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Part 6 of The 2.5 Month Trip to Spain and More

Part 6 of The 2.5 Month Trip to Spain and More

Old Jan 13th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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Part 6 of The 2.5 Month Trip to Spain and More

DAY 37: VALENCIA, SPAIN to THE BALERIC ISLANDS, MALLORCA, PALMA

Early morning we boarded a flight to take us to The Baleric Islands, specifically Palma, Mallorca.
King Juan Varlos vacations here so I had hoped to spot him...
Mallorca is fantastic yet my homesicknes was kicking in...
I got over it after viewing the infamous Cathedral and after spending time in The charming Old Town of Palma De Mallorca.

The water was crystal clear. You could see fish for days.
We spent lots of time at The Cafe Port Pesquer and were frequent guest at a great Mexican restaurant called La Yaya.

We danced the nights and early mornings away at Nuparc Bar-Terraza.
The beaches were remarkable...

HOTEL: HOTEL ISLA MALLORCA
Nice and regular size. We stayed here three nights but were so busy we were really hardly here.

SPECIAL DINNER:

On our last night we wanted to do something special. We decided on RESTAURANTE TRISTAN.
Another spot where the King reportedly dines...
This is the finest restaurant in the Balerics which is no small honor.
Our seven course dinner was off the charts.
While looking for something special we did check prices and all that however, something got REALLY lost in translation...
Our bill came to a whopping $250.00 USA without the tip.
After much whispering with the folks at Tristan we conceded and forked over the emergency VISA card...
We will never forget this meal. The bill and the menu are secured in our photo album...for life!

After three wonderful days we flew back to VALENCIA, SPAIN.
We drove north and stopped in PENISCOLA, SPAIN. Very Phoenician with delicious food served sea side. We ate at RESTAURANTE MURAMAR.
At night Peniscola is loud and rowdy.
By day the castle and large beach make for a peaceful stop.

HOTEL: CABO DE MAR
Good! $55.00 USA

The next day we drove to TARRAGONA, SPAIN.
Our drive was a lovely mix of sea and mountains. We enjoyed our cassette tapes playing Led Zepp; Mary J.Blige and others...

Tarragona is very Roman. Aqua ducts, castles, the beach and oter monuments provide a wealth of sights to see.

There were lovely gardens, fountains, narrow and charming streets, ruins, The Museu D'Historia De Tarragona, The Cathedral, lovely Spanish tiles all around the old and new city centers, friendly residents, beautiful murals and so much more...

HOTEL:HOTEL LAURA
Ok, this hotel was the new winner ofUR WORSE HOTEL.
This hotel was not dirty, it was F-I-L-T-H-Y!
They would send people to clean it but you can not wash over nasty guck that needs to be blasted.
I do not have notes on what this cost or what we paid... AWFUL!

DINNER: We went into the old town and paid $15.00 USA for a piece of fish. This became a "trend" on this side of Spain. I refused to spend that on a piece of fish. My husband saw nothing wrong with it so I would stare at his beautiful fish for a few meals...

DAY 42: TARRAGONA, SPAIN to VILAFRANCA DEL PENEDES, SPAIN
This was one of our "IT" days....
We drove with conviction to Vilafranca Del Penedes which is mid way between Tarragona and Barcelona.

My hubby and I are avid yet fun collectors of wine. We spend a lot of time on this when we are home in California...

As a part of this passion we meet "folks", a winemaker here and there and so on. Well, the short story is through our California wine-friends connections we were scheduled for a PRIVATE TASTING, TOUR and TIME with " special folks" at: TORRES WINERY.

We were treated like ROYALTY and FAMILY. We stayed for the day, having a specially prepared lunch and we were able to buy and ship major amounts of wine. If I tell you more I will have to hide you.

This experience was beyond rating...

Very very late in the afternoon we tore ouselves away so that we would make it into BARCELONA, SPAIN for the evening.

Driving at night was something we were able to avoid with one exception...remember FATIAM, PORTUGAL to EVORA, PORTUGAL? grin.

Well, we left at dusk and experienced our first RAIN which happened to be along the lines of a HURRICANE. This was unseasonal and unexpected. We were careful and slow but we made it!

Barcelona is gigantic. It was dark and still raining like there would be no tomorrow. Finding our hotel was beyond challenging. So, we did what we had done in Salamanca, Spain. We paid a taxi driver to lead us to our home for the next few nights.

HOTEL: HOTEL GOTICO
This hotel is located right in the middle of the Barri Gotic area. The hotel was under construction and had sme staffing issues.
Our parking was a whopping $48.00 USA for three nights...gulp!
We actually moved our room because of "issues" and then we said let's just skip the theatrics and try and see everything GAUDI in our three days here. It worked!

Over the three days we saw EVERYTHING Antoni Gaudi...EVERYTHING. I was elated spending hours grinning like a fool at parks, cathedrals and buildings...yup, I had lost my mind!
Parc Guell, Casa Museau Gaudi,El Modernisime, Palace De La Sagrada Familia, The Temple Familia, Museu Picasso, other cathedrals, Gothic architecture, the port area, Casa Batllo' and so on...a dream

DINING: We were in our forty-something day of travel and had thirty-something more days to go. We were craving American food so, we ate our dinners at The Hard Rock Cafe and were we happy or what! Happy. Or as we said: Tapas free!
We did find the most delicious hot chocolate in the WORLD. We found the $8.00 USA per mug of Spanish hot chocolate...guilty as charged!

