseugra
Windmills of Conseugra
Consuegra is located a short detour off the main highway to the south of Madrid. The windmills are very photogenic. Originally there were thirteen, eleven remain and are individually named. Along with the 16th Century Consuegra Castle they dominate a ridge above the town and stand stark against the blue sky and the almost featureless plain. They were made famous by the travels of the mad Knight, Don Quixote. For those not familiar with the book by Cervantes this is where he mistakes the moving arms of the windmills for giants and attacks them whilst his poor old sidekick Sancho Panza looks on in disbelief. Of course the hapless knight does come off second best. We were not able to enter the windmills themselves and bad timing on our behalf meant that the castle was closed for the afternoon siesta.

General Travel Tips

These tips may appear to be quite commonsense but others I wish I knew before I arrived.

Planning the trip
•Toss up what you really want to see as Spain is big
•Make a list of what you want to see and then be ruthless in whittling it down so you have less to see than you think you have time enough to cover
•With our trip we drove south from Madrid in a loop via Cazorla, Granada, Las Alpujarras, Nerja, Costa del Sol, Gibraltar, Ronda, Sevilla, Cordoba, Toledo and back to Madrid. If I did it again I would travel by train to Toledo, Cordoba and Sevilla. Pick up a car in Sevilla, drive to Ronda along the coast up to Granada into Las Alpujarras and even Cazorla if time permits and dropping the car back at Granada. Or if you really want to see part of the Quixote route drop it at Madrid or Madrid Airport.
•Do not miss the Alhambra in Granada it is the must see, second on my list would be a Flamenco show. We went to one in Cordoba called Tablao Cardenal and it was sensational. Next highlight would be followed by the Cathedral in Toledo and the Mezquita in Cordoba.
•My favourite towns overall were Cordoba, Toledo, Nerja and Ronda

Favourite spots:
View of Setenil - note the homes built into the cliff face.
View of Setenil - note the homes built into the cliff face.
Most Scenic Routes that we saw

•Turning off the highway at Valdepeñas through the olive groves and continuing on to the spectacularly situated Segura de la Sierra. Then down to Hornos along the huge dam to Cazorla.
•The Las Alpujarras route from Orgiva via Pampaneira, Bubion, and Capileira and up to Trevelez, the highest village in Spain.
•From San Roque near Gibraltar through to Ronda
•From Ronda heading north to Setenil, Olvera and onwards

What's really great:
Spectacular setting
Spectacular setting
Driving Tips
•Never believe the map – after nearly two weeks & every trip taking half as long again I am sure that my map was in miles not kilometers.
•The maps can be so confusing that luckily our mobile (cell) phone had a compass which we found we had to rely for directions on more than once
•Be prepared to be horribly lost when trying to navigate your way through some of the mazes in the small villages
•Centro Cuidad signs nearly always took us out of way and not to the centre
•Don’t be surprised if people are so helpful they drive 20 minutes out of their way to show the way - just amazing
•If people don’t physically show the route they are not always accurate with their verbal directions but they try hard
•In some of the smaller villages be prepared to see what you can as you drive through as parking is virtually nonexistent

Sights:
Romantic doorway
Romantic doorway
Continued from above

•When parking - double check the signage – there may be a sign on the street but check the wall as well. We parked in what we thought was an acceptable spot and we were towed as there was another sign that was a loading zone. To add insult to injury we had been parked there for days and were just heading off with one bag in the car and when we returned – no car!! Yes, the fine really stung I can tell you

Accommodations:
View from Segura de la Sierra
View from Segura de la Sierra
•Prebook Friday and Saturday nights, Spain is a busy place with lots of tourists doing the same thing as you. We especially had trouble finding a room in Granada, Cordoba and Seville. In fact in Seville we finally found a room after trying a dozen hotels by phoning but as the street leading to that side of the square was closed for repairs we couldn’t reach the hotel – obviously that’s why they had a room! We ended up heading out of town to Carmona for the night. In Cordoba we had to pay almost double our normal budget to find a place to put our heads and in Granada we headed to the Alpujarras instead.
•Outside the weekends accommodation is relatively easy to find, clean, comfortable and really good value for money
•Look for signage written on the actual outside wall as opposed to a sign hanging at 90 degrees so it is easily seen. We missed a few hotels until we realized this.

Nightlife:
El Toro
El Toro
Accommodation continued from above

• In the cities you will need to pay extra for parking even if it is part of the hotel
•If you are paying for air-conditioning make sure that it is not turned off at night when you need it. This happened a couple of times to us and the nights can be very hot.
•Be prepared for lots of stairs. After a few days you will be asking for a bajo floor.

Hangouts:
Consuegra travelogue picture
Eating
•Get yourself into a Spanish lifestyle as soon as you can. That is, sleep in, eat late and go to bed late. You will be lucky to find a cup of coffee much before 8 or 9 am and it’s not much fun when you are the only ones around. Spanish time is really quite civilized when you are used to it.
•Eat lunch before 1 or 2 at the latest as especially in the smaller towns as the siesta still reigns supreme until about 5pm.
•Dinner is not until at least 10 pm so you won’t sleep at the earliest midnight so it follows that you don’t then rise before 9 or 10.
•Ready to eat more ham than you believed could exist? Round that off with olives, bread, potatoes and cheese and that’s the standard Spanish fare. It took almost 2 months before I could face a piece of ham when I returned home
•It is so hard to find a dish with lots of fresh vegetables so if you need a veggie fix – search out the not so common Chinese Restaurants

Restaurants:
Consuegra travelogue picture
Continued from above

•On the flip side some of the food is sublime - Paella’s, Albadonga’s (meatballs), poor mans potatoes just to name a few are to die for
• Tapas is an art form - cheese with a drizzle of olive oil or a plump spicy olive never tasted so good
•On the other hand Tapas is a great idea but it is hard to adapt to when you are bought up not to snack and eat a proper meal
•Search out the Menu Del Dia for the best value and for some really quality eating. We skipped lunch and found this was the way to go. 8 – 12 euro was the standard price for a quality meal. The best value was in Cazorla. It was fancy hotel with 3 courses of fantastic food and we thought it included a glass of wine but it was actually a bottle of really nice wine. All this for 10 euro.

Other recommendations:
Another view of the windmills
Another view of the windmills
Language

•Like most countries don’t be afraid to try your Spanish, most people appreciate the effort.
•Touristy towns such as Cordoba someone will speak English but on the whole we found that it was not common so you really need a rudimentary grasp of Spanish


Overall just enjoy!!

Published on Saturday January 27th, 2007


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Wed, Jan 31 2007 - 08:04 PM rating by mistybleu

This is a lovely report, and the shots are so picturesque. Nice!

Amanda

Sun, Jan 28 2007 - 09:52 PM rating by jorgesanchez

Eres una maestra escribiendo reports! La proxima vez has de venir a Barcelona!

Sat, Jan 27 2007 - 06:22 PM rating by eirekay

Kerrie - what a great idea! I like seeing all the travel tips - this is terrific!
Eire

Sat, Jan 27 2007 - 04:16 PM rating by mrscanada

Kerri thank you for the information. I liked your pictures, (el toro was the best)

Sat, Jan 27 2007 - 01:20 PM rating by marianne

Kerrie,
Very good country overview, lots of good tips. Prebooking at weekend it such a nuissance. (I never know how long I will stay) It is the same in Greece and other mediterranean countries.

Sat, Jan 27 2007 - 07:50 AM rating by davidx

I like seeing different types of reports - great idea.

Sat, Jan 27 2007 - 06:44 AM rating by alfonsovasco

This report is really maravilloso! You know Spain better than me. Felicidades!

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