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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #981
Cicerón
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I agree with you, but that's how they call it in the press release I posted (post #772):
[IMG]http://i37.************/2qixkqx.jpg[/IMG]

BTW, there's also the A-231, in Castile & Leon too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autov%C3%ADa_A-231
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Old September 21st, 2008, 09:23 PM   #982
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A few shots from Flickr

Autovía A-44 (Guadalfeo - Gorgoracha)
image hosted on flickr


Autovía M501
image hosted on flickr


AG-56
image hosted on flickr


AG-56
image hosted on flickr


MA-21
image hosted on flickr


A-21
image hosted on flickr


A-30
image hosted on flickr


AC-543? Santiago - Noia
image hosted on flickr


A-67
image hosted on flickr


E-70
image hosted on flickr


AP7
image hosted on flickr


???
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???
image hosted on flickr



B10
image hosted on flickr


A8
image hosted on flickr


A66
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Old September 21st, 2008, 11:14 PM   #983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylandman View Post
A few shots from Flickr


???
image hosted on flickr
¿AP 7 near Almeria?



Quote:
image hosted on flickr


A 6 (Las Rozas, Madrid)
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 03:26 PM   #984
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Quote:
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¿AP 7 near Almeria?
I think it's the A-7 near Benalmádena. There's a cable car crossing over the highway, and it seems that the picture has been taken from it.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:12 PM   #985
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landscape
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:44 PM   #986
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How does Spain have/get so much money to build so many freeways?
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:51 PM   #987
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Well, we pay taxes and taxes are useful for many things, free health care, free education, highways, railways, etc.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:52 PM   #988
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From what I've seen of project info, their motorways are relatively cheap, especially those outside urbanized areas.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 06:44 PM   #989
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I am a bit confused... What is really the difference between autopistas and autovias?
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 06:46 PM   #990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bori427 View Post
How does Spain have/get so much money to build so many freeways?
European Union has helped a lot, but we pay lots of taxes too...
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:21 PM   #991
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Quote:
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I am a bit confused... What is really the difference between autopistas and autovias?
Nearly nothing. Autopistas have more service areas and less exits and are tolled. I think the toll thing is the biggest difference. Older Autovias are more substandard though, but they are being upgraded.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:33 PM   #992
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Hello everybody

I am back from a week-holiday in Southern Spain. I thought it would be interesting to make a complete report with pics of every motorway in the route (yeah, I know it's not a US Coast-to-Coast but it's the best I can offer).

Unfortunately my camera started failing in the early stages of the trip so I had to use my mobilephone camera instead. Consequently don't expect good quality pics but I hope they are good enough to get an overall idea of every road.

I start my report in Cordoba, going SE to Granada and then all the way North to my hometown Asturias stopping in Salamanca.




We spent a couple of nights in Córdoba, known for being the capital of Al-Andalus and the largest city in the world around 1000 years ago. Nowadays it's a midsized city (pop.323,000) known in Spain for its leftist ideology and extremely hot summers. If you plan to visit it, avoid July and August since it's usual to be over 40ºC.

Our next destination was Granada, so we had 3 options available to reach it by car: A45 and A92 through Antequera, A4 and A44 through Jaén and N-432 through Nacional road.

We had already decided to choose the first option (I hadn't driven in A92 and it seemed the fastest one), but we made the mistake to ask for advice to the locals. As you might imagine, almost everybody said our route was the worst and that they knew a shorter and nicer one .

Don't trust on what locals say about routes when you travel through Spain, especially if they are old. Many times they are so used to some routes that they don't even know there is a motorway-option available.

A45 Córdoba - Antequera


We start our trip early in the morning so we don't have to suffer too much with the heat. Unfortunately it means less light for the pics and the mosquitos didn't help to make them better (where are our beloved gipsy screen-cleaners when we want them? ).


Landscape seems to have more trees than what I expected. The motorway has a good quality overall.


Unfortunately there is a missing stretch close to Antequera, so we have to take the Nacional road.


