Linda R

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Linda R

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Oct132012

Tour/Activity

Montserrat Royal Basilica Half-Day Trip from Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

The weekend we were in Barcelona, was a Spanish holiday. I usually travel in October because the peak crowds are usually gone. Not so in Barcelona. The trip to Monserrat had spectacular views but with an hour wait to see "The Black Virgin" it did not seem worth it. The old cathedral burned down and the new one is about 150 years old, brand new by old world standards, One of the people on our bus got his pocket picked. Our guide was great and the company providing the services was very professional. The bus was clean and comfortable. I think I would have enjoyed this trip more if the crowds had not been so large.

Oct122012

Tour/Activity

Andalusian Dinner and Flamenco Show in Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The Flamenco Show was outstanding. The performers really amazed us and I would do this again and again. The musicians expecially surprised me. I was expecting great dancing but the music was wonderful. The lead singer so evoked the rich history of this art form. Enchanting! I was expecting a buffet but this was not the case. We apparently had a premium package with a preselected meal and beverage. We had premium seating and a fantastic view of the stage. Our dinner was a paella (a good one/not all paella in Spain is good) a somewhat chewy but flavorful steak in a green peppercorn sauce, a bottle of good Spanish rioja, Cava to accompany the creme caramel dessert. If you were a vegetarian or a person who did not want red meat you were kind of on your own. This needs to be change in the description of this event. But I would see this show anytime and love it!

Oct112012

Tour/Activity

Barcelona Hop-on Hop Off Tour: East to West Route

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Due to the crowds and a rainy day holiday weekend, we often found ourselves standing in the rain while bus after bus passed us by. I possibly would have liked the other tour better. Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan, busy, modern city. We were not able to stop at all the stops one day because of the demonstrations which we encountered through out Spain. I take the Hop-on-Hop Off tours all over Europe. They are the best way to see any city in Europe and you can avoid the sometimes scary metros. Part of the problem for us was that it was a holiday in Spain, everything was crowded. We did not want to get off the bus because we did not know when we would be able to get back on. We traveled on mid October and the crowds in Barcelona were like Disneyland in peak season. I would avoid Barcelona altogether on future trips because I like a more old world European experience.

Oct102012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour

Granada, Spain

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

We had a great guide and the Alhambra is beautiful. That said, I would have preferred to see this attraction at my own pace, however, you can't just go there and get tickets. You must use a tour company or you most likely won't get in. Unbeknownst to us the Alhambra is the most visited attraction in Spain and they limit the number of visitors daily. It was very regimented and I thought the crowds were unseasonably large. I much preferred the Alcazar in Seville which is hard to find and easy to miss but a much more leisure experience.

Oct082012

Tour/Activity

Seville City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Seville, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Liked this tour. Dropped us off at all the best places.

Oct052012

Tour/Activity

Madrid City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I fell in love with Madrid! The stops on this tour are fantastic and the best way to see Madrid. Go! Don't miss this tour! Madrid is alive! The bus stops at all the best sites and the crowds were much smaller than we encountered in the rest of Spain.

Nov272010

Tour/Activity

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Venice, Italy

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review
I think this might be a better summer trip. It is not a good trip in November. We did not have enough time on the islands. Murano was a disappointment as many of the attractions were closed and the glass overpriced. Torcello was somewhat pointless because there was only about a 30 minute stop and the Byzantine church was a 10 minute walk from the dock. Burano was cute and quaint but only 30 minutes was just not enough time. The tour narrator spoke in so heavily an accented dialect that none of the English speakers could understand her. The crew was indifferent and unhelpful.

Nov242010

Tour/Activity

Chianti Region Wine Tasting Half-Day Trip from Florence

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Quite possibly the highlight of the trip. The bus was lovely, good crowd of travelers. Fantastic tour of the castle, a well versed and warm guide who was very informative and brought the history of the castle and the winery and it's family to life. Go, go, go! You will love this.

Nov222010

Tour/Activity

Rome Hop-on Hop-off Double Decker Bus Tour

Rome, Italy

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Too bad we were traveling in the off season because half of the stops were not being utilized. They could have been more clear about attractions at coming stops. I would recommend it as an alternative to the scary metro and it does stop at some great sights.

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