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Advice On How To Meet Up With Friends Already On Camino Frances

Discussion in 'Camino Frances' started by TML, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. TML

    TML New Member

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    Does anyone have any advice on how to meet up with friends who have already begun their journey on Camino Frances (e.g.. transportation to the stages, which stages to join, etc.)? Thanks so much!
     
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  2. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    Would love to help, TML, but would need to know generally in what area you want to join on the Frances. The options are many, but would be different depending on where your friends are along the way. Just know that train service is available at many of the larger towns/cities and that there is not only the national bus service (ALSA.es) that serves many towns along the Camino, but also local bus companies that have service to many of the smaller towns along the way. If we have a better idea of what you need, it would be easier to help.
     
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  3. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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  4. TML

    TML New Member

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    I can join them at Fromista or any stage after Day 15. Any advice you can give me would be so helpful! Thanks so much!!
     
  5. TML

    TML New Member

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    Very helpful, I will check it out. Thanks so much!
     
  6. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    OK. Fromista isn't easy to get to - a train that runs north-south doesn't really connect with anything useful on Camino, and the bus doesn't go through Fromista every day - or so the tourist office told me when I was there and wanted to catch a bus.

    Carrion de los Condes is a nice town and is served by ALSA (Alsa.es). You could, if you're flying into Madrid, take the train (Renfe.com) to Burgos, take a taxi or a local bus from the Burgos train station (it's out a ways and not exactly convenient to downtown) to the bus station. From there, you could take the ALSA bus from the station just across the river out to Carrion de los Condes. The bus arrives in Carrion de los Condes around 10:45 am.

    The easier thing to do would be to take a train to Sahagun and meet them. You could also meet them in Leon, where the bus and train station are within 2 blocks of each other and very convenient.

    Hope that helps a little and that you can meet your friends and have a wonderful Camino!
     
  7. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi TML and welcome to the forum

    As Crepes4Suzette has already mentioned, Fromista is a reasonably easy place to get to and, in fact, this is where I split my own Camino Frances into two sections at :)

    The once question that I have is where are you flying into ?? As if you haven’t booked your flight, some airports will be easier than others.

    At the end of my 1st section of The Camino Frances, I travelled by train to Madrid and this was a simple enough journey, so Madrid isn’t a bad choice.

    But when I returned to Fromista, I took a flight to Bilbao and getting to Fromista from there was also a relatively simple task.

    Once we have more detail, we may well be able to offer you more specific info.



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
  8. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey TML - C4S is spot on on both her advice and information regarding travel in Spain. Madrid may be the easiest arrival and departure point for you. Travel on from there is quite straight forward. You will find that both train and bus travel in Spain is easy and efficient. Many folks access the CF at different points to start. In addition to the two websites C4S gave you, here's one more:

    https://www.raileurope.com/index.html

    As I'm guessing that your travel isn't until some time in 2018, fares may not yet be published. Buen Camino.
     
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  9. TML

    TML New Member

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    I was planning to fly into Madrid but I can fly into Bilboa (BIO). I am using my miles so both destinations are a possibility. Crepes4Suzette said Fromista isn't easy to get to. When you flew into Bilboa, how do you get to Fromista? Thanks so much for your advice!
     
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  10. TML

    TML New Member

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    I really appreciate all your advice!

    I went to the Rome2Rio website (https://www.rome2rio.com) and typed in Madrid to Fromista and it produced bus and train info. Is that info misleading as it seems to state the train stops in Fromista? I'm a bit confused. Thanks again!
     
  11. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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    If you try Rome2Rio like this https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Bilbao/Frómista you can see there are 2 train choices and 1 bus choice.

    Or from Madrid https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Madrid/Frómista

    Both Bilbao and Madrid rail stations are easy to find so it will be up to you whether you want a stay in either city. Love both of them but Madrid is the better one.

    Just a word of warning about rail travel in Spain. Since they had that horrible terrorist incident a few years ago, they check all baggage going onto trains so get to the train station early for any train journey.
     
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  12. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even think about coming in from Bilbao to Fromista. That may be the train connection that comes in from the North. It's not easy coming from the Camino Frances. I guess I'm oriented to coming from Madrid. Rob has done it, so there must be a way from Bilbao. I hope I haven't given you bad information! If you can find a train connection from Madrid to Fromista, so much the better!
     
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  13. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey TML - It occured to me that Greg Canning and his wife just a couple weeks ago completed a leg of the CF beginning in Fromista. If my memory serves me right, their connection was Dublin-Madrid-Fromista. If Greg doesn't see this thread, drop him a PM. I'm sure he'd be glad to share with you how they got to Fromista. Buen Camino.
     
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  14. UnkleHammy

    UnkleHammy Well-Known Member

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    On my most recent trip in late May and early June, my pack was never checked over when I was traveling by train or bus.
     
