Eugene B

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Eugene B

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Dec102013

Tour/Activity

Byblos, Jeita Grotto and Harissa Day Trip from Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The agency picked us up promptly at our hotel and took us to their offices to join a party of five (excluding the very knowledgeable guide and excellent driver - travelling in Lebanon and Beirut in particular is, in itself, an experience to live through!) Although one could probably visit the very impressive caves of Jeita Grotto and the statue of Our Lady of Lebanon dramatically perched on top of the mountain overlooking the seaboard by oneself, it is really very convenient to be taken there by those who know the ropes. But one should definitely not visit Byblos without the benefit of the guide's commentary and assistance. The ruins are amazing and the thought that civilizations have occupied the archaeological site for many millennia BC is awe inspiring. After a very tasty lunch in a seaside restaurant we travelled back in the cold and misty weather to Beirut. Once again, I was grateful that I was not behind the steering wheel and that it could be left up to the competent driver to get us back to our hotel safely.

Dec092013

Tour/Activity

Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche Day Trip from Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Once again, as with our tour to Baalbeck, an amazing experience! We were picked up promptly at our hotel and taken to the offices of the local agency to join a party of nine (excluding the very knowledgeable guide and excellent driver - travelling in Lebanon and Beirut in particular is, in itself, an experience to live through!) After stopping at Kanaan pastry shop (where you can buy some tasty gifts) along the way, we proceeded to Tyre. We enjoyed the scenery (sea on the one side and the hills of Lebanon on the other side.) Tyre has two intriguing archaeological sites. If all the guides are as knowledgeable as ours was, you're in for a treat. Standing on the second site and being able to see Israel in the distance (16km as the gull flies) and imagine what it was like in Biblical times was a special treat. We also enjoyed the visit to Maghdouche to see the cave in which it is alleged that Mary, the mother of Jesus, met her son on His visits to the region. Sidon is also a special place to visit - we were treated to an excellent Lebanese lunch in a restaurant that is perched on the edge of the shoreline and within a stone's through of the Crusaders' castle. The old city souks are in the process of being restored and the city is apparently earmarked to become a "must visit" destination in Lebanon. We did enjoy the walk through the souks and the intriguing visit to a soap-manufacturing museum (where you can buy some colourful gifts to take home.) An unscripted dusk drive through a Palestinian refugee camp to avoid a traffic jam on the main route into Beirut was the cherry on the cake. We were dropped off at our hotel's front door after a safe and thoroughly enjoyable outing.

Dec072013

Tour/Activity

Anjar, Baalbek and Ksara Day Trip from Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

An amazing experience! We were picked up promptly at our hotel and taken to the offices of the local agent to join a party of five (excluding the very knowledgeable guide and excellent driver - travelling in Lebanon and Beirut in particular is, in itself, an experience to live through!) The journey to Anjar was very interesting and the difficult circumstances under which Syrian refugees live was quite patent. The brief on and visit to Anjar was interesting and well worth it. The little shop at the entrance has well priced and attractive locally made jewellery and other wares - my wife's only regret is that she didn't buy more gifts - we didn't come across similar products on our other visits. Baalbeck and its Roman ruins was the highlight of our week long visit to the country and definitely worth travelling to Lebanon to see. We were treated to a delicious lunch in a family restaurant in the quaint town of Zahle and then went wine tasting at Caves de Kasara before returning to Beirut and our hotel. Was the security situation a concern before departure? Of course, but at no stage did we feel unsafe or intimidated and have no regrets about the decision to join the tour.

Mar122012

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Best of Barcelona Tour including Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We had previously visited most of the sites, so we had some reservations when we joined the tour group. But these reservations were quickly dispelled when our guide Nico began to knit the bricks and mortar of Barcelona together with knowledge and insite. The city became multi dimensional as time and texture were added to each scene. The size of the group (9 pax) made the experience all the more personal. The cava and tapas was an unexpected bonus. And the inside of the Sagrada Familia is a must. A thoroughly enjoyable excursion - well worth it.

Mar112012

Tour/Activity

Barcelona Card with Guidebook

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We did not make sufficient use of the Card - no fault of the Card, though. For those who have time to move around, the Card will add real value.

Mar032012

Tour/Activity

Madrid Small-Group Walking Tour including Royal Palace

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

The early spring morning was crisp but clear and the group small (4 pax). We were able to explore everything on foot. The visit to the Royal Palace alone made the excursion worth the while.

Mar022012

Tour/Activity

Madrid Tapas Night Walking Tour

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

We thoroughly enjoyed our first night in Madrid. Our guide definitely takes his job seriously. Daniel was knowledgeable, entertaining, committed and patient. Our group was small enought to develop social cohesion early on. The food we sampled was good and the places we visited, interesting - making sense of the tapas culture. Even a tee totaller will enjoy the tour. My only regret is that we left in a hurry (to catch a taxi) and clean forgot to give Daniel the gratuity - one he richly deserved!

Mar022012

Tour/Activity

Madrid City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Madrid, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

The Tour is good value for money and gives you a good overview of the city. We had the added bonus that one of the stops was a stone's through away from our hotel. And the conductor's recommendation that we visit Real Madrid's home base at one of the stops was fortuitous - what an interesting place to visit!

Oct162010

Tour/Activity

Disneyland Resort Paris with Transport

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Good service. Essentially transport to venue only.

Oct122010

Tour/Activity

Versailles and Giverny Day Trip

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Giverny was superb. Louvre was interesting but very crowded.

Oct022010

Tour/Activity

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

Paris, France

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Guide was very good. Museum was crowded.

Oct012010

Tour/Activity

Montmartre and Sacre Coeur Walking Tour in Paris

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Group was small. Guide was excellent. Walk was very interesting.

Oct012010

Tour/Activity

Moulin Rouge Paris Dinner and Show

Paris, France

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
Staff were professional. Seating was superb. Company was good. Acts were very entertaining and as glamorous as ever.

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