Friday, December 9th, 2016

The Iberian Travel Conundrum

Earlier this year, I visited Portugal and Spain for the first time in my life.  I traveled overland from Porto to Barcelona, stopping in Lisbon, Sintra, Evora, Santa Catalina de Velha, and Faro in Portugal, followed by Sevilla, Granada, Madrid, and Valencia in Spain.

This September, I’m traveling to those two bookends again — Porto and Barcelona.  TBU is taking place in Porto, and two weeks later, TBEX is taking place in Girona, not far from Barcelona.

With only two weeks separating the conferences, several of us will just be sticking around Portugal and Spain — random towns around the Iberian peninsula.  Madrid, Lisbon, San Sebastian.

Between the TBU post-conference tour to the Douro River Valley and the pre-TBEX Blog House in Catalonia, I have slightly less time — about five days to kill.  So, where should I go?  Let’s take a look at the top three options easily booked through Liberty Travel.

Porto

The Argument For Porto: It would be a great place to get work done.  There aren’t TOO too many distractions, and it’s very cheap to live it up in a hostel.  And as always, there’s great wine and port and a Harry Potter-esque bookstore.

The Argument Against Porto: It’s kind of depressing sticking around in a conference city after all your friends leave.  I wasn’t too big on Porto the first time around, and I’m probably going to be a bit sick of it after a week in the region.

Barcelona

The Argument For Barcelona: I promised my readers that I would give it another chance!  As you may recall, I visited Barcelona on a miserable and rainy day while I was exhausted from Las Fallas in Valencia — in other words, the worst circumstances possible — but I swore I’d give it another chance.  I’d love to see the Parc Guell this time around.

The Argument Against Barcelona: Barcelona is the single most expensive city I’ve experienced in Iberia.  And I don’t know if I want to spend my free time elbow to elbow with tourists.  Beyond that, what I disliked the most about Barcelona was that I was constantly afraid of being pickpocketed.

Costa Brava Beach Town

The Argument For the Beach: The beaches in Costa Brava are beautiful, and it would be nice to decompress from all the blogger mania for a few days in solitude.  I could probably find a rental if I wanted.  I also enjoy myself the most when I find places that nobody else seems to know about.

The Argument Against the Beach: I would spend too much time on the beach and not enough time working.

So what should I choose?

You know…the more I think about it, the more Costa Brava appeals to me.  But knowing me, I’ll change my mind a million times before I end up going!

Images: JAMoutinho, SBA73, felipe_galbadon

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