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Thanks for los tips. A few more specific questions if I may:

We are of but limited means.

(c'mon …month in Spain? …limited means? Fair enough, perhaps I should explain. We were at one of those fundraising auctions for my daughter's school and the headlining attraction was an apartment for the month of August in Madrid. Giddy with the spirit of competition and the competition of giddy spirits, I raised my paddle. Quickly outdone I raised my paddle again. Wits still about me, I forged ahead, expecting my competitors to do the same until, thoroughly amused I would back away, leaving the field to others. Alas, the paddle waving stopped, the gavel fell, we're off to Spain. Well not quite, we still have to get there).

Where was I? Yes, limited means. We expected to take the subway in the city and trains, when possible, about the hinterlands, as we had in Italy lo these many years ago. Now we are four, including the aforementioned dividends, aged 10 and 7. A car looks more suitable for longer excursions. Agreed?

One excursion we're planning is north to Bilbao to see the new Gugge (pronounced goog, short for Guggenheim, well there, I might as well have just written it out), and then east to Barcelona through the Pyrenees. Does this seem plausible? Could it be done in, say, four days, returning to Madrid on the fifth? Is there a special place to stay along the way?

Would you take a 7-year old girl to a bull fight? (She still thinks Beauty and the Beast “had some scary parts.”)

Our southern excursion is southwest to Merida (another great building there, the Roman Archeology Museum), then to Seville, Cordoba and Granada. Same questions. Where to stay? Length of time to allow?

What about practical conveniences like groceries?

Cars and groceries. Those are my big worries. (Words to live by).
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