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Edward L

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Edward L

Edward L

USA

Oct132013

Tour/Activity

Avila and Segovia Day Trip from Madrid

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Jorge, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable, made things interesting and kept the momentum going. He narrated in three languages, but where most multi-lingual guides will begin a narrative as the topic site passes by; Jorge began his narrative well before we reached the site so that all three language participants knew ABOUT the site AT the site and not after the fact. We opted for the Gourmet Segovian lunch and were glad we did. It was more than we could consume and unfortunately doggy bags were not in vogue. The highlight of the tour was the Roman Aqueduct and Jorge generally explained the technical elements from construction technique to the engineering feat that it is. This tour is strongly recommended and hopefully, you will have Jorge as our guide.

Oct112013

Tour/Activity

Madrid City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We are true believers that everyone should utilize the Hop-on, Hop-off bus so that they see parts of any city that they otherwise would not see and to help decide what to explore further. And judging from the crowded buses, others are in agreement.

Oct112013

Tour/Activity

Flamenco Show at Torres Bermejas

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The Viator narrative indicates 9:30 pm as the begin time. We elected to walk from our hotel so we arrived at 8:15 not knowing how long it would take. Fortunately, we were seated as soon as we presented our Pre-Paid Voucher/Ticket, front row, directly below the stage. We opted for the dinner and drink option and received an “interesting” meal with multiple dishes that included much fish and a bottle of wine. The show was fantastic. The dancers performed together as well as individually. The solo portions consisted of standard movements, but then, with the musicians egging them on, each performer began to improvise and basically a Flamenco Jam Session ensued. Again, it was fantastic and we highly recommend attendance.

Oct092013

Tour/Activity

Gibraltar Sightseeing Day Trip from Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We basically had three guides and each one knew his subject very well and presented it well. Paco, our Tour Bus guide dealt with the historical part of Spain, the Gibraltar Van Guide talked about the history of Gibraltar and Stephen, the Tunnel Guide, dealt with the construction of the 52 kilometers of tunnels. Each one had humorous stories to make things interesting, but the Tunnel Guide actually worked in the tunnels of Gibraltar in modern times. The British Army built the tunnels at Gibraltar while the RAF built the runway. Our Guide, being a British Army retiree, had many tall tales about the RAF at Gibraltar Should you take the tour, make sure you ask the Guide how the 5,000 military intermingled with the 300 females in Gibraltar. This tour is strongly recommended.

Oct082013

Tour/Activity

Tangier, Morocco Day Trip from Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol, Spain

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

My Review

The guide on the 2 hour bus ride to the ferry visited with the driver and didn’t provide any information about the sites along the route or the inhabitants. It would have been nice know something about the area and its people. Consequently, we assumed the guide’s sole purpose was to gather the participants and get them to the ferry.
If you take this tour, make sure you brush up on your Moroccan history. Our guide in Tangiers seemed to have a mission to show us the Persian rugs and Moroccan herbs and spices (that we could purchase, of course). Once we got to Tangiers, we plowed along like sheep following our guide along the narrow streets to the entrance to the Kasbah. Here, for the first time, he gathered us and informed us we were at the entrance gate to the Kasbah and that’s all. (The Kasbah, incidentally, is located high on a hill in Tangier with some good views of the ocean. The old Sultan's palace ((built in the 17th Century)) lies within the Kasbah's walls, is known as Dar El Makhzen and is now a museum that houses fine examples of Moroccan art. This we found out after the tour.) Then we hot-footed it over to a rug merchant for a well-orchestrated and choreographed hard sell presentation. Lunch was good, but hurried as the herb and spice merchant was next. And yes, you guessed it; this was another well-orchestrated and choreographed presentation. All in all, the tour was enlightening, but not very informative or enjoyable
If this would be the only chance to get to Tangiers, or get that official stamp in your passport, then the 2 hours spent driving and picking up participants at their hotels then 2 more driving hours delivering back at the end of the day, then by all means take the tour. One very plus side is the one hour ferry ride has other tour groups aboard and you are bound to meet some very interesting folks.

Oct062013

Tour/Activity

Moulin Rouge Show Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This historical venue is still as lively as it was in its heyday. The performances appeared non-ending and each one kept the audience’s attention. This is a “must see” while in Paris. It is highly recommended.

Oct052013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Louvre Museum Walking Tour including Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Louvre itself as well as the art content. The tour takes you from the founding and financing of the Louvre, through the various Art periods with explanations of the evolution of art and sculpture, and ends with the Italian Renaissance which, of course, includes the Mona Lisa. We’re not sure, but at the onset we mentioned we wanted to see the Rape of the Sabine Women and the Raft of the Medusa. Ironically enough, we spent several minutes at both. So if you take this tour, you want to make known your personal art wishes.

Sep242013

Tour/Activity

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Small Group Tour from Munich

Munich, Germany

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

This tour begins at the Munich Central Station with a short train to Dachau, and ends at the Munich Central Station. Our guide was a student of the Holocaust and consequently, included many interesting items not necessarily publicized. His knowledge of the Camp allowed for no questions to go unanswered, but yet he provided a vivid and colorful explanation of the events and the facility itself. This is definitely a recommended tour.

Sep182013

Tour/Activity

5-Day Sightseeing Tour from Vienna to Budapest

Vienna, Austria

My Rating
1 star rating: I do not recommend this

My Review

This is billed as a “5 day round trip tour from Vienna to Budapest.” What we got was airport pickup upon arrival (the driver had no idea what the agenda was for the next day), four star hotels for two nights each in Vienna and Budapest (the hotels were very nice, but nowhere near sites or transportation), one city tour each in Vienna and Budapest (we were picked up in Vienna, but had to fend for ourselves in Budapest) and a one way train ticket to Budapest from Vienna (travel from the train station to our hotel was at our own expense). The return train trip to Vienna was also at our own expense. For us, it would have been more cost effective and enjoyable, and much less frustrating, had we booked the hotels, tours and train separately on our own.
The limited information left at the Vienna hotel indicated we would be picked up at 9:00 for the tour of Vienna. We were picked up at 9:00 am, taken to the central tour bus location and informed by those in charge that our tour had started at 7:00 am. We called the tour operator who suggested we take the next City Tour, pay for it ourselves and they would reimburse us. Of course we had to present our paid voucher before they would reimburse. When we finally located their office, at our expense, tour operator company personnel were decidedly unhelpful. Somehow the train ticket to Budapest was not included in the packet delivered to our Vienna hotel. We were given the one way ticket and were informed, after much questioning from us, that the return trip would be at our expense (so much for the round trip tour). Additionally, we were informed we would not be met in Budapest and travel to the hotel would be at our expense, but they did give us a voucher for the hotel and Budapest City Tour.
We’re trying not to be too judgmental, but frankly this event, as a tour, is not recommended. A definite NO STAR Rating.

Jun032012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Florence Accademia Gallery Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our tour guide was knowledgeable and provided background to the art. Would definitely recommend even for the art expert.

Jun022012

Tour/Activity

Pisa and the Leaning Tower Half-Day Trip from Florence

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The tour removed all pressure from driving and parking. It was truly a joy. The guide was very informative. Would recommend the tour.

May242012

Tour/Activity

Milan City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Milan, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We always utilize the Hop-on Hop-off tours where ever possible and this was filled with sights, sounds and information we would otherwise not experienced. Highly recommend Hop-on Hop-off.

May232012

Tour/Activity

Lake Como Day Trip from Milan

Milan, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Leaving the driving to someone else is always pleasant. Our guide was very knowledgeable and provided many insights that otherwise we would have missed. Highly recommend.

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