After our three days in Barcelona we drove 30 minutes to MONTSERRAT, SPAIN.
We enjoyed our time at this Mountain Monastery Shrine. We took the cable car up the mountain, heard the men's choir sing, saw all of the sights and had a nice lunch too.

We drove onward and up north to the smallest country(Principality) in the world: ANDORRA LA VELLA.

Awesome...magical, snow capped mountains, which was surprising and beautiful.
We enjoyed the smallness and slow pace of Andorra. Our drive north provided us with serene pastorial landscapes.

HOTEL: HOTEL PRESIDENT
Huge room with a balcony that we did not use. It was finally too cold to be out on a balcony.

DINNER: We found another slice of the good stuff of life. It is calledA LLAR DE LARTESA. Inside this super cozy restaurant was a large and roaring fire. Our menu was perfectly open grilled chicken, rabbit, quail, lamb, and two types of sasauge. The large bottle of wine and dessert of Catalyn Cream made this a memorable experience. We stayed for hours.
Cost: $37.00 USA !!!!!!!!

We slept like "babies"

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler


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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 07:24 PM
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I do not know how those frowns got in my above post.

Please ignore them.
Thanks.

Oaktown Traveler

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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 04:56 AM
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OaktownTraveler - Thanks for the continued report!

I will be in Barcelona in the middle of February, and I had been looking into a day trip to Andorra. Do you think it is worth it? Reading about the country elsewhere, I feel a weird compelling desire to visit it.

I know it's long - it's about a 3 hour bus ride, but I was thinking of taking the 6 am bus, spending the day, then returning on the last bus in the evening.

I figure it would be a good way to see more of the Spainish countryside as well. However, if I do this, I'll probably have to skip Monserrat. Do you think I should just do Monserrat and stay closer to Barcelona?

Thanks,
Karen
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Karen:

That is one tough question...

Ok, Andorra is very unique and if you want that special touch then that would be it.

Monserratt is very special too. If you want a spiritual componet to your trip then this would be it.

If you rent a car in Barcelona you can do them both.

How long are you going to be in Barcelona?

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Oaktown T, great report. Reads like "The Perils of Pauline". You must be a riot. I can see how you got that 2.5 carat diamond.
Cheers...
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 10:59 AM
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Hi Oaktown,

I'll be there for 4 days, including the day for Monserrat or Andorra.

Karen
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Old Jan 15th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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Dear Treesa:

Thank You...giggle.
Please tell me what is/are "The Perils of Pauline"? sounds fun.

You are tooo funny about my ring!

A Riot describes me accurately at times (GRIN)hence, hubby is "passing" on this years big trip to South America. My two divorcing girlfriends and I am going together!!!!

Hello KAUDREY:

I would try and do both. If night driving does not bother you then go for it.
Leave Barcelona early morning. Spend an hour or two at Monserratt and then head to Andorra.
Go to a travel store and study The Michelin (driving) Guide for that leg of your trip.

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Feb 4th, 2004, 11:03 AM
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To get directly to part seven, click here:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34467151

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Feb 5th, 2004, 09:19 PM
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Hi Oaktown traveller. Thanks for your very entertaining report! Just wondering what activities you did in Mallorca? My boy and I are spending four days there. Am thinking two in Palma and two travelling aroung the island. What do you think?

Hels
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Old Feb 8th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Hello HellsBells:

Was on the road for a few days so excuse the delay.

In Mallorca we hit the beaches over two days and did sightseeing and shopping the other days.
We based in Palma as well.
Your plan sounds "right".
You should have a great time!

Happy Travels,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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Thankyou! 15 sleeps till we go - am so excited! enjoy planning your next trip!
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Old Feb 11th, 2004, 10:06 AM
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HellsBells:

You are welcome!

You must be soooo excited!!

Are you packed yet? The folks of Spain "dress" especially in the evenings so bring something to wear that is a little dressy...if you want.

Get lots of film and remember do not let the airport scan your film or your camera. Request a hand insepection.

To make this go quickly I take all of my rolls of film out of the carton and put the rolls in a large zip lock bag.

Are you and your son going to journal so that "we" can get a Trip Report? GRIN.

Happy Travels,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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OT, I've read that the drive across the border to Andorra can be really tough, how did you find it to be? We may drive there from Pamplona and then back across the border and on to San Sebastian (not all in one day of course).
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Old Feb 25th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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Oaktown,

Did you visit Barcelona or the Costa Brava? I will be there in July. I didn't see it in your reports, let me know if I missed it?

Mike
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 10:54 AM
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Stormygirl:

The Border crossing at Andorra, coming and going went very well.

The France into Spain went really well too...must have been the wine!

WINK

MIKEWALSH: Both! Rex is gonna "kill" me because he has told me twice how to put a "link" on a post so as the "lead" the reader...Well, I forgot and I am incompetent anyway...

Go to Part 5 of The 2.5 Month Trip Report and those parts are contained within...

I am sorry Rex, I am a computer hopeless. Forgive me again?

My husband says to tell the truth so here it is: The only "link" instructions that I would remember and study would be those imparted to me from one who works behind the counter at Tiffanys...

My Best,
Oaktown Traveler
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 08:08 AM
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I am trying very hard to get accomodation in andorra for the newyear period would you recommend any town on the spainish side close to the border and we could commuicate

thannks
d
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Old Dec 7th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Gesh...I wish I could help. A friend has all of our Spain files. In the meantime get your map and start identifying possibilities.
Wish I could help!
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