Page 5 of bvchef Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville April 11th 2011

Through just the longest, crappiest series of events, I was in Granada with exactly 2.80€ and $11. No ATM, no PIN for my Visa cards and nothing to do about it on a Sunday. Luckily my train ticket to Seville was paid for, and the hotels were no problems, but there was the small situation of getting to and from the train stations. The super helpful front desk person at the Anacapri Hotel made me feel a lot better and told me about a bus that would take me to the train station. That was a snap. I was able to find a restaurant that took Visa, so had some lunch. I really wasn't sure when the next time I would be able to eat would be, so wanted to fuel up. It´s a good thing ... read more
Still Smiling
Great Appetizer
Seville Bell Tower

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Granada April 9th 2011

Yesterday I drove here from Gibraltar. I have to say that one of the best skills I picked up in life is how to drive a stick shift. I did forget, however, to use the clutch to start the car. Heck, in my car I put my foot on the brake and push a button. My first thought was that the battery was dead, and then I remembered the clutch. Oops. Driving out of Gibraltar was easy enough. Since I was a bit more familiar with where I was going, I was able to take pictures while driving and have some great shots of driving over the runway. Silly as it may sound, I really am intrigued by the whole runway/road thing. The Passport Control line was so long. It took at least a half hour ... read more

Europe » Gibraltar » Gibraltar April 8th 2011

This morning's plan was to get up early, check out, store my luggage and take the cable car up to the Rock. The cable car runs so close to my balcony, that I was able to take some pictures as it went past. I made my way down to the station, but it seemed closed, so I grabbed some coffee and wrote postcards. When I went back, I found out that it was closed for maintenance. They didn't have any information, didn't care and said it could be 5 minutes, 5 hours, or all day. Thank you so very much. It boggles my mind how so many bumps and glitches there can be in a trip. The reason I came here was to go up on the Rock and see the apes and the view. Time ... read more
Driving Toward Gibraltar
Sunset Over Spain
British Pub Food

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier April 7th 2011

Just a quick disclaimer. My laptop died a quick and hopefully painless death last night. Blue screen of death and nothing I can do. At least there is a hotel computer tonight, but not really holding my breath for the rest of the trip. Today was such a waste. I had arranged a taxi to meet me at the hotel at 6 so I could make my 7:30 ferry to Spain. True enough, he was there at 6, we were at the Port Med by 6:45, but the ferry office wasn't open. The weather had stopped ferries from going, or Life was just messing with me yet again. The ferry finally left at 10:30. Easy peasey. Was in Spain by 1:30, made it through passport control and headed off to find the car rental. Ok, so ... read more
Camel Rides
Heading to the Beach
This is It!

Africa » Morocco » Tangier-Tétouan » Tangier April 5th 2011

I decided to take an earlier train to Tangier today. It was going to be a 5 to 6 hours trip: therefore, I wanted to get it out of the way and enjoy an afternoon in Tangier. I grabbed the quick breakfast that was included with the room, hopped in a Deathtrap (Petit Taxi and yes, this one fit the description to a T) and off we lurched to the train station. I splurged on a first class ticket so I could have some quiet in which to read. It was only 185 Dirhams (divide by 8 for an estimate what it was in American dollars.) The trip was smooth and rather uneventful. Several people came and went from my compartment, but it was a quiet ride. I was thrown for a loop though when I ... read more
Train Station
La Tangerina

Africa » Morocco » Grand Casablanca » Casablanca April 4th 2011

There are two types of taxis here in Casablanca. The larger ones that haul several people and head off to other cities are called Grand Taxis. The smaller ones for around town are called Petit Taxis. I finally discovered what the translation means: Deathtrap. Well, perhaps it isn't the literal translation, but hey, if the shoe fits. The ones I rode in were falling apart, burning oil and driven as if we were in an amusement park bumper car ride. At first I thought the white lines down the street were to indicate lanes, but it seems that the Petit Taxis use them as a guide rail or something, so the cab is driven down the center of the line. Pedestrians are just as bad, darting in and out of traffic, walking down the center of ... read more
Hassan II Mosque
Hassan II Mosque

Africa » Morocco » Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer » Rabat April 3rd 2011

My plan for today was simple; get up early, have a quiet breakfast in the hotel, taxi to the train station and head to Marrakesh. I was able to do 3 out of the 4. The train was to leave a little before 9, so I was there by 8:30; however, when I checked the board, all the trains were leaving well past 9 and the time was 9:30. I knew I had set my watch back 2 hours when we landed, set my travel alarm and double checked the current time online. What I didn't plan on was the fact the today was when Morocco switched to Daylight Savings Time and moved forward an hour. Hmm, it would have been nice for the hotel to mention that when I checked in. But, it's all part ... read more
Hassan Mosque
Great door
With a Royal Guard

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona April 2nd 2011

As I wrote yesterday, I lost a day in Casablanca, but gained a day in Barcelona due to air schedules. At home I have a plaque that says " When life hands you lemons, smile politely and throw them away when life isn't looking." I took that to heart today and threw those lemons away. After checking out of the hotel, which was a very nice place and in the best location I could imagine, I took the Metro to Plaza Espana. I had wanted to go to this Spanish village with shops and craftspeople making their wares. I don't remember Dearborn Village that well, but that is what it reminded me of while I was there. Originally it was for an Exposition and has all the different regions of Spain represented. I bought some small ... read more
Olympic Stadium
Inside Stadium

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona April 1st 2011

Today was a day I had planned as a free day. The weather was so sunny and warm that I broke out my short sleeved shirts and left my jacket at the hotel. But first I needed to deal with my plane reservation for tomorrow. I was scheduled to leave Barcelona around 1, arriving in Casablanca around 1 with the time change, but when I went onto Royal Air Maroc's website, I had been moved to a 9:30PM flight without any notice. That kind of messed up my plans for Casablanca. After much brouhaha, I was able to get an agent on the phone. The best I could do was to move my reservation to 7PM. It still doesn't work well with my schedule, but at least I won't be arriving at the hotel around midnight. ... read more
Eggs at la Boqueria
Casa Batllo
Light Well

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona March 31st 2011

Usually I try to take at least one organized tour while I am on vacation. For one day it is nice to sit back and be driven around, told when to eat, what to see and so on. True, I would go bonkers if I had to do it throughout the whole vacation, but today was such an incredible day trip. We went to Montserrat, about an hour outside of Barcelona. There is an old monastery there, which was nice, but what I wanted to see were the mountains of Montserrat. They are serrated and jagged, standing so tall over the area. We lucked out with a warm sunny day with deep blue sky and white clouds. It was a perfect day for hiking up in the mountain. Most of the group headed up the trail ... read more
Cross Viewpoint
From the cross
From the Cross 2

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