I am a 77 year old Canadian woman, travelling alone on my 4th visit to Spain but speak no Spanish. I was revisiting Barcelona and Madrid, but the northern part of Spain was new for me. My main interests were food, contemporary art and architecture. The travel agency's itinerary surpassed my highest expectations. This company listened to me, and they delivered.
I wanted a company that would provide exactly what I asked for and one upon whom I could rely since I was travelling alone and knew no one in Spain.
This travel company did that. I never had to worry. The important thing was that I was always at ease and felt completely cared for.
One of my big requirements is first rate guides and drivers. I do not want human versions of audio guides. The guides and drivers were very knowledgeable and passionate about the places and things they shared. I recall, especially, the 3 way art and philosophy discussion between the guide, the driver and me, on the ride from Barcelona to the Dali museum. It was informative, enlightening and stimulating. That is what I travel for.
I have been to more than 100 countries, so it is getting harder for me to have WOW travel moments. Amazingly, there were many on this trip.
In a trip this long and this varied, there are a huge number of truly outstanding experiences. My areas of interest were food, contemporary art and architecture,.
Food: 3 different extraordinary meals in Michelin star restaurants.
Paired Tasting Menu in San Sebastian was a superb classic culinary experience.
Paired Tasting Menu in Bilbao was different in that although it adhered to the minimalist decor requirements, one was subtly reminded that we were in an art event as well. The hard wood chairs, designed by Gehry, were the most comfortable I have ever sat in. The undulating ceiling referred to the exterior Gehry architecture. These added to the appreciation of the meal.
The restaurant in Aranjuez was different in that here, content superceded form, so that the nature of the actual food itself was more memorable than the visual impact. I will never forget the incredible asparagus and strawberries.
The Museu Can Framis in Barcelona was a major discovery where I spent most of a day. I spent the rest of the day at Espais Volart at the Lita Cabellut Retrospective (another discovery for me).
In Barcelona, I was able to immerse myself in Gaudi. Outside of Barcelona, I kept finding Gehry. There's the Guggenheim in Bilbao, of course, and the Marques de Riscal in Rioja , but then Gehry would pop up unexpectedly, like for example, as the designer of floor lamps in an underground cave winery unconnected to him.
I would add a full day in Gernika.
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