So my month of racecation has come to an end. I'm feeling refreshed and ready to hop back on the running path again. Between Mr. Blondie and myself, we took about 1200 pictures. I’ll post a few of my favorites once we’ve got them sorted out.
Sorry to post and run while we were gone. I wanted to keep a little interest going while we were away with some quick updates. I’m catching up on my google reader to see what y’all have been up to, and to return the bloggy comment love as well. Geez, you guys have been busy!
Prague was actually our first vacation choice. We’ve heard nothing but good things from people who’ve visited there. However, the flights looked full even a full week in advance, so we went with plan B instead.
Spain has always been on the top of our must-see list too. The dollar is much weaker in Spain than in Prague, which is why it was our second choice. Albeit pricier, it didn't disappoint. I’m glad we ended up there because it was wonderful. It was sunny and 75 degrees every day, the landscapes were breathtaking, the food was tasty, and the people were nice.
Although we covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time, we felt relaxed and not the least bit rushed. We traveled about 11,000 miles in 8 days.
Instead of flying directly out of Atlanta, we first made stops in NY to drop Emily off with my inlaws and then to pick her up again on our way home. We flew to Barcelona non-stop out of JFK, and then got around Spain via a mix of Spanair flights, buses, rental cars, and subways. Everything we needed for the week was crammed into our backpacks. Our route looked something like this
ATL -> JFK -> Barcelona -> Sevilla -> Ronda -> Malaga -> Barcelona -> Figueres -> Cadaques -> Girona -> Cadaques -> Port Bou, France -> Barcelona -> JFK -> ATL
We were seated in first class both ways. Eating and drinking our faces off began the second we sat down in the cushy recline-flat seats. It was liked I’d died and gone to heaven. The value of the plane tickets we used was equivalent to Mr. Blondie’s gross salary his first year at the airline. It’s absurd to think about. It’s about time we cashed in on some of the fringe benefits to make up for it. This is the first major international trip since he was hired 5 years ago.
We relied on Rick Steve’s Spain 2011 as our travel guide when deciding on which cities to see. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble a couple days before we left, so not a lot of research went into this trip. We were very happy with his recommendations, and it helped us to avoid over touristy areas. We used a mix of suggestions from the book, expedia.com, and dumb luck to find hotel rooms along the way.
Every hotel we stayed in nice and was reasonably priced between 40-80 euro (and usually included breakfast which saved us another 20-30 euro). Our only flub was one night in Barcelona when we couldn’t find vacancies anywhere. We stayed in sketchy hostel near Plaze de Catalunya which cost us 90 euro (~$140 USD). That was no bueno.
We ate 2 meals a day, and stopped at a grocery store to pickup snacks and make our own sandwiches for dinner a couple times. Eating simply, we still spent anywhere from 70-120 Euro a day on food and drink ($110-$180). The tapas bars can be pricey at night. And who can pass up sangria?
I don’t want to bore you with too much information, so that’s the condensed Cliff’s Notes version. If you have any specific questions about our trip or traveling to Spain, just leave a comment and I’d be happy to answer them :)