Thursday, November 19, 2009

We're expecting... houseguests!!!

One of my best friends is coming at the end of month for a visit. We’ve been chatting back and forth about what they (she and her wonderful hubby) must see while they are here. It’s her first time to Spain and his first to Europe, so I want to be sure they have a wonderful time.

It’s been interesting to see what recommendations other friends have given them. Some have recommended avoiding places I love and others have suggested some spots I don’t think would be high on my list. But that just reminds me how personal the experience of travelling is and how minor details can greatly impact your impressions of a place. I had a horrible case of food poisoning on my one and only trip to Paris and I certainly don’t have a good impression of the city. On the other hand one plate of fried, salted strips of pumpernickel bread has me craving a return trip to Yekaterinburg, Russia – not exactly a tourist hot-spot.

So we’re currently debating the virtues of a short plane-trip down to Granada (50€!!) vs. the charm of a road-trip around Castilla-Leon (Salamanca, Avila, Segovia). It’s not an easy choice. La Alhambra and tapas vs. the aqueduct (we’re engineers) and suckling pig… I suspect the south will win out as it is, in general, the face of Spain to the outside world, but we shall see.
Regardless, I am hopeful that the native-guide aspect will ensure that their 10 days here are memorable for all the right reasons. I’m taking it as a good sign that I saw the other day that City Hall plans to turn on the already-hung holiday lights the last week of November – just in time for my friends’ visit. And sparkly lights, like fried bread, make everything better.


JustMe said...

Oh Avilla and Segovia!!!! My vote. You can take the train. I guess no tinto de verano in the fall in Salamanca.
But then ... Granada when it's not so blamed hot? See if you could get one (expensive) night at the Parador!!!

Ashley said...

I know this is late, but in hindsight we loved our itinerary!!! Segovia and Toledo were spectacular. The old city streets and buildings just makes you feel like your time on earth is so short when you see how life was back then. It's preserved incredibly. And go on and on. What a mixture of modern with old with tradition. The Christmas lights added so much to the sites...made you smile every street you turned down. We are blessed that we have such a great friend like you to make sure we had the full experience of what Spain has to offer!