Friday, October 23, 2009
Jim and Gene, the owners of the travel agency Cork & Tee specialising in golf and gourmet vacations, use my services whenever they have clients coming to Barcelona.
Recently they had a VIP group for whom I did different services, one of them a city tour. Here is what Jim just wrote to me:
I spoke with Helen Wright two days ago from the yacht. Without asking her about Barcelona, she said their tour with you was WONDERFUL! I'm quite sure it will be a highlight of their wonderful trip. We are so very pleased to be working with you!
- Dee Ann contacts me through one of the sites I advertize in, Ourexplorer.com. She needs a tour for a day, and I'm available, so she can book me now (through that site, because that is the way Ourexplorer works).
- Last minute, Dee Ann's group have to change the date and I'm not available anymore for her, so I cannot give her the tour.
- I recomend her other colleagues at Ourexplorer, but in the end she finds someone else outside of Ourexplorer to give her the tour on the day she needs.
- She doesn't know, but she has contacted Jose, a good friend and colleague of mine that I often recomend (but this time I hadn't, because he is not in Ourexplorer).
- Two days before her tour, the group decides to have a museum tour on the day before the city tour they have booked with my friend Jose.
- Jose is not available, but he calls me to substitute him, and I'm available that day, so I accept.
- I give the museum tour to Dee Ann and her group, and only at the end we realized I was the tourguide she had previously contacted at Ourexplorer!
Unfortunately the next day I was already booked (that's why I had had to refuse her Ourexplorer booking), but they had their city tour arranged by Jose.
Amazing, isn't it?
Well, here is the letter I just got from her:
Thank you for our tour. I knew you would be great. You were the best guide ever. It became our mutual agreement which we repeated over and over to each other "WE WANT MARTA!" You spoiled us. If you ever come to America, you can stay at any of our homes. We are spread out over Texas. We all have extra bedrooms and would welcome you. Thanks again!
Dee Ann Arp
I just wanted to send you a brief note to thank you for the wonderful full day tour of Barcelona. Everyone in our group had a great time. We all had a hard time deciding what venue we enjoyed most...Guell Park, Familia Sangrada, the market on La Rambla (one of my favorites....so colorful).
I would be happy to recommend your services to anyone visiting Barcelona.Craig
Monday, October 19, 2009
We started like any other city tour, with the Passeig de Gràcia and Gaudí's appartment buildings Casa Batlló and Casa Milà / Pedrera, and then continued to the Sagrada Familia church. There the first surprise of the tour was awaiting us: they were celebrating the festival of the district and several teams of castellers, the catalan human towers, were performing. I told them about this special tradition and how like they had been to see it, as it isn't hard to hit one of these shows. Here is a picture:
Next, we continued to the Old Town, where we had an encounter with a group of pickpockets. Fortunately enough, I immediately realized those Romanian Gypsy girls had just stopped behind our group and we moved away from them, but we could still see the pick-pockets operating, trying to steal from a young couple of tourists that we alerted, and then finally managing to steal a wallet from another lady...
I hate so much to see this kind of things, it really disturbs me. But I know the only way we can fight them is making visitors aware of them, and that's why I'm writing that in my post: so you know it happens. Please don't consider your back pocket a safe place for your wallet and keep always your bag IN FRONT of you and not in your back. Make things difficult for pick-pockets and have a safe holyday!
I was so angry and could see the gypsies had spotted us telling other people, so I decided to move on. We left the Cathedral and continued to the charming squares of the Gothic Quarter. I showed them the Plaça del Rei, and the Roman Temple and when we got to Plaça Sant Jaume... there was a demostration going on! Oh My... But well, they were moving away from the square so I finally managed to tell them about the site and since it was the end of the tour I recomended them a great tapas place for lunch.
That had been an unusual tour!
Do you remember last july I spent a day with Domenico and Giulia from the Kiss From The World website? I posted an article here about my day with them.
After their world tour this summer, they are back to work and the videos we recorded are finally online! and soon new pics and the contact data of all the people interviewed will be online aswell!
Check out here my own presentation, or our walk through the Boqueria Market, and also other very interesting interviews of very special Barcelonians!
I want to thank Domenico and Giulia for all their work and for the fun day we spent together, I wish them a big success with their project.
Avete una amica a Barcellona! (You have a friend in Barcelona!)
Sunday, October 4, 2009
One of the many activities organized around the event is a bus tour around some of the most representative sites that have received the Barcelona architecture price, the FAD.
I followed the tour with a friend of mine, Eva Palacios, who is an architect, because I wanted to learn more things that I could use in my Contemporary Architecture tours. So far, my tours have covered the "star sites" by big international architects such as Jean Nouvel, Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry and so on. Now I'll be able to add a few more sites by Spanish architects that might be interesting for highly specialized clients.
Ivan, the architect-guide, was very professional and helpful, although we were disappointed to see that due to the Barcelona RedBull Air Race, a big part of the itinerary had been cancelled and nothing had been previewed to subsitute it... Well, at least after the tour Ivan was happy to answer all our questions on the sites we were most interested in.
You can still take the tour until October 8th (although there might be problems with the tour on the 7th due to the bus strike).
More information about the Arquibus tour here (in English).
More information on the other Arquiset Week activities here (Spanish only).