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Author: rjward9109

Joined: 1/4/2012
Posts: 1
Traveler Since: 2008

January 10, 2012

Our 2 week trip started in Madrid on Halloween night, a great experience. It included the market, DonQuixote monument,Debod Temple,Royal palace,The Almundena,and  of course El Escorial. the complex is memorable.After the Valleyof the Fallen, built by Franco, we headed for Toledo. We went from St Maria La Blanca to the Roads of La Manch with a stop at the windmills to view the interior.In Cordoba we viewed the Roman baths,The Mezquita of marvelous art and decor with marble columns and gothic style and hit the Jewish plaza too.The 2 mile walk in the Alhambra is unbelievable and the tiles, ceilings, etc. can not be explained in words.Seeing the sunset and sunrise in Costa de Sol is breathtaking and crossing theStrait into Morocco is another exoperience.  The dinner and show was great, but watch those native sellers! In Malaga we saw the floats of gold and silver used in their possesions carried by 200 men each.Our home hosted dinner was as always excellent.Rhonda and Seville cultures are unique and so are the bull rings and the geography.Seville's Catherdral can not be put into words! We even saw a Flamenco show and got behind the scenes.Portugal's hills and streetcars are worth it and so was the cork tree stop and definitely the ranch stop for lunch and horse show. It was a highlight. Lisbon was great especially the Royal coach stop.Fatima was taken off  our tour but our director arranged it and at dusk when the statue of our Lord and the cross lights up, it takes your breath. I am so sorry it was eleiminated because it is breathtaking at dusk. We did not know it was eliminated until we got our final documents and this is why we took the trip. So, be aware!Our director called before we left, when we returned, help us to find the gift we could not find, and gave us alot of one on one time.My grandkids were into the world cup and he emailed us a picture of the day they won. I can not say enough about Juanjo Perez.. He had brochures for us, gave us unexpected treats of the area, etc. Out of all our trips with GCT, he was the best!  He even emailed our granddaughter who is studing to be a Spanish Youth minister in Spanish for us. She replied a few days later to him to tell us she got engaged the night before. Sintra was OK but we were not crazy for Cascais, a beach is a beach; however, the Middle Ages National Palace in Sintra is worth it.The tiles that grace Spain and Portugal are everywhere and beautiful.Over all , it was a great trip with a great tour director.

R. Ward/ Baltimore, Md.

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