Update: More on the trip, in story format, here.
Marcia and I returned late last night from an amazing Iberian adventure, featuring a 12-day tour of Portugal and Spain that carried us from the stark beauty of the westernmost point in continental Europe to the bustling cultural crossroads of Catalunya. We booked the trip through Gate One Travel, who we have happily worked with before — though this was the first time that we participated in one of their guided Discovery Tours, which are targeted to small, active groups, rather than the huge caravan or herd experiences one can often get with cruise ship-type tours.
I can’t speak highly enough about the job that Gate One/Discovery did, from both a planning and logistics standpoint (they’re organized with near-military precision, which I appreciate), and for the detailed, on the ground care and experience they offered us. Hats off to Paul Fernandes Summers, our expert guide, who kept us moving, fed, informed, entertained and awed with his rich knowledge and lovely, genial manner. He was a delight, and you can consider yourself fortunate indeed if you ever find yourself on a tour with him. Our experience was also deeply enriched by the 15 fellow travelers who broke bread, slept on buses, and bandaged blisters with us over our two-week excursion. So thank you Nancy, Y.K., Irene, Claire, Chris, Bob, Terese, Marlise, Lily, Joseph, Terry, Richard, Cecilia, Mary Ellen, Larry and Paul for being wonderful companions — and may our paths cross again!
I’m still too jet-lagged and road addled to really process the trip in my usual travelogue style, but I did post four galleries of photos at my Flickr account if you’d like to see a little bit of what we saw and where we saw it. The four blue links below will carry you to the complete photo sets, and I have shared a few low-resolution, snapshot-sized previews of some personal favorites below on this page as a teaser in lieu of more verbiage.
Now I must try to get my brain unscrambled, which is harder than it should be with this pathetic American coffee!!