The trip to Spain


After a week of getting back to my normal schedule, it’s time to write a little more about our vacation.

Where to go?

The decision to go on a trip around Thanksgiving was mainly to save a few days of my wife’s vacation time. We pondered over where to go:

  • North America: Too close to home — not that there’s anything wrong with that…
  • Central and South America: We just visited Peru last year, so wanted a different continent
  • Asia: We’re going there early next year for my brother-in-law’s wedding, so didn’t want to go in the same direction this time
  • Africa: Too far away for less than 2 weeks
  • Europe: Seemed reasonable, but wanted to pick the warmest part — so southern Spain it was!

Where to go when we decided where to go…

In the end, with about 10 full days there, we decided on the follow itinerary with about 2 nights at each place except Cordoba (1 night):

  • Fly into Madrid and transit to Cordoba the next morning
  • Cordoba
  • Sevilla
  • Ronda and pueblos blancos by car
  • Granada
  • Madrid

It’s quite packed, but that’s how we seem to like to travel. Each time we tell ourselves that we should slow down, we end up doing the same thing again, and not regretting it too much.

To plan the trip, we went through many guide books, but settled on carrying a torn down Rick Steve’s Spain 2009, the Cadogan Andalucia, and Maribel’s guides.  Also, TripAdvisor provided timely information and pointed us to great hotels, and Google Maps helped planning greatly.

Travel logistics

We generally like to travel light and fast, with a back packable carry-on each (I had my messenger bag as well with my camera stuff) for the entire 12-day vacation. This allowed for time saved in getting from place to place and sure helped in negotiating subway stairs and cobblestone roads. Because I had my tripod in my carry-on, my greatest concern was that airport security would require me to check my carry-on because of it, but luckily the tripod made it there and back without having me check it in.

Photography logistics

I packed my Nikon D300, 3 lenses — 12-24, 17-55 and 75-150 — and used every one of them nearly equally. I also packed my Gitzo Traveler tripod, which allowed for long exposure shots at night, when it wasn’t raining out. Because of the considerable cloudiness, I only used my polarizer a few times, and didn’t need my cable release, as I used the camera timer.

I shot a ton of photos — over 1500 in fact, but many are duplicated because of the low light in several places and I took many and checked each time for sharpness. In the end, I have about 60% that I’m keeping, and about 10% that I really like.

I need to give a shout out to Mrs. Blog because I’m fortunately that she also likes photography and understand me. This really helps because I generally take a LONG time shooting, and she has the patience to bear with me, or just let me go out on my own from time to time to shoot evening shots. Appreciated Hon!


As it turned out, weather didn’t always hold up. It’s a crap shoot around this time anyway. It was generally cold, even in the south just a ferry hop away from Africa. We did have a few days of nice blue skies, but even more days when it was overcast, and a few days of rain. We managed through all that, since we were quite well bundled up and have rain jackets. Basically, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously anyway rain or shine.

No pictures at the moment

Unfortunately, my main drive decided to fritz out, but luckily I believe in backing up my data. Still, there’s the hassle of getting another drive and restoring the data. Also, there could be some data that doesn’t restore correctly, or wasn’t backed up right. At least, most of the data is safe.

Remember kids, if you don’t backup, be prepared to lose that data.

More later

I have more to say about some observations from the trip, but I’ll save it for later. Also, I’ll post some shots once I have my data online again.


2 Responses to “The trip to Spain”

  1. The first time I went my older sister was studying abroad in Seville, its a cute little city. And the second time I did an exchange program in Almaria.

  2. 2 TopL

    Cool! I’d love to see a different place on an exchange program. Then again, I suppose I’m on a long term overseas program given that I’ve only been in this country since 1992.


%d bloggers like this: