Vacationing in Andalusia Spain
We took our first Spanish vacation in Andalusia. It is the southern most area of Spain and boarders the Mediterranean Sea on the south and the Atlantic on the west. The the Mediterranean beach area is called Costa del sol. The territory has eight provinces that also match the names of the cities in the provinces.
Of those we visited Seville, the capital of Andalusia, Cordoba, Granada, and Malaga. We also visited Gibraltar, a small peninsula in Andalusia on the Mediterranean Sea that is part of the United Kingdom. And I took a day trip to Tangier Morocco. See other posts in this blog for more about those locations.
Andalusia’s history, culture and language has been heavily influenced by the Iberians, Visigoths, Romans, Greeks, Jews, Muslim Moors and Christians. The name is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus.
Our “base camp” was a condominium in Calahonda, a small town southwest of Malaga. We lived in a [...]
Your Balearic bliss - Let's Find it
By Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande
The Mediterranean is Europe’s summer playground, and home to almost 200 destination islands. From the big hitters like Sicily to the smallest island nations such as Malta, this beautiful sea offers visitors compelling places to enjoy the joys of a very special Summer lifestyle.
The Balearic Islands
Formentera, Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca make up the Balearic archipelago. Close to the eastern coast of the Iberian peninsula, these are some of the most beautiful Mediterranean islands. Few can compare to the Balearics when it comes to their winning combination of accessibility, friendly locals, natural beauty, and picturesque beaches. What’s more the islands offer a sophisticated infrastructure and high-quality services for the discerning visitor.
Whether you’re looking to just flop on a beach; immerse yourself in a different culture; or travel to enrich your health & well-being, then there’s an island [...]
Solo travel tips and insights
While I gear up to write about my recent trip to Italy - Emilia Romagna specifically - I offer a roundup of solo travel stories by others.
From an Australian website called "Starts at 60," a solo female traveller's (spelled the British way) checklist for traveling alone. The story addresses issues such as best destinations for solo travelers, cost, safety and where to stay.
From a Malaysian newspaper, "5 things you learn when traveling solo." All of the five "things" ring true, but two you may not always think about are: your perspective is changed forever; and you can be anyone you want to be. Powerful concepts.
From a woman thrilled about her solo trip to Italy who "loved every freaking minute of it." As she put it, "I did some super nerdy/gluttonous/luxurious/stupid things that only I could judge." (Remind me to tell you about the time I forgot my passport and lost a day on the way to Europe. Imagine if I'd caused someone ELS [...]
Specialty beers, cars from the good old days and relaxing massage. This is Hershey, Pa.?
Children and chocolate. That is what most people think when they think Hershey, Pennsylvania.
But it's entirely possible to have a grown-up weekend in the town that chocolate built.
Mine involved visits to a winery, a brewery, a spa, an outlet mall and an antique car museum. All for a travel story for The Burg, a monthly community newspaper for Harrisburg, Pa.
I've written about Hershey way more times than I need to count. Somehow I keep ending back there! Each trip has been fun...and different. Including a falconry experience.
This time, I started at the spa in The Hotel Hershey. In the parking lot, I could see the roller coasters of the nearby amusement park and Chocolate World in the distance. But those were two places I bypassed all weekend.
At the hotel's spa, I indulged in a massage and then post-massage relaxation. The spa has a quiet [...]
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Solo Travel now into the big time
You know the solo travel world has come into its own when The Washington Post does an entire travel section on it.
One article offers eight tips ensuring a "trip of ease."
Some obvious tips include using common sense when it comes to safety and talking to locals. One you don't hear as often is the recommendation to travel places where the dollar is strong. Agreed.
It's always fun to go somewhere you can live like royalty for very little money, but it's that much more important when you're not sharing expenses.
Meeting a tiny Irish tourist, Inishmoor Island, Ireland
In another of the articles, the writer calls solo travel the "All About Me" trip. "More myselves and Is are venturing out into the world alone," she writes. Good for them!
Solo Travel Can Bee Awesome - No encumbrances
And the best news of all, as the third of the three front-page stories reveals, is that more tour operators are adding accommodations f [...]
Travel companions who make solo travel look glorious
You say you don't want to travel solo. But suppose your choice of travel companions include the faffer, the whinger or the waverer?
I enjoyed this post on travel companions by a writer for a New Zealand site who detailed the challenges of the "eight worst types of people to travel with."
The faffer takes forever to get out and go in the morning. The whinger won't stop complaining. And the waverer can't make a decision, come hell or high water. (No, I didn't know what these words meant either...)
Then there's the fussy eater, the drunk, the person who needs to be pampered, the person who is stressed by everything. I'm sure you know other types of people whose habits could lessen the joy of your trip, if not ruin your travels altogether.
These and the other aggravating travel companions will detract from a trip. They may even cause you to miss things you specifically went to see. What good is that, after you've [...]
Tips on getting cheaper flights, packing,
what to do on the road
I've read a lot of great travel tips over the years. And I've probably forgotten just as many. So I always like reading stories on how to be a better traveler and of course get cheaper flights.
I've learned through experience to bring an empty water bottle to fill after going through security. That saves paying exorbitant prices to buy and throw out yet another plastic container.
For years, I've taken along photocopies of my passport in case I lost the real one. Having the passport information is supposed to speed up the replacement process.
Recently, I was intrigued by an item about an inflatable footrest for airplane travel. Seems like a godsend. I'm always looking for someplace to put my feet when I'm trying to sleep on an overnight flight.
On a site called Bookmundi, the post "The Ultimate Travel Hacks and Tips" provided many useful tips.
For instance, have you ever noticed that the more yo [...]