Any Tips for Vacation to France, Spain and Morocco?

We just came back from the library and raided the shelves of travel books we can find about travel to France, Spain and Morroco. Yup, that is our vacation plan this summer. I was in Paris two years ago, which I had blogged about it here before. However, Suanne has never been there before.

We will most definitely start our travel from Paris because I had recently gotten a staff travel pass to the Charles de Gaulle airport. It will just be Suanne and I as the boys will be in summer camp during that time.

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Our general plan is to start from Paris and then travel to Barcelona and Madrid. We would also want to cross the Straights of Gibraltar to step onto African soil. Time permitting, we might even go to Portugal.

I am sure some of you had been to these countries before. So, Suanne and I would welcome any tips and pointers about travel to these places. We are looking for info on intercity travel, places to visit, customs, security, currency, visas … and most important of all, FOOD!

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We also gotten quite a number of magazines too from the library. There is a lot of reading to do which I really like to do. After all, half the fun in a vacation is the planning and dreaming!

BTW, we have 2.5 weeks to spend in Europe and will be traveling in July. Spain will be the focus of our trip.

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So … why Spain? In one word, elBulli.

No, we did not get a reservation to the No 1 Restaurant in the world (damn you, Luis!). Our primary plan for this trip is to go for the next best thing. It all started when Angie gave us the “A Day ay elBulli” book as a gift a few months ago. It is an awesome book. Any real foodie should at least read this book. It is a thick book that chronicles a day at elBulli … from day break at 6:05AM to when the kitchen lights are switched off at 2:00AM. You will love this book.

Getting a reservation to elBulli is next to impossible. They are opened only like six months in a year (with the remaining months spent on scouring the globe for the taste for the next year). They received 2 million reservation requests each year for only 8,000 seatings. The reservation is filled on the very day it is opened for the year — all selected by this one guy, Luis.

In that book, they pointed out that if you still want to taste Ferran Adria’s gastronomic innovations, you could … in a restaurant at the elBulli hotel in Sevilla. But they only serve food from previous year’s menu of elBulli.

It is still the dream of Suanne and I to dine at elBulli but until that day, we will settle for second best.

Help us plan for the trip.

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  1. Sherman

    Lucky you Ben! I don’t think I’m going anywhere this summer… ๐Ÿ™

  2. Pinoy Gourmet

    I have the Culinaria Food Guides for France,Spain and Italy,I will be in touch.

  3. Lidia

    Hi Ben! While in Barcelona and Madrid make sure to visit a couple of Tapas bars! They are wine or beer bars where tapas are served, these are small appetizers or very small dishes of very many kinds to accompany the drinks. Tapas bars have a unique atmosphere and the food is very good, it’s like Spanish dim sum. Also make sure to try paella in Barcelona. Barcelona is a beautiful and unique city, i especially liked the Gaudi architecture and the aquarium.
    Be prepared that expecially France, but Spain as well, are pricier countries than Canada.
    Have a great time!!

  4. Anita

    Long time no talk! ๐Ÿ™‚

    One of the best places to visit in Spain for culinary adventures and very beautiful landscapes is San Sebastian. It’s one of the places where they have very good gastronomic bars and sometimes have such competitions quite like Iron Chef. Hope you can add that to your list. ๐Ÿ™‚
    One of my friends lives there and has convinced me so much that I plan to go there in the future!

  5. K.

    Two years ago, I was in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Casablanca, Rabat, and Marrakech! It was a great time. While in Paris, will you take Suanne to Laduree for macarons? I know that would earn my husband some brownie points!

    Some of the best meals I had while in Morocco were at La Squala (http://www.restopro.ma/lasqala/). Fabulous ambiance and great food. My one regret about Morocco was that I didn’t take the chance to stock up on spices.

    My favourite thing about Spain is starting each day with chocolate and churros!La Mallorquina in Madrid is an institution–good coffee and lots of yummy pastries.
    I hope you have a fantastic time!

  6. Mel

    Hi Ben,
    I love to travel back to Europe again. It has been five years since my last visit. I flew to London to attend my niece’s wedding and from there I used the Eurostar to Paris and Brussels. Looking at your blog, I think you have visited most of the interesting places in Paris. All I need to say is to have a good pair of walking shoes for Susanne. I worn out 2 pairs of my walking shoes visiting Europe. Enjoy!
    Mel

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