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Renfe launches flash sale on autumn train tickets across Spain

Bargain tickets are up for grabs this week on High Speed and long distance routes across Spain.

Renfe launches flash sale on autumn train tickets across Spain
Photo: AFP

It’s back to school and back to work for many of us after a long strange summer that may have left you with itchy feet as travel plans were shelved thanks to the global pandemic.

But for those who still want to do a bit of exploring around Spain before the end of the year and make the most of those upcoming ‘puentes’ then check out the discounts available on the Renfe site this week.

In a bid to boost domestic tourism in an industry that has been hit, Spain’s state rail company is offering deals on its AVE high speed trains and slower long-distance routes to destinations across the Iberian Peninsula on travel up until December 12th.

A total of 380,000 discounted seats are up for grabs beginning Tuesday September 8th until Monday September 13th.

Spain by train: Everything you need to know about rail travel


Photo: Nelso silva/Flickr

 

The campaign has the title “YoVoyOtoño” and offers promo+ tariffs which amounts to a 57percent discount on full fares on selected trips.

Tickets can be booked using the online system, in person at ticket offices within train stations or through Correos (Post Office) or travel agents.  

Examples of the bargains on offer include:

  • Barcelona-Alicante from €23,90
  • Barcelona-Murcia from €26,00
  • Madrid-Alicante from €28,50
  • Madrid-Barcelona from €55,55
  • Madrid-Cádiz from 38,30
  • Madrid-Cartagena from 42,15
  • Madrid-Córdoba from 37,40
  • Madrid-Gijón from 31,20
  • Madrid-Granada from 34,90
  • Madrid-Huelva from 21,80
  • Madrid-León from 27,60
  • Madrid-Logroño from 30,70
  • Madrid-Málaga from 41,40
  • Madrid-Murcia from 40,15
  • Madrid-Pamplona from 30,70
  • Madrid-Sevilla from 39,35
  • Madrid-Valencia from 31,80
  • Madrid-Zaragoza from 32,85

So if you have always wanted to see the Alhambra or see the new wine harvest in La Rioja or even catch a few of the last summer rays on a beach in Valencia, now is a great opportunity to book an affordable trip.

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IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images

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