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Old 06-19-2016, 01:32 PM   #21
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Recently returned from a month in Spain. I tried to use my limited Spanish as often as possible. Selected the route for both travel reasons and to evaluate town(s) for a 1-3 month trip next year to both see if I'd like to try for a long stay visa and to turn my Spanish into something much more useful.
Did you end up finding a real favorite place? I'm sort of doing it backwards from you, the extended stay prior to any place-to-place survey trip. Cordoba is a bit inland, but it looks like it's low enough elevation to be fairly warm. I'd considered Grenada, but it's high enough up to be a bit colder than I'd prefer.

I'd probably spend extended time in Porto and/or Lisbon during the late winter, early spring period - but learning Spanish is a lot more useful to us than learning Portuguese. They are great walking cities to explore.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:35 PM   #22
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I'd probably spend extended time in Porto and/or Lisbon........ They are great walking cities to explore.
Thumbs up to both...with Porto, for us, having the edge.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:31 PM   #23
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Tenerife

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Hadn't really considered the Canary Islands, but it's an interesting idea. I'd assume a car is needed to explore Tenerife, right? It looks like there would be some good mountain biking opportunities there, too.
Public transport is abundant and works by the minute using google map on my phone. I have lived here for 6 years and chose not to have a car. Renting a car is cheap (20eu/day), so u can take trips here and there exploring the smaller towns and villages.

All ordinary and extraordinary sports that u can imagine are doable here beyond.....

People are very friendly and speak enough English (except up north where you get a better chance of practising Spanish).

Life is 20% cheaper than mainland Spain. You are a cheap flight away from all eu capitals and Morroco.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:38 PM   #24
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ps: re difficulty to find a place in Tenerife. You need to be proactive well in advance. If needed PM me and I will give u details of the estate agent whom I use to rent out my flat every now and again. There are a good few FB groups as well. Tenerifeforum.org also puts u directly in touch with expats who rent their flats every now and again.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:57 PM   #25
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ps: re difficulty to find a place in Tenerife. You need to be proactive well in advance. If needed PM me and I will give u details of the estate agent whom I use to rent out my flat every now and again. There are a good few FB groups as well. Tenerifeforum.org also puts u directly in touch with expats who rent their flats every now and again.
My friend thanks you for your offer, but advises that they have already made plans elsewhere for this upcoming winter, and perhaps next also.

Much appreciated.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:52 PM   #26
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Did you end up finding a real favorite place?
Segovia for practical reasons. Easiest version of Spanish to understand. Provincial capital big enough to meet most of my day to day needs, small enough that it's not a center plus suburbs. Tourist district is compact and avoidable. Close to big city (Madrid) with an international airport, if I feel the need for either of those.

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I'm sort of doing it backwards from you, the extended stay prior to any place-to-place survey trip.
Our plans may be closer than you think. My place to place survey was to find a place for extended stay. Should that stay encourage more, my subsequent trip will be a second place to place survey to narrow down where I'd like to live.

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I'd probably spend extended time in Porto and/or Lisbon during the late winter, early spring period - but learning Spanish is a lot more useful to us than learning Portuguese. They are great walking cities to explore.
Unfortunately for those so minded, travel sources pay little attention to great city walking.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:48 PM   #27
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Segovia for practical reasons. Easiest version of Spanish to understand. Provincial capital big enough to meet most of my day to day needs, small enough that it's not a center plus suburbs. Tourist district is compact and avoidable. Close to big city (Madrid) with an international airport, if I feel the need for either of those.
Good description of a destination, and maybe not being a center without suburbs is a key point. Part of that for me is avoiding driving - I don't mind driving in Europe, but I don't particularly like it. And I want to try settling into a walkable area to experience how the locals live.

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Our plans may be closer than you think. My place to place survey was to find a place for extended stay. Should that stay encourage more, my subsequent trip will be a second place to place survey to narrow down where I'd like to live.
Ah, that would explain a more rigorous selection process, sure. I've never really seriously considered moving to another country, that's a more involved process. I expect any place I settle on for a couple of month stay will work out fine, but sometimes there's a feel for a specific place that is a better fit. I've done more survey trips, but trying the slower travel method is appealing.

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Unfortunately for those so minded, travel sources pay little attention to great city walking.
I'd agree, it's something that's hard to dig out before you see a place. Maybe there's a travel writing marketing opportunity there. I know I want to revisit Istanbul for a longer time mostly for the walking.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:04 PM   #28
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Public transport is abundant and works by the minute using google map on my phone. I have lived here for 6 years and chose not to have a car. Renting a car is cheap (20eu/day), so u can take trips here and there exploring the smaller towns and villages.



All ordinary and extraordinary sports that u can imagine are doable here beyond.....



People are very friendly and speak enough English (except up north where you get a better chance of practising Spanish).



Life is 20% cheaper than mainland Spain. You are a cheap flight away from all eu capitals and Morroco.


Wow that sounds great. Need to add to my list. Love the idea of biking there too.


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Old 06-20-2016, 06:09 AM   #29
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Good description of a destination, and maybe not being a center without suburbs is a key point. Part of that for me is avoiding driving - I don't mind driving in Europe, but I don't particularly like it. And I want to try settling into a walkable area to experience how the locals live.
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. I prefer not to live in a city that is a downtown area surrounded by suburbs, where 'downtown' is high(er) rise, high densities of buildings, people and traffic, high rents and high human activity. An area where most locals go mainly to work or play, but live in the suburbs, where all those 'highs' of the center are lows to moderates. That's what I call a 'center plus suburbs'. Except for car-oriented cities like Los Angeles, it's the standard model for most cities.

For towns/cities with populations around 150-250k, generally, the concentrations of economic and government activity don't have the drawbacks of big city centers. Also their suburbs grew organically over time while big city suburbs usually sprouted in clumps of cookie cutter output.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:37 AM   #30
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I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing. I prefer not to live in a city that is a downtown area surrounded by suburbs, where 'downtown' is high(er) rise, high densities of buildings, people and traffic, high rents and high human activity.
I think we might actually be saying the same thing, different focus. I live in one of those suburbs surrounding a city, which was kind of required during my working years. But eventually settling into a smaller, likely university centered city is a future possibility - we're exploring a few of those in the US.

But for my slow anchored-to-one-spot travel, I just like to be somewhere a car isn't required unless I want to go outside the city. That can be a smaller city (like Siena, Italy), or a larger city with good transit and a walkable center. Places I might not want to live, but like to visit.
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