Lisbon and Spain • March 2016 / 2
I’ve decided to organize this trip by topic, as I’m bored with the chronology approach, and also because I realized that often, when I scan others’ blogs for info about locations, I want the dish on the details. So, since I’m a woman, and I’m writing this blog, the first post is around the creature comforts that make me happy: a good hairdryer and good toiletries. Why?
Because we travel very light. This is it: a smaller-sized Rick Steves travel bag and a handmade type-writer-fabric carry-on for: the computer, last week’s newspapers I always plan to read, the iPad, chargers, empty water bottle, gorp, pashmina, pillow-that-blows-up-and-goes-around-my-head-for-sleeping, and for this trip, my pouch of embroidery. So, no room or weight for a hairdryer and only the skimpiest of toiletