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Help me Travel: Madrid, Seville and Jerez

It has been a couple weeks since I’ve gotten some use out of my passport, hasn’t it?  We’ve decided instead of taking a big two week trip in March this year (like we did in 2011 and 2013 — we skipped 2012 because of this) we’re taking just a week and visiting Spain.  We’re taking some time to revisit Madrid, take some day trips from Madrid, spending a couple days in Seville and Jerez.

It’s been nearly 17 years since I’ve been in Madrid (good god, that’s depressing).  We’ve got out hotels booked throughout the trip, but I need your help. As I always ask, where should we eat? What tourist attractions should we visit – and which ones have you visited, but recommend staying away from?  We’re looking for some fine dining places, casual eateries and while in Jerez we want to experience the Sherry Culture – so we need ideas on locales, tours, shops, everything.

Paella – photo from http://caminoways.com

I wasn’t a fan of port until we visited Oporto Portugal, now I absolutely love it.  I’m not a big fan of Sherry right now, but am confident, once I learn more about it, experience it in it’s native land, I’ll really dig it too.

So send me your recommendations.  I’m a couple trip reports behind now, but I’m working to catch up.  Give me suggestions and I’ll write about as many as I can.  And yes, Mexico City, Stockholm and Quebec trip reports are in the queue…

In addition to Spain, we’ll have a 6 hour layover in Brussels, in which we’ll be escaping the airport so I can practice my French — so I’ll need your best suggestions for these great Spanish Cities as well as Brussels. What’s your favorite stop in each of these Cities?

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