The trip itself was amazing. We wanted to see Spain but had no idea where to begin and that's where our agent and his company were a huge help. He was able to match the trip to our budget and timeline. The guidebook, hotels, intra-country travel, and excursions were perfect, we had no complaints. Setting the trip up was very easy. Our agent was very responsive to emails, and the 2 or 3 Skype conversations we had made sure we were getting exactly what we wanted. He even called us at our various hotels, to check in and make sure the trip was going well. The guidebook was fantastic, laying out exactly the sights to see, restaurants to eat at, etc. Great service, would recommend to anyone who is looking for the inside information.
The most enjoyable parts of the trip were the excursions/experiences. Walking around the cities and seeing the sights and monuments are part of travelling abroad, but the memories are from the events.
Barcelona Cooking Class: met up with other Americans, Australians, Germans, Chinese, etc and had a teacher/chef walk us around La Boqueria, talking about Spanish cuisine and buying ingredients to cook with. Then back at the kitchen we all took turns helping to prepare the various dishes. We also ate Iberian Ham and drank good wine. Fun day.
Monserrat and Wine tour: fun to get out of the city for a day. The ride up to Montserrat was enjoyable and the guide very nice. The winery was amazing. It was just the two of us, and the whole experience was very personal. We ate lunch in the old house, at a huge long table. Very romantic. Good food and good wine, we actually bought a case to have shipped back that's how good it was.
Flamenco Show: Very entertaining. We enjoyed the whole thing, the guitars, the singing, the dancing. A nice way to relax after a day of walking around the hot city.
Walking tour of Madrid: Fun activity. We literally just walked around Madrid with a guide who talked about the history of Spain and the city. Madrid was full of museums and landmarks which we could have spent a ton of time visiting. But we didn't have a ton of time so this was a great way to get the historical/tourism perspective of the city without locking in to one or two locations
We would have tried to get around Southern Spain a little more. See Alhambra, Cordoba, and the Straight of Gibraltar if possible. We took cabs from the airports/train stations which was fine, but we were comfortable using the public transportation. So next time I think we would lean more towards taking trains/metros into the city, and ended up doing that towards the end of our trip anyways. We also struggled with whether or not to get a data plan while over there, and ended up not doing it. What we didn't know is that cell phone GPS works while in airplane mode. So all we had to do was save the addresses of restaurants and sights in the maps and could easily navigate ourselves. Double check that the restaurants accept cards, we ran into one issue where I had to sprint back to the hotel to get cash. Minor issues, the trip was great!
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