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Monday, 28 September 2015

Trip to Andalusia

We're back, safe and sound, from our coach trip to the cities of Andalusia. B has returned to work this morning, I am at home catching up on the e-backlog and sorting out the two bags of washing.

For the most part the trip went well except for a major disappointment. The flights were on time, the coach was comfortable, a good driver and a very good guide. We stayed in three hotels, one of which was decidedly tired but that was only for one night, at the third hotel we changed rooms as the first room really stank of stale cigarette smoke. Also, we now know not to eat the evening buffet meals at Spanish hotels, the quality of the food was very poor. On the other hand, eating at bars, tapas style, or at restaurants was very good.

A few photos, first, from Ronda.

Next, Seville

Then Cordoba

Finally, Granada

"What was the major disappointment?" I hear you say. Well... the last day was to be a visit to the Alhambra. This was to be in two parts, visit the Alhambra Palaces, then visit the gardens. This should have been the highlight of the trip and the visit we were really excited about. However, on day two of our trip, the guide announced that the gardens visit would proceed as planned, but the Palaces trip would be the night before, at 10.30.....10 ******* 30 AT NIGHT... and there was nothing to be done about this, the times are allocated by the Palaces' staff to cope with the numbers of visitors but not to worry, the site is floodlit and is a magnificent experience. (Floodlight my a**e) When we got there it was almost pitch black, the so-called floodlighting seemed to be a dozen 40 watt light bulbs. At some places, I could hardly see my feet, never mind the buildings. It was too dark to take photos, the palaces are too big for camera flash equipment. We really are so very disappointed and angry. We were not told by the tour operator that we may have to make a the night visit, I would not have booked the holiday if I thought there was a chance we would not see the Palaces properly. So I'm complaining to the tour operator (a probable waste of time) and I am removing Riviera Travel from my list of good companies to buy from. Never again.


  1. Sorry to hear that, I feel shame as a Spaniard for how you've been treated
    Specially sad that you missed a proper visit to Alhambra one of the most beautiful places in Spain.
    Not an excuse but this summer marked a historical ever record of tourists visits, probably as a result of the instability in other traditional tourist locations (Greece, North Africa...); I fear the infrastructure cannot cope properly with this inflow and hence the deterioration of the service.
    I hope you may return in the future in normalised conditions and change your perceptions about the hospitality of the Spanish people

  2. Thank you for your very kind words. The problem was not with the Spaniards, they were great, really nice, welcoming and friendly. The problem was with the UK travel company in not telling us that we may see the Palaces at 10:30 before we booked the holiday. Probably, we will return.

  3. Shame that that happened. Hopefully it didn't take the edge off what looked like a great trip. All beautiful cities, with stunning backdrops. And great food!