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  15. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    We flew into Bilbao the evening before, had a night in Bilbao (Beautiful City with a lot of history and of course, the famous Guggenheim Museum), then travelled from there to Fromista by train – It was quite a long journey but a spectacular route as the train clawed its way up the coastal mountain range and onto the high plateaux.



    https://www.trainline.eu/train-times/bilbao-to-fromista is a useful website that gives you options for both trains and busses and if you change the search from Bilbao to Madrid, you should be able to suss out which is the better place to fly into to coincide with your flight arrival time.



    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob

    PS - I am sure that C4S hasn’t given you bad info as it is possible to get to/from either Madrid or Bilbao to/from Fromista by train –Like she said – I have done both :)
     
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  16. Galloglaigh

    Galloglaigh Member

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  17. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    This was bugging me, so I looked it up. Renfe.com wouldn't give me the route at first, and initially told me there were only trains 2X per WEEK, but here's what eventually came up: There are one to three trains per day from Madrid Chamartin. All seem to require transfer at Valladolid except for ONE direct train on Fridays at 15:25, taking about 2 hours. If you have trouble with the Renfe site, as happens........not infrequently...............try your search from Madrid Chamartin to Valladolid and Valladolid to Fromista separately. That helps sometimes.

    Yes, Fromista really does have a train station. I was unaware that it connected anywhere useful, as had been trying to get there from ON the Camino in Burgos or Castrojeriz - it doesn't go that way because it comes up from the South on a different trajectory from Madrid - Palencia is the closest place to the Camino where the train from Madrid connects before getting to Fromista. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
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  18. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi all

    sorry was offline yesterday due to the weather :))

    I started this year from Fromista and having examined all the possibilities I found that a flight into Madrid Barajas, metro to Madrid Chamartin Railway station, train to Fromista via a change at Valladolid was the best option by far. Check out Renfe for times etc. The train leaves Madrid around about 3.30pm and arrived in Fromista before 6pm. The train to Valladolid was a high speed inter-city train and then you switch to a local line to travel to Fromista. The transfer time in Valladolid was tight but Renfe had staff on duty to guide passengers.

    There is also a rail connection from Santander to Fromista but the timing of the flights into Santander would have required an overnight in Santander.

    With regard to the security issue, our bags were checked boarding at Madrid and at Leon on the return journey.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  19. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Greg’s info is a lot more up to date than mine, so as long as your flight arriving in Madrid coincides with a suitably timed train, then that will be the way to go – When I did the trips, the trains I chose took a similar time between Fromista and Madrid as they did between Bilbao and Fromista and it sounds as though that has since changed !!

    Although I did enjoy the train trip from Bilbao to Fromista, so if you aren’t in a rush, Or if your flight times don’t coincides with a suitably timed train, then at least you now know that you have options :)

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  20. Wily

    Wily Camino Francés 2016; Camino Portugués 2017

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    Hey TML - If you do go the route of arriving and departing from Madrid and you're not familiar with the city, do try to spend a day or two there if not at the start then after your Camino. It really is one of the great capitals of Europe! Related to the Camino, you might be interested in visiting the Iglesia Santiago y San Juan Bautista near the Sol metro station in the heart of Madrid. Here's a recent NYT article featuring some of Madrid's highlights for folks with limited time there. Regarding accommodations, I happen to like the Hostal Madrid near the Plaza Mayor, but one needs to make reservations well in advance as it is quite popular. Buen Camino.
     
  21. Greg Canning

    Greg Canning Well-Known Member

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    Hi Rob

    When we finished in Fromista last April it was very difficult to get the train back to Bilbao. We had to get a train to Palencia and then change to a train to Burgos. Over-nighted in Burgos and got the bus back to Bilbao in time for our flight home to Dublin.

    I suppose it all depends on your flight times and until our most recent trip I hadn't really considered Madrid as an option.

    Buen Camino

    Greg
     
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  22. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Yes Greg – Totally agree, it all depends on flight times – Also flight prices, we got the better deal by heading to Bilbao (Including the cost of the overnight in the hotel) + As we had already been to Madrid at the end of our first section, it was nice to go to a different city, and, as mentioned earlier, Bilbao does have a lot to offer :)

    It looks like there is a train departs from Bilbao at 15.20 and you then arrive in Fromista at 19.38, but it does involve two changes with a journey time of 4 hours 18 minutes, so as you said, slower than the time it took you from Madrid.

    Details on https://www.trainline.eu/train-times/bilbao-to-fromista - Scroll down a little

    Best Regards

    Rob
     
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  23. oldman

    oldman Oldman Donating Member

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    My wife and friends traveled from Dublin to Santander and train to Fromista there were two trains per day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
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