Trip Planning: Barcelona and Morocco 2007

In March 2007 we spent two weeks in Barcelona and Morocco. We had a wonderful time on our trip.   I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Barcelona and would go back in a heartbeat.  I definitely want to explore more of Spain on another trip.  The food was fabulous and all the Gaudi architecture was fascinating to see.  A very easy city to get around in.  We had a great hotel in a fabulous location.

Morocco was INCREDIBLE!  Read More →

Rome 2006

Day 15, June 24, Saturday

We left Fattoria Tregole and stopped at Orvieto on our way to Rome.

We had a great lunch at Tipica Trattoria Etrusca, (Via Lorenazo Maitani, 10), just down the street from the Duomo.   We had wonderful rabbit, steak and pasta with cingahle.  We found a street there where everything is made right in the shop by the artisan.  I purchased a beautiful woven scarf.

We visited the duomo, which is stunning and completely dominates the piazza. Then we stopped for our requsite  gelato, but we all agreed this was the worst gelato we had – pretty much without flavor. We really enjoyed our visit to Orvieto, although it was shorter than we would have liked as we got a late start from Tuscany and were anxious to get to Rome.  Orvieto is definitely on our list to go back to as we would like to explore more and have an opportunity to see the underground parts of Orvieto. Read More →

Marrakech, Morocco 2007

We had just spent five days in Barcelona (read about it here – Barcelona) , so we were flying from there.  We got to the airport about 7:30 pm for our 9:50 pm flight. The check-in counter didn’t open for another 20 min. We were flying Royal Air Maroc from Barcelona directly to Marrakech, although it appeared to be operated by Iberia. The guy at the checkout counter was pretty rude, but everyone else was nice and we had no problems with the flight, although it was late leaving. We were supposed to arrive in Marrakech at 11:15 pm, but I believe it was almost midnight. Then we had to go through passport control, which took quite a while, as apparently several flights came in at once. When we came out our luggage was all there and our riad driver was waiting for us. Read More →

Ouarzazate, Merzouga, Sahara camel trek – Morocco 2007

Day Three – Sunday March 24

Now, the Marrakech portion of our trip I had planned on our own, however, I used Blue Men of Morocco ( to help organize the rest of the trip.  I was not willing to just wait until we got to Marakkech to find someone to take us to the desert, and at the time of planning I also wanted someone who had a website.  I originally chose Blue Men because they had a good website and I liked the fact that Elena, the owner was American, although she now lives in Spain.  Her husband was Moroccan (although they are no longer married).  I also had the opportunity to talk via e-mail with the mom of another family who used Blue Men of Morocco for their trip the previous June, and they were very happy with them.  Elena was always very prompt in returning all my e-mails and happy to answer all of my questions.  I was very happy with the places that she had recommended we stay in and really enjoyed our camelmen as well as our guide in Fez – all things that she planned.  We especially loved our driver Zaid.  He was great with the kids, knowledgeable, always took us to good food, didn’t mind we always left about 1/2 hour later than he wanted and made good time on the road!!  When you spend so many hours in a car with someone it is important to have a good driver!!! Read More →

Fez, Morocco 2007

Day 6, Wed. March 28

We settled in for our seven hour drive to Fez.  Once again the scenery was stunning!  (Sorry, after we got to Fez, Stephen said, you know I didn’t take any pictures on our drive today).  Along the road we did stop for some nomads and gave them some bread and water we had brought from the auberge.  They also asked for money, but Zaid told them no.

We stopped in a small town called Zaida for lunch.  We were now in the middle of the Atlas Mountains and the weather had changed quite a bit since the morning when we left the desert and we were not quite prepared with our capris and sandals.  It was cold and windy.  Zaid took us to a restaurant that was quite large – clearly they cater to large tourist buses, but today they were only serving several Moroccan families.  There was no heat so it was really cold.

Zaid ordered Moroccan salad, pomme frites and brochette for all of us.  The Moroccan salad was one of the best we had on our trip and the brochette was excellent. Read More →

Barcelona 2007

Saturday, March 17

We had three flights to get to Barcelona and they were all on time with no delays.  Our only glitch was that it took over an hour for our luggage to come out.  Particularly annoying as our past 2 overseas trips we did only carryon, but changed for this trip as we were expecting to need more space for stuff we would be buying.  Since then – all trips have been carryon only!!

We all immediately noticed how nice the Barcelona airport was.  Michael said “They get props for their airport”, and Lauren was already anxiously awaiting the shopping, just seeing the stores in the airport.

We decided to take the Aerobus for 3.90 euro each.  It drops you off right at Placa Catalyuna.  Very convenient to our hotel, although would have been even more convenient if we had known to just cross the Placa, but we were a bit disoriented so walked a bit further with our luggage then we needed to.

We were staying at the Hotel Pulitzer on Via Bergara just off the Placa Catalyuna.  It was a nice quiet street and a very nice modern hotel.  There were a few glitches with our reservation at first, but I had copies of all the e-mails and everything was taken care of to my satisfaction.  The staff was very nice and extremely helpful throughout our stay. Read More →

A week in London 2006

We had booked a flight from Medford to San Francisco scheduled to leave in the evening.   We planned to spend the night near the San Francisco airport, and then fly to London the next day. Our flight was set to leave Medford at 6:00 pm. At 3:00pm we got a message from United saying our flight had been cancelled but the four of us were booked on a flight that would leave at 6:44 pm. We were also traveling with my parents,  and they did not get rebooked on that flight but on a flight the next day at 6:00 pm. They decided to rent a car and drive down to San Francisco. When we arrived at the airport, they said our flight was delayed until 9:08 pm. Around 7 pm they told us it was delayed until 9:40. At 8:00 pm they told us if it does not take off by 9:40 it would be cancelled. Panic set in. The only other flight available was through Seattle which would have gotten us to London a day late. Thank God about 9:15 pm they told us it will take off. Yea, as we were thinking we may have to drive. We arrived at the Hyatt in San Francisco about midnight. My parents had arrived about 11 pm. Read More →