3 Weeks in Spain (via Japan) | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

3 Weeks in Spain (via Japan)

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
First trip report here :cool: Hopefully I can do it right!

So back in March I decided to go to Spain in May, hmm 6 weeks is not nearly enough planning time! But I managed, somehow.

The itinerary:
MEL - NRT JL774
2 days in Tokyo

HND - LHR - MAD JL41+IB something
Madrid - Segovia - Avila - Salamanca - Toledo - Sevilla - Cordoba - Ronda - Granada - Madrid

MAD - NRT - MEL IB6801+ Overnight Hotel Nikko Narita + JL773
Route.JPG
 
Last edited:

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
13,876
Flights
My Map
Sounds a great trip! I loved Spain, especially Segovia and Salamanca. Do you like gin & tonic, by any chance?
 
  • Haha
Reactions: VPS

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
JL774
Had I known AMEX will be getting rid of the restaurant credits I would have gone to Movida! Bah.
Nothing really to write about re Marhaba lounge, but at least there are made to order noodles.
DSC_1390.JPG

Couldn't get a window seat either, but the aisle seats on the window side do have some extra storage.
169417

Had western breakfast last time and didn't like it. So Japanese breakfast it is.
P5031698.JPG
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
This is my 8th trip to Japan by the way...so pretty much no sightseeing, just wondering about Ginza...

Hotel Remm Kyobashi
I almost always stay near Tokyo Station/Ginza area, Kyobashi is right in the middle, very handy.
Good size by Tokyo standard.
P5031699.JPG

Shower only, def not typical Japanese...
P5031700.JPG
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
JL 41 departs 2 am(!) from Haneda, so I'll need to find something to do that day...Luckily this is Japan, people are creative in terms of how to kill time before a flight.
Look what I found: Heiwajima onsen!
Obviously you can't take pictures inside, so I direct you to the official website:
https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/

Basically, you pay 2400 Yen which includes entrance to the onsen & facilities, shuttle bus to Haneda airport at 10 or 11pm. (There are later buses to Haneda too, but cost a bit more I believe). Massage, vending machine, restaurant cost extra. Beats JAL Lounge by a country mile.

Speaking of lounges, JAL is quite generous...
DSC_1434.JPG

This flight is not full (oh I wonder why ;))so I got a window seat no problem.
P5061752.JPG

Tons of privacy when the partition is up.
P5061761.JPG

And I had ramen!
P5061755.JPG

APEX suites are not my favourite seats out there -- not a fan of neighbours plus not enough storage, personally I like reverse herringbones. But JAL is often cheaper than the ME3 going to Europe. And you can stop over in Tokyo!
 

VPS

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
2,830
Flights
My Map
I love Spain - good on you for writing a TR - looks good so far
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
There's a new Plaza Premium lounge in LHR T5, very quiet as Priority Pass can't get you in. Luckily Amex Plat is accepted, much better than the zoo that is BA lounge.

I'm not going to write about the Euro Business LHR - MAD, economy seats with a blocked middle seat is really not that exciting. :confused:
There is one thing though, when we get to Barajas airport, my luggage was one of the very last to come out - together with all the other business passengers! :mad: Not a great first impression...
 
Last edited:

amaroo

Enthusiast
AFF Supporter
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
11,167
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
Looking forward to the updates - I’m another Spanish fan.
 

TomCC

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2018
Messages
32
Love Japan and am often thinking about Spain so will certainly be paying attention on this one!
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
Double Tree by Hilton Madrid Prado
Oh my god what a disaster...booked and paid for a king room, and this is what I got:
P5061778.JPG

Being very jet lagged I didn't think too much. But a few days later when looking through my pictures found this:
DSC_1499.JPG

WOW! So I got the smallest room of the whole floor?! :mad:
Don't recall seeing downgrade as a published benefit of Hilton Gold... Anyways the hotel didn't respond to my queries so ended up contacting Hilton Honors after came back home, finally got a refund.
So yeah, stay away from this one!
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
Devour Tour Madrid
Booked a "Tapas, Taverns & History Tour" as it's highly recommended by a friend. It was pricy at EUR 99 plus tax. But such a great experience! Love it.

