Everything was really excellent. Russ and the rest of the tour company were very helpful in all the detailed planning. The only couple items & it's really very minor; our itinerary had us going to Montserrat on a Sun. which is the busiest day. The roads were EXTREMELY crowded & of course the Monastery itself. Also a day tour was set up on Barcelona's state holiday so most places were closed & our itinerary had to be changed. The protest throughout Barcelona were really a neat experience . We weren't real impressed with Llorett De Mar other than our wonderful accommodations. We would have preferred to stay in Tossa which was our first choice. Tossa had a lot more charm, good restaurants & not so touristy.
The Gaudi tour, our guide was absolutely fabulous & had a wealth of information! It was also really nice to have a private guide who had preset appointment so we didn't have to wait in the long lines!! The day tour of the Penedes Wineries was really fun! The scenery, wines & our guide were amazing. He took us for a traditional Catalonian lunch which was out of this world delicious!! Staying at the Parador de Cardona was a real treat! It was so beautiful & peaceful & so much history....we loved the town of Cardona too! We were lucky enough to be there during the annual festivities. We totally recommend the experience of staying in a true castle! We even got to see fireworks set off from the castle, absolutely breathtaking!
Definitely not drive!!! That was a nightmare, the GPS was not working right. We drove around Barcelona for 2 1/2 hrs trying to find the hotel. Not knowing ahead about toll booths & which line to get in depending on a prepaid card, cash or a credit card, split second decisions on which way to go in all those round abouts & inside lane or outside almost got us in two accidents. The trip was relaxing & enjoyable until we had to drive. Picking up & especially returning the rental car was not fun! We had to get the car back up on top of the train station where the cars were parked. Sounds simple enough but the driveway up to the roof took us back out into the main traffic, with wrong turns made & a lot of frustration. When we get up to the top, no one told us where to park it. There were other rental car companies & nothing was well marked. There was no one to help because the office up there was closed. We ran all over the area in the pouring down rain trying to look for a sign or something of where to leave it. We gave up, parked it & went back down into the station office. No one was very helpful at all! We had to miss our day tour of Girona because of getting lost on the drive from Cardona. We got to the town finally but the written directions had us in a totally different part of the town than where we were to meet the Guide. After driving around for awhile & a few calls to the tour co. for help, we gave up. We are experienced travelers & have driven in other countries. We have never had this much difficulty! We feel this is not any reflection on the tour company which did a fantastic job in filling all our requests for the trip! Unfortunately we feel Spain is just a challenging country to drive in.
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