Getting lost on Spanish highways...

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peteroldracer
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Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby peteroldracer » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:19 pm

Just come back from the UK (first time driving all way) and got lost going round Madrid heading north, again could not find road we wanted to use from Aranda de Duero to Santander....arrived at dusk with rain (rush hour) off ferry at Santander hoping to get a couple of hours down the road but after a couple of signs for Burgos these stopped, leaving us heading for Oviedo! We gave up and stayed the night (excellent hotel though) leaving me with 900kms to get home next day...got lost again round Madrid but made it!
It took a while to realise that unlike UK where motorways tend to say “The South” or “Southwest” you need a comprehensive knowledge of where every Spanish town or city is, to choose the right direction! From Santander the key to look for is Palencia, this being down the E67 beyond where you want to turn towards Burgos, and on the M50 round Madrid you must seek Valencia to get on the roads for the south and southeast...i nearly missed a couple of signs, with little warning before them, and was faced with the difficult decision as to keep going wrong then find a way to turn back, or squeeze my way over the separating lines from a slow lane into the fast lane of the road on my right....must wonder how many crashes are due to poor signage.
I will not do a trip like that again without satnav!
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Enrique
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby Enrique » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:48 pm

Hi Peter,
"I will not do a trip like that again without satnav!"........you can't be serious !!

Santander A67 -> Palencia -> A-231 Burgos -> Madrid - A-1 -> M-50 - A-4 or R-4 -> Córdoba , you're a bit East so AP-36 -> Albacete ?

Signs round Madrid have all the East radial road Numbers starting with the Closest, so A-4 and R-4 are at the Bottom, and move up as your swoop round
( target time from North A-1 to South A-4/R-4 30Mins)

The catch phrase in my circles .........Super Simple........... :D
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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peteroldracer
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby peteroldracer » Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:57 pm

The bits that did not come up on Google Maps were the magic keys of “Palencia” then “Valencia”. A bit like being in Birmingham but needing to look for signs to Brighton if you want London....a chef at a hotel near Santander said that there was no highway from Santander to Leon - you had to look for signs to some odd town that was in Cantabria before there would be signs to Leon....I have read before that Spain is not a country, merely a lot of provinces that happen to be next to each other....
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby Paddy Pumpkin » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:16 am

I concur with you about driving around Madrid...and I live here. Knowing which road to take is ok. However the big problem I find is when you take a slip road to switch to another autovia you drive around a bend and get 100 metres notice to switch lanes on the slip road as it splits in two.

The only solution I have found is SatNav with the voice on so then is says something like 'take the slip road on the right and stay in the left lane' if you just have the screen it gives you the information that up you need to be in the left lane only after you have taken the slip road.

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Wicksey
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby Wicksey » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:45 am

We found the same problem on our first drive to France ( a long time back before we had satnavs as standard). I then worked out how it worked, as others have described. I agree, that a general idea of how to get north when you're south of the city would be useful, similar to the M25 signage

It is the same everywhere when you look. Coming from Malaga airport you have the choice of Algeciras or Motril which won't mean a lot to someone trying to head for Nerja unless you know southern Spain particularly well.

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peteroldracer
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby peteroldracer » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:50 am

According to the helpful chef it is down to the insular attitude of the provinces - they will at best only put signs to a destination within their province, or at a pinch the neighbouring one!
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costakid
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby costakid » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:08 am

The 1st time i drove to Malaga from UK was 1998. I was worried about Madrid. I followed toutes (i think) directions which steered us away from the centre. It was actually easier than I expected. Another time driving home I went wrong and had a nightmare trying to get back on track. Now with new motorways I think it is much better.

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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby markwilding » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:30 am

Motorways can be a nightmare in Madrid. The problem for me is there are so many of them that it's difficult to read the small signs with so much information on them.
I know there is a direct national route of going between the area Burgos and Santander as well as crossing from Burgos to Valladolid by motorway but I would stay on the Motorway until Bilbao then 50 minutes from Bilbao to Santander.

Because I like to stop off at Segovia and My wife's grandmothers village, I have also taken the A6 out of Madrid, especially useful coming up from the south as it connects with the M50 thus avoiding the centre of Madrid, then Segovia, Valladolid and Santander

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costakid
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby costakid » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:42 am

I drove down from Santander on the last drive and went through a massive tunnel that was a toll of about 16 euros I think. You can avoid this but it adds 90 minutes on your journey. I exited and drove by the Santander banking village on the outskirts of Madrid. Never went anywhere near the centre and it was a doddle. I actually can't remember how I did it as I was just following signs with no sat nav.

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Wicksey
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby Wicksey » Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:28 pm

I've now got a satnav but always check its routes as it does take us some strange ways. I sometimes have to set it to go via a specific town in order to make it take me the most direct route, as 'fastest' or 'slowest' still sometimes avoid the easiest. I managed Madrid several times without one, but I do tend to rely on the satnav more these days.

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Devils Advocate
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:48 pm

A1 -M50-R4 is the greatest highway known to man and I thank Enrique every night for introducing me to it, what a doddle to defeat Madrid using that route......I'm off to thank him again now :P
Property owner in Andalucia since 2002. How time flies.

markwilding
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby markwilding » Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:49 am

It's almost possible to stop to have a picnic on the tarmac on the R4 and not see another car passing because so few cars use it. The A4 running along side is usually chockablock though.

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costakid
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby costakid » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:58 am

Thats the good thing about the toll roads. We went on the M50 via Madrid in the snow and I actually felt quite safe as no one else to skid into.

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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby Manchesteral » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:16 pm

First time I encountered the ring road system in Madrid was a nightmare this was in 1993.

I had put my car on the train in Paris and taken the night sleeper (different train) to Madrid.

When I picked up my car in Madrid I followed, as best I could the route for Malaga .

I went round the ring road twice before I finally noticed a small orange sign, about 40 cm x 10 cm which said "sur" Once I reached Getafe I was fine !

markwilding
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Re: Getting lost on Spanish highways...

Postby markwilding » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:29 pm

Those were the days :P


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