As you can see, the motorway is being built paralel to the old Nacional road.


Only 5-10 minutes later we are back in A45 again.


But it won't be for long, since we have to take this exit near Antequera heading for A92.



A92 Antequera - Málaga


A92 gets its name because Andalucia Community planned to build it for the 1992 Expo. However, it wasn't completely finished until 2003. This stretch was built upgrading into motorway the old N-342.

Landscape is pretty arid but cool.


There you can see a 'white village', one of the Andalucian touristic landmarks.


Here we have the chance to go to Malaga through A92M.


Area for emergency brake with such a colorful painting.


It's pretty funny to drive through here.


Suddenly we find ourselves surrounded by big trees for a couple of kilometers


And 5 minutes later we see our exit to Granada through A44.


A44 acts like a busy beltway for Granada. We were supposed to have nice views of Sierra Nevada from here, but it was not the best weather for that.


I will try to keep the rest coming asap. Fortunately I have more and better quality pics in the next stages.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 07:42 PM   #993
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I knew that someone was going to mention the EU

Yes, the European Union gave Spain lots of Structural Funds (ERDF) until 2007, even though our Gross National Income had reached the limit (90% of EU average) before 2007, but that's because the EU budget is made every 7 years. Anyway the percentage was quite low compared to Spain's GDP because our population was bigger than the other receiving countries such as Ireland, Portugal and Greece.

And don't forget that Spain also gives money to the EU, for example in the 2007-2013 budget we must give 76 billion€ and receive about 78, with a benefit of 2.2 billion€ in 7 years. Considering that the Spanish state alone (not the autonomous communities) has spent this year 2.8 billion€ in building new roads, we can't say that the EU is paying all of our infrastructure as some people think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_...state_analysis

http://www.sgpg.pap.meh.es/Presup/PG..._117_1_1_7.PDF (see row "435B-Creación de infraestructura de carreteras" and column "Total").


Edit: Wow! Thanks for the pictures, Stifler!


Edit 2:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsko View Post
I am a bit confused... What is really the difference between autopistas and autovias?
We have discussed about that a lot in the Spanish forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Nearly nothing. Autopistas have more service areas and less exits and are tolled. I think the toll thing is the biggest difference. Older Autovias are more substandard though, but they are being upgraded.
Basically you're right, but I'd like to do some clarifications. In the 70's, the autopistas were totally new highways, sometimes tolled (as the AP-7 from Barcelona to Valencia), sometimes not tolled (A-66 and A-8 between Oviedo and Gijón).

But in the 80's, the socialist goverment decided to "duplicate" the radial roads going out of Madrid. These duplications consisted on just adding another parallel carriageway next to the old road and, obviously, changing the same level crossings for different level intersections, but they couldn't call the autopistas, so they invented the word autovía (nowadays we call them autovías de primera generación).

Since that, all the free highways built in Spain are called autovías, even though the ones built in the 90's and 2000's are not a simple duplication. The ones built in the 80's are being upgraded (see the previous page).


To sum up, autopistas can be tolled or not (most of them are tolled), and, if tolled, they all are supposed to have a free alternative. Autovías are never tolled. The older ones (80's) are more substandard and some vehicles such as bikes and mopeds <49cc can run over them (you have to be crazy though).

Last edited by Cicerón; September 22nd, 2008 at 08:21 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:00 AM   #994
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I will post the rest of the trip.

After spending a couple of days sightseeing, it's time to leave Granada. It has an atmosphere difficult to find anywhere in Spain, with the locals mixed with thousands of foreign students (I had never seen such a large concentration of young Americans in Europe) and 21th century hippies.

Granada is pretty cheap (for Spanish standards), but advices are always useful. For eating, avoid terraces and go to the 2/3 main 'tapas' streets. There are full of bars where they will give you a well-sized mini-meal with every drink. A beer costs 1.5€-2€ and you are full with 3 tapas.

A44 Granada - Bailén


To leave Granada we get the busy A44 again. Here you can see the colorful Spanish signage.


