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About hkto

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Toronto, Canada
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  1. Can do both in one trip. There is a bus between Guimaraes and Braga, takes about 40 min. Train between Porto and either Guimaraes or Braga are at least hourly and some times 2 per hour. Bom Jesus is may be 15 min cab ride from center of Braga. Also there is local bus #2 that goes there and HOHO
  2. Having to carry original passport is a Spanish legal requirement however I'd rather risk paying a fine then losing it or have it stolen. Consequences of stolen passports are: cost of replacement (this is for just getting 1 entry doc and then payment for passport again), need to travel to Madrid or Barcelona if not already there, chance of paying for return ticket again (if loss happened close to departure) and potential hassle on the border for many years due to lost passport. For the record I never was asked to show passport but this is just my experience.
  3. Asking for passport info is used to verify the identity of ticket holder by matching it to ticket. This is the practice used by Alhambra for online tickets, may be Alcazar decided to do same. So I wouldn't worry about it that much. But asking for passport in Alhambra was random and infrequent. I don't carry it just have photo on the phone
  4. I always buy train tickets from official rail sites like French SNCF (link above), Spanish Renfe and Belgian of Dutch rail (look for their international sites for cross border tickets). If you buy as soon as tickets come out (90-120 days) can take advantage of deep promos (70% off in some cases). 3rd party agencies like raileurope do not offer good value. Tickets in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) are always on some kind of promo if bought in advance. I've seen Brussels to Amsterdam (3 hr train) for as little as 15€. Also senior rates are in effect.
  5. Sure buy Barcelona to Paris train ticket from https://en.oui.sncf/en/ Aug 30 is not sold yet so get it when it comes out. Takes 6.5 hrs. From Paris go-to Brussels then to Brugges on Belgian rail. If you are over 65 then tickets in Belgium are really cheap. Or just stay in Brussels and do day trip to Brugges and then train to Amsterdam
  6. To some people isolated location is a bonus, less chance of being pickpocketed and less noise at night. As I said before, it's 10 min walk from foot of Las Ramblas. After being in Barcelona many times to me Ramblas loses its novelty. I prefer quieter areas like anything north of Passeig De Gracia or near Sagrada.
  7. Can go to Elche to see palms (El Palmeral). 30 min on C1 Cercanias train station Elche Parque
  8. Location is about 10 min walk from Columbus statue which is at foot of Las Ramblas.
  9. This ride should be around 7-8€ during day time including 1€ supplement
  10. Suntransfers and shuttledirect are brokers. They contract someone else. 2 taxis cost $78€ flat rate so if single transfer beats that then definitely go for it. Suntransfers should be around 70€ on paper, may be more for tips, waiting time
  11. Should be ok. Ride is about 15 min. And having at least 20-30 min before train departure (finding the platform & small security lineup for Intercity trains) not a bad idea. So any cab before 9:30 is ok. And more likely ship will be there before 8am so 8 is actual disembark time. Count 10 min at most to get to taxi stand
  12. Shuttle may work at that time but I think it's more reliable to stay in the city and get taxi from there. Looking at 15 min difference at most. Taxis work 24/7. Taxi can be ordered from mobile apps or by calling. And of course from taxi stands. Can look for hotel near stands (but they are all over central Barcelona) https://taxi.amb.cat/en/taxista/parades
  13. Alsa (bus) has 30 kg luggage limit. Blablacar is probably not a good idea unless one speaks fluent Spanish and can work out logistics. Easiest thing is to rent a car.
  14. Not 15 min. At least 30 to Columbus statue
  15. Several companies offers "free" (tip based) yours that have afternoon slots, see https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-top-5-free-walking-tours-in-barcelona/. Barcelona Day Tours has some half day bus tours
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