First of all, a big thank you to all of the help and info I received from this forum. As usual, all of the advice was spot on!
This is not a typical trip report. I took photos and uploaded as I went when wifi was available. Some have long captions, some are very brief, but here's the link:
One note, I took a regular camera, but ended up not using it. I got the new iPhone 4GS with the 8MP camera. It did pretty well, probably not as well as my little Canon. But the convenience of being able to just upload as we went was great. Also, the convenience of just using your phone that's always handy was great. My biggest complaint is that alot of the photos are slightly crooked.
Since this was our first trip to Spain, I will make a few comments and observations here, some of which may also appear in the photo captions. These are in no particular order.
- Sevilla was gorgeous! When the airlines changed our return flight time by several hours, I should have taken the opportunity to try to change our return city to Sevilla, or even Madrid, and spend all of our nights in Sevilla.
-Spain was cheap! We've been to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, and Greece prior to this trip. Usually rural Germany is pretty cheap, especially off the tourist trail where my Aunt and Cousin live, but Spain beat even rural Germany. I tend to enjoy my vacations more when I don't have to think about re-mortgaging my home on my return.
-Sunrise and sunset times seemed odd. In summer, I am sure it would not be noticeable, and it also depends on what you're used to at home. Since Spain, and especially Sevilla and Jerez are in the westernmost part of the time zone, it was light until around 6:30 in the evening and made for a great winter time destination. But the sunrises past 8:30 in the morning were hard to get used to. I'm quite a morning person and I adore early sunrises. But I guess overall, it was nice to have the additional sunlight time in the evening. For comparison, it began to get dark in Germany around 4:45 PM.
-One thing I did that I found to be invaluable was the purchase of a Tapas/food dictionary that I could access on my kindle app on my phone. Since the book was searchable and downloaded prior to the trip, we were easily able to search food terminology with no internet usage. The book was called Menus(e): Spain and it was $6.59 on Amazon.
-I was shocked at how few tourists seemed to be in Sevilla and Jerez in mid-January. We ran into a few other English speaking tourists, but not many. Perhaps we were just very lucky with the weather, but the temps were perfect for touring in a light jacket. We ate several meals outside - mainly lunches.
-Probably the best money we spent was for the Sevilla Walking Tour with Concepcion Delgado. I had heard a Rick Steves radio show podcast where he spoke with Concepcion and he refers to her in his book. She was awesome. The tour is supposed to last an hour and a half, but ours was nearly two hours. It probably helped that there were only four of us (her minimum for giving a tour). The tour was €15 and even Mr. Fan who doesn't like doing tours thought it was very informative and helpful.
- We have been to Germany 5 or 6 times. Once before we were there in the winter, but that time there was snow covering everything. I was shocked at how green everything was during the winter. It was cold (ranged between about 27 and 34 degrees) and a bit windier than I expected, but everything was pretty and green where there was no snow.
Can't think of anything else right now, but feel free to ask any questions you might have.
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A few days in Germany and Spain - with photos