Hi from Rick: New Iberian Adventures
|Seasoned fado performers spice up our dinner.|
My spring research trip has started with a swing through Iberia, just as we're launching two new 2008 itineraries in this rewarding corner of Europe: Barcelona & Madrid in 8 Days; and San Sebastián & Basque Countryside in 7 Days. Just like our classic Best of Spain & Portugal in 15 Days tour, these two new ones benefit from the personal contacts and discoveries I make while updating my books.
One evening last week I dropped by to see Gabriel, who lovingly dishes up traditional Portuguese dishes in his restaurant while employing fado guitarists (who hunch over their instruments like tired old turtles) and sultry singers in black mourning dresses (whose plunging necklines promise there's life after death). Sliding a cool glass of wine in front of me, Gabriel said, "Okay, you are finished working for today. Now enjoy."
The next day, while checking up on a hotel I recommend in my guidebook, I noticed one of the personalized schedules our tour guides post on the wall, laying out the plan for the final night of a Best of Spain & Portugal tour. Federico, their guide, wrote: "7:30 meet in the lobby to go out for dinner and a BIG surprise."
I can never resist connecting with our tour groups when I'm on the road. So as Federico's group shared their farewell dinner together at Gabriel's — serenaded by unexpected singers and guitarists — I dropped in to double the surprise.
If evenings at places like Gabriel's appeal to your travel appetite, check out this month's Tour News menu. You'll find delicious details on our two just-released Iberian itineraries, plus articles on Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Basque Country and the rain in Spain, on-demand podcasts and more. We've also put together a handy "procrastinator's guide" to all our summer tours that still have seats available.
I love seeing our tour groups full of smiles as they share experiences together. Who knows...I may drop in on yours some evening.