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Monday, March 08, 2010

Plan my trip!

I guess it's not MY trip. Joe's coming too. But Tonya and Rusty are most certainly NOT invited.

Anyways, we're going to be spending about 5 days in Barcelona and 2ish days in Edinburgh.
I'm looking for suggestions, tips, must-sees, must-avoids. Yes, we will be Barcelona over Easter. Because the Pope hates Joe. And who can blame him? I mean, he's the Pope!

Everything I thought I knew about Spanish cuisine is apparently Mexican. Everything I know about Scottish food is haggis. My Spanish language skills are limited to "hola", "adios", and "¿Dónde están las drogas?" or something like that. Yeah, basically, it's Amazing Race-levels of excellence. Joe, however, is much more skilled, which is why he's so awesome when he negotiates with Jesus (the yard guy, not the Savior - I don't think it's good form to argue with Easter-Jesus).

We're thinking of a day trip from Barcelona to Girona and down the coast. Possibly heading to the Montserrat Royal Basilica as well. Those would be booked through tour groups since we will be sans auto. Worth it? No? Scotland is going to be a damn quick trip so we'll have to really prioritize.

So help your bloggy buddy out. Or help me out. If you've been and have any words of advice, resources, funny anecdotes or leftover European coin, let me know! Muchas gracias. And nachos.

14 comments:

Donnetta said...

Sorry, no advice for this trip. But I DEFINITELY agree - no arguing with Easter Jesus!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I haven't been to Barcelona but I've heard great things from friends. Mexican-Spanish skills may not translate perfectly. You can get free food (tapas) if you order drinks in the right kind of bar... I didn't have to buy evening meals in Madrid.

Edinburgh is lovely, definitely go to the castle (but the queues can get massive). You can easily lose 2 days just wandering. Let me know what sort of food you like and I can make suggestions.

Speaking of coins, don't forget that Scotland uses pounds not Euros. Don't change money in airports; post office rates are usually competitive, or try a large branch of Marks & Spencer.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I haven't been to Barcelona but I've heard great things from friends. Mexican-Spanish skills may not translate perfectly. You can get free food (tapas) if you order drinks in the right kind of bar... I didn't have to buy evening meals in Madrid.

Edinburgh is lovely, definitely go to the castle (but the queues can get massive). You can easily lose 2 days just wandering. Let me know what sort of food you like and I can make suggestions.

Speaking of coins, don't forget that Scotland uses pounds not Euros. Don't change money in airports; post office rates are usually competitive, or try a large branch of Marks & Spencer.

TMC said...

OMG how exciting!

I've never been to Europe before but here's where I'd go in Barcelona:

http://www.boqueria.info/Eng/index.php

I've seen it a bunch of times on different cooking and travel shows. Can you imagine, a few days in Barcelona, strolling the old streets, finding hidden tapas places and sampling everything the merkat has to offer?! Maybe you guys could find a tourist's cooking class or one of those dinners in a family's home. Oh! The possibilities!

I say skip group tours. You'll see a lot of scenery and that's it. It'll just take you further away from the people and culture. Pick one or two key places you want to see, find a hotel in the middle, and keep it simple.

I don't know much about Edinburgh but I have a buddy who's from there and I'm sure he could suggest some things to do. I'd probably try to strategically time my trip for sometime when Franz Ferdinand were home and doing shows.

p.s. would you please bring me some manchego?

Adoption of Jane said...

Don't carry a purse or pack on public transportation, keep your money in your front pocket and if you don't know the language don't speak on the buses... it's basically a pocket picker/purse grabbers dream for tourists.

Tortuga said...

Yeah, I think arguing with Easter-Jesus is a bad idea. I think Jane has some awesome suggestions. Also, letting you know I awarded you some bling today!!

mo.stoneskin said...

Stay away from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh as much as possible. Sure, walk up and down it but let's face it, who really wants to see the SAME DAMN TARTAN AND WHISKEY shop repeated one million times!?

C. Beth said...

I hear that running with the bulls is dangerous.

Don't call the Scottish people "British" even though Scotland is part of Great Britain.

I'm sure you're glad to benefit from my clear wealth of experience.

Mama Zen said...

Bad form to argue with Easter Jesus . . . that's freaking hilarious!

Jean Stockdale said...

I am sorry but I have never been to Europe. I do hope you have the most glorious time though. What fun.

Thanks for stopping by to leave a note. Please don't feel that you have to visit each time I particape though!! I am a low maintenance blogger and do not require such kindness from your. It is much appreciated, but seriously . . . you need to be packing your bags and planning your travels!! I cant wait to read all about it.

And, just so you know, my head is still spinning. We have launched a ministry, built a new website, and traveled to speak to 2 women's group (this past weekend in Dalton Ga and Powder Springs Ga) in the last couple of months. I am about to write another book and well . . . my head is spinning!! But in a wonderfully crazy way. Blessings. jean

Jeanie said...

A walk along La Rambla and a vistit to Park Guell would be a couple of suggestions for Barcelona. La Rambla is very fun...the human sculptures are amazing. I've got nothing for Scotland.

blognut said...

I think you just use sign language the whole time you're traveling. I'm pretty sure it's the same in Spanish.

What? I thought that was a useful tip.

S~DLT said...

I love, love, love Barcelona! We never had any problems when we went there, even when trolling the streets at 4am. My favorite restaurant is http://www.merenderodelamari.com/, down in the port on the water (on the higher end). They have the best Paella Fideua (noodle paella) For a quick pick-up try getting some shwarma on the Rambla del Raval. There is also a little restaurant on that street right across (perpendicular) from carrer de l'Aurora - great tapas and a waiter name Marcello, who speaks English and has great recommendations! I can't remember the name, it might be La Fragua.

Have fun!!! I'm super jealous.

Marga Flores said...

Some tips to travel to Barcelona:



Hire a car only if you are going to spend several days there, so you can visit also the surroundings and places like Montserrat, Port Aventura, Costa Brava, etc.



Be careful with pickpockets in metro and city center.



If you are going to travel with your family rent a centric apartment (here they have holiday apartments in barcelona city center and they give out a free pocket guide, which is always useful).

If you are going with friends it's a good idea too, but then you may want to look for something cheaper (here they have cheap accommodation in barcelona, from 19 € per night or so).



And enjoy!