We went to four local taverns. First stop is Casa Labra for their famous bacalao, quite salty but delicious! (Forgot to take pictures, bah)

Next up is my favourite of the night, Meson del Champinon, so much so that I went back the next day:p
DSC_1468.JPGDSC_1469.JPG


No.3 is La Casa del Abuelo and prawns in garlic
DSC_1476.JPG

Final stop, Casa Toni, here we sat down and had multiple dishes...I'll let the photos do the talking.
DSC_1482.JPGDSC_1484.JPGDSC_1485.JPGDSC_1487.JPG

Oreja a la plancha, yum.
DSC_1488.JPG

Our guide Joy is an American expat, she's done a great job keeping everyone entertained and also provide great insight about Spanish food and history. And she introduced us all to Tinto de Verano!
I'm not a guided tour person, at all. But this one is so good I ended up booking another one of theirs in Sevilla.
 
Last edited:

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
Prado and others.
Main reason I booked that terrible hotel is I wanted to be close to the museums. (iirc Westin was EUR 500 plus those days, WTF is all I'm gonna say)
Museo del Prado needs no introduction.
P5081782.JPG

This is Spain after all so the museum opens at 10 am. I went early and didn't come out until about 6:30pm, it is just this large and I was totally exhausted.
6-8pm is free entry time but one look at the queue I'm convinced it's well worth the money to pay for a ticket...

Thyssen otoh is nice and quiet. Also, you can take photos heh heh.
P5091814.JPG

P5091806.JPG

Didn't go to Reina Sofia as I'm not into those things...

Caixa Forum
P5101899.JPG

More random pictures of Madrid...
Metropolis building
P5101888.JPG

Retiro Park
P5152319.JPG

Palacio de Cristal
P5152305 (2).JPG

P5152301 (2).JPG
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
Santiago Bernabeu & Caja Magica
Long time Real Madrid supporter here, so;)
P5253502.JPG

P5253522.JPG
P5253513.JPG

Also went to watch some tennis!
Third round in the main stadium Manolo Santana. Saw Djokovic v Chardy and Federer v Monfils.
Unfortunately Rafa played at night that day...
P5091841.JPG

P5091846.JPG

It's much smaller than Melbourne Park but nonetheless a good venue for a Masters tournament. And I like how they arrange the practice courts along a central walkway.
P5101862.JPG
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
A few more Madrid restaurants:
Sobrino de Botin, apparently the oldest restaurant in the whole world. Also featured in Heingway's The Sun Also Rises.

I was in the much sought after basement
P5142284 (2).JPG

Gazpacho
P5142285.JPG
Their famous suckling pig
P5142286.JPG

Didn't think the food is that special, but an experience I guess...
 

VPS

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
2,830
Flights
My Map
Prado and Thyssen are much better than Reina Sofia - loving the photos and bringing back memories
 

rbjhan

Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
287
La Tasqueria, not for the faint hearted, haha :cool:
DSC_1725 (2).JPG

And you can see why...
DSC_1721.JPG

Ox tongue and olive
DSC_1722 (2).JPG

Tongue * Salad * Lobster
DSC_1723.JPG

Ear * Beans * Salad
DSC_1726.JPG

Tripe * Shank * Snout
DSC_1728.JPG

This one is off menu, can you see what it is?
DSC_1727.JPG

The deep fried ear is a bit too much but I love everything else ;)
 
Last edited:

AFF on Air Podcast

  • Are Loyalty Programs a Scam? – AIR020
    Sat, 21 Sep 2019 08:36:18 AEST
      The ACCC recently released a damning draft report into Australian loyalty schemes, calling out practices that it says may shock consumers and putting loyalty program opera ...
  • Air Chathams – AIR019
    Sat, 07 Sep 2019 16:41:06 AEST
      With less than two weeks until the upcoming Qantas Frequent Flyer changes, now is the time to make any last-minute Classic Flight Reward bookings! In this episode, Matt ch ...
  • Project Sunrise – AIR018
    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 16:12:31 AEST
      Later this year, Qantas will decide which aircraft it will use to operate non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York - a feat it aims to achi ...
  • Choosing a Rewards Program – AIR017
    Sat, 10 Aug 2019 13:32:24 AEST
      If you're new to the world of frequent flyer points - or moving to a new country - it can be difficult to know where to start. In this episode, Matt discusses the consider ...
  • Travel Insurance – AIR016
    Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:34:12 AEST
      They say that if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel! In this episode, Matt chats to James Green about the importance of travel insurance, and wh ...

Community Statistics

Threads
82,925
Messages
1,923,031
Members
50,577
Latest member
ac124

Currently Active Users

Top