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Travel to Spain/spain trip dec 21, 2013 - jan 3, 2014

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Question
Hi. Our daughter will be in Salamanca for the fall 2013 semester. We are planning on being in Spain over the Christmas holidays. Our kids are 20 and 23 and will be with us. I'm trying to figure out our itinerary. Everything I read about makes me feel we should see Barcelona. But we don't have a lot of time and we don't want to spend a lot of time on trains! We plan on flying into and out of Madrid. We want to be in Salamanca the 22nd and 23rd. Do you think we should try to see Barcelona or skip it and head to Andalusia? We plan on being in Madrid New Year Eve. Please help. Thank you for your input!

Answer
Hi Terri

Many thanks for your question and I hope I can help out regarding Barcelona.

I would certainly advise that Barcelona has to be one of the 'must visit' areas of Spain to visit if only to marvel at the architecture of the world famous Antoni Gaudi.

In terms of time Barcelona is best served by passing at least a week in the City however you may like to consider what visitors taking cruises from Barcelona International Cruise Port do. In the main these visitors arrive for just 2 nights in the City before setting off on their cruise and typically fit in a tour of Antoni Gaudi's Parc Güell and La Sagrada Familia plus walk the Gothic and Roman City Centre with a stop at the oldest Synagogue in Europe. If taking the hop on hop off bus many more sites can be visited briefly at very low cost including the Olympic Ring.

I strongly advise that you travel from Madrid to Barcelona on the AVE high speed train as this will save you hours in the airport and give you more time to enjoy both places, also as a non-Spanish citizen you can obtain a Spain Pass rail ticket at reduced cost saving money via the RENFE rail site http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/viajes_internacionales/spainpass/index.html

Hopefully the above will provide some guidance and Barcelona awaits your visit.

Regards
Alan

Travel to Spain

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Alan Broadbent

Expertise

Disabled people who are wheelchair users, be it manual or powered, face a challange when deciding to travel no matter if in their own country or abroad. Typical questions to be answered include, "can I get from the airport to my hotel in an adapted accessible vehicle"; "I can transfer from my manual wheelchair but only into a standard saloon, can I do this for a transfer from the airport"; "I need a hotel room that has an accessible roll-in shower, how can I reserve one as websites don't offer this option"; "I need a wheelchair pusher, are they available in Barcelona etc"; "I want to hire a self drive vehicle to tour Spain that is wheelchair adapted, how do I do this"; "is Barcelona wheelchair friendly"; "is Madrid wheelchair friendly"; "is Valencia wheelchair friendly"; "I need to hire a power chair, is this possible in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Malaga"; "I want to hire a wheelchair for the duration of my cruise which starts in Barcelona, can I do this?" These are a small sample of typical questions asked by wheelchair users and to which I have the answers for Spain. Questions related to medical care are beyond the scope of my experience.

Experience

I am the Managing Director of Accessible Services. My company offers three branded services two of which are relevant to this 'AllExperts' site, Disabled Accessible Travel (http://www.disabledaccessibletravel.com) offering accessible services to the disabled in 51 countries, and Wheelchair Accessible Barcelona (http://www.wheelchair-accessible-barcelona.es) offering specialised services to the disabled within the Metropolitan boundaries of Barcelona and further afield. In addition to my key area of work I speak at international conferences the last of which was the World Travel Market where in 2010 I was a keynote speaker for the Travel Agent seminar on Accessible Travel for the Disabled. I am a Founder member of the Global Network for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities acting as advisor on Travel & Tourism for new business start-ups by disabled people. I act also as a consultant on accessible issues such as access to tourist sites, hotels, and other issues pertinent to access. I am a registered disabled (rated 40% disability by the Government of Catalunya)person in Spain.

Organizations
SATH GNED

Publications
I maintain an informative blog offering guidance and information on issues pertaining to accessible travel for the disabled http://blog.disabledaccessibletravel.com Research papers have been included in a number of International Conferences (as such they are not 'published' works)and blogs related to Accessible Travel.

Education/Credentials
My educational background is mixed and reflects careers in a diverse range of professions, all at managerial and business ownership level. I hold degrees in Education, Business Management, and Music; a post graduate Diploma in Conducting; and a Masters in Accounting. I also hold a variety of travel industry related Certificates and Diplomas.

Past/Present Clients
Under the brand of Disabled Accessible Travel we manage the services for a number of leading American travel agencies; for many of the Canadian Expedia Cruise Ship Centres and for a variety of UK based agencies and private companies. Amongst the many world wide companies and institutions that have consulted with me is the Vatican Musuem, Rome.

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