riobella

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riobella

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Mar192013

Tour/Activity

Malaga Super Saver: Morocco and Granada Day Trips Including Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens

Malaga, Spain

My Rating
3 star rating: Worth doing

My Review

Outstanding destinations, mixed reviews. here's why: Morocco: If I had known we were traveling 2 1/2 hours by bus to the port in Tarifa, I would have stayed closer to Tarifa. 5am start and multiple stops along the way for a 9am ferry. So, you get to Tangier, greeted by a well-informed guide with good English. I think due to the nature of beggars and peddlers you are quickly whisked from place to place, restricting the time it takes to really soak it all in. Camel rides - lame, side of the road, sick looking animals. One peddler literally shoves the baby camel into you whilst thrusting the leash into your hands so that you now owe him money. The Kasbah should be so awesome, but you are assaulted by so many peddlers, it's really hard to enjoy the ride. Having just toured Seville and Grenada, Spain, the Moorish architecture was familiar, along with the rocky, curvy alleys. But the tour guide chooses the restaurant for the large group and you are, need to be, whisked through the entrance so quickly that you don't even know where you are. It's a shame, but a must-see at the same time. Excellent food. Excellent choice. I will say that. Shopping is near impossible. They escort you into upscale shops for hard-sell pitches on rugs, pots, and the like. But not as obnoxious as the street peddlers who then insult you for shopping from the rich. Next stop - Moroccan oil product hard-sell....as if we don't already get them in the US. I didn't like that, but wasn't allowed to leave. I guess, no I'm sure, one needs an escort though, so it's a necessary evil...I'm more accustomed to independent touring, but I don't recommend it here, despite the cons mentioned.
Grenada: Our tour guide reversed the itinerary and dropped us off for lunch prior to all the restaurants actually opening. Bad move. She must have known since she made it clear she's from Grenada. Alhambra is great to see, but I recommend a self-tour. It's safe and public transport door to door.

Mar172013

Tour/Activity

Seville In One Day: Santa Cruz Quarter, Royal Alcazar Palace, Seville Cathedral, Royal Maestranza Bullring and River Cruise

Seville, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Our guide was so passionate and knowledgeable about this city, which really made this tour quite enjoyable. While it's very easy to show yourself around town, his narration really made it worth going on the tour.There were two less-than-stellar points; 1) waiting to enter Alcazar and then the amount of time inside the palace - too long. Since these palaces are not furnished like many castles are, the tours can really be much shorter, and become tiring. If I had it to do again, I would end the tour before entering Alcazar, find out when the lines are the shortest and go on my own. 2) The river cruise after lunch has nothing to see but bridges built in 1931 and is very short with rather unsightly scenery. By the time we got to the Bull Ring, we decided to go home and skip it altogether. I do highly recommend the morning portion, though.

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