Weird info in the panel: Throwing butts 4 points (less in the driving license)


Yellow colour show they are doing some works in the motorway although we don't see them (it's Saturday).


In some stretches the lines have the usual white colour.


Landscape is pretty cool.


In some stretches they decided to use a solid lane in the middle, although nobody respected that.


Caution: high risk of fire.


Passing next to Jaén, one of the most unknown Spanish capitals I would say.


Something happens since one lane is closed.


We are guided to the other carriageway.


So we have to share it with the cars in the opposite direction. It seems they are doing some important works in the other carriageway (not only paving it).


After 5 km or so, we are back to the usual carriageway again.


So we keep our route surrounded by olive trees (Jaén is pretty famous for that), even smelling some oil sometimes.


And we reach the end of A44, taking the radial A4.



A4 Bailén - Pinto


The first stretches are made of this pretty ugly concrete, but the road is not in a bad condition. Guarro means filthy in Spanish. I always laugh when I heard of this village.


After this we had to drive through the (in)famous Despeñaperros. I will edit the video I have if you want so.

It means we have crossed the border between Andalucia and Castilla-La Mancha. We will see the Spanish bull several times during the rest of our trip.


We were stopped in a police checkpoint where they were looking for somebody.


I think A4 is the motorway where I have seen the largest amount of white signage in Spain. No idea why.


From this point, we will have to suffer some very bad stretches.


And some really good ones where nobody seems to respect the speed limits (reason why speed is controlled like in this pic).


Osborne bull is the most famous ad/landmark in the Spanish roads, but this one in the right is also pretty usual.


After more than 50km without mayor roads around, it's a plessure to see a motorway exit again.


And now we have to make an important decision: new high quality tolled R4 or old poor quality free-tolled A4.


We hadn't driven through this stretch of A-4 for a while, so we decide to take the free option.


This stretch is really bad. You can still see an exit like saying 'are you sure you don't want to take R4 instead?'.


Once we get closer to Madrid, the motorway improves. We can see industrial areas at both sides of A4.


And we start to see the first buildings. This is Valdemoro, a 50,000 inh. town in Madrid Metro Area.


There's a popular expression in Spanish 'being between Pinto and Valdemoro', which means being hesitant. So now we are exactly there.


Time to leave A4 and get M50, the furthest Madrid ring-motorway.



M50 Pinto - Las Rozas


The first exit in the West side of the ring is for R5, the new tolled alternative to A5.


The exit to A5, which is in a better condition than A4 by the way.


We keep our route in the NW part of M50. In this area, you find some of the wealthiest suburbs of Madrid.


In general, the condition of the motorway is very good.


But it's time to leave it and join A6.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:02 AM   #995
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A6 Las Rozas - Collado Villalba


Four lanes + reversible lane. It's hard to see something like that in Spain, but absolutely justified.


It had a huge reformation some years ago, so it's in a perfect condition.


From here you can see the cross of Valle de los Caídos (see something in the hill above the blue car), one of the few remaining symbols of the dictatorship.


And we reach the end of A6 entering AP6 (not tolled yet).



AP6 Collado Villalba - Villacastín


So we are oficially in AP6.


The untolled stretch is about to end. We have the option to get the old N-6 through a mountain port or follow the tolled AP6 through Guadarrama tunnel.


I have also a video of Guadarrama tunnel. I will edit and upload it later.

Exit to Segovia.


Our final destination is Salamanca, so we take AP51 exit to Avila.



AP51 Villacastín - Ávila


As you can see this motorway is almost empty.


We pass next to Avila and take A50 to Salamanca.



A50/N501 Ávila - Salamanca


We enjoy A50 for a few kilometers.


However, most of it is still under construction so we have to take N501 instead.


This is likely the most yellowist scenary I have ever passed through.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:05 AM   #996
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Another two days-visit to Salamanca, a town in a different planet than Granada. A medieval town, with one of the oldest universities in Europe, the nicest main square in Spain and a very cool nightlife. A pretty expensive place though.

A62 Salamanca - Tordesillas


We take a pretty good motorway thorugh a yellow scenary. I expected to see many Portuguese plates but surprisingly I only saw many French ones.


It starts to rain in the sunny Spain. In the right, there seems to be a kind of artificial stork nests.


Near Tordesillas, we take to keep our North-West route.



A6 Tordesillas - Benavente


It might look empty most of the time, but it is a key motorway for NW Spain.


There are quite a lot of service stations in this area.


Close to Benavente, we take A66 since our destination is Asturias.



A66 Benavente - León


This motorway is called Ruta de la Plata, because of the ancient path that linked Seville with the Cantabric coast.


Entering Leon province.


A bridge for cattle. It's made this way so they can cross the motorway without being afraid of cars.


Getting close to León.


Time to enter AP66.



AP66 León - Campomanes



The signage already indicates it's a high mountain Autopista.


The terrain is extremely difficult, so lots of curves are expected.


As well as many tunnels too.


We decide to make a quick stop in a resting area to take some photos.


And it wasn't a bad decision since the landscape is gorgeous (although the reservoir doesn't have too much water).


The resting area is fine, and it's usual to see families having a picnic here in the weekends.


Back to the road we can see those zebra-painted curves.


And a pretty cool bridge over the reservoir.


The road keeps going up reaching 1200 masl.


Vegetation here is almost inexistent.


We cross Negrón tunnel, which is over 4km lenght and fixes the limit between Asturias and Castilla and León.

So now we are in my homeland Asturias.


Tunnels keep coming, but you can notice the landscape is greener.


We start going down enjoying a beautiful landscape.


There are some resting areas where we can get very nice pics.


I have always wondered how life must be in that village in the background. It's almost impossible to get there by road.


Soon low dense villages close to the motorway appear. It will be extremely usual in Asturias (in contrast with the compact villages in the plateau).


After paying a pretty expensive toll we are ready to get A66 in Campomanes.



A66 Campomanes - Serín



Pola de Lena is the first small town you see once you are in Asturias. This area is called 'the Asturian coalfield'.


Mieres is the next town in our route. Here you can get AS-I if Gijón is your final destination.


Ten minutes later we are near Oviedo, where A66 acts like an East beltway.


Once we pass Oviedo, we reach the most crowded and oldest stretch in A66 (although today it's pretty empty). It's made of concrete and it's extremely noisy.


We are going down since we are going to the coast.


Time to leave A66 and follow A8 to Avilés.



A8 Serín Avilés



Getting inside the Autovía del Cantábrico.


Big contrasts. Rural area on the left side and heavy industry (steel) in the right one.


After motorway to airport was cuilt, the old stretch that reached Avilés was renamed as AI-81


From the motorway you can already perceive that Avilés is an industrial town.


Home sweet home.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:20 AM   #997
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Americans in Granada,seriously???

Which taxes does the Government use for the autopistas and autovías?
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 04:24 AM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bori427 View Post
Americans in Granada,seriously???

Which taxes does the Government use for the autopistas and autovías?
What do you mean by Americans in Granada???

The taxes that we all pay and the government uses where it is necessary through the Ministry of Transport.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:26 AM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bori427 View Post
Americans in Granada,seriously???
I was surprised too, but they were thousands. Mostly female students of Spanish.

Quote:
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Which taxes does the Government use for the autopistas and autovías?
There is no special tax for Autovías and Autopistas. Simply politicians use them as an effective electoral weapon since people seems to see only the advantages of them.

The Central Government has a budget around 4200 M€ per year until 2020 to accomplish that 94% of the population is at less than 30km from an Autovía or Autopista. Since Spain is a descentralized country, the Autonomus Communities have similar plans to extend the network.

The high speed train is the main bet for the current government though, with nearly 8000M€ per year until 2020.
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Old September 23rd, 2008, 10:49 PM   #1000
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Thanks for the photos, Stifler. I'm a fan of the spanish roads

When is it predicted the beginning of the reform of A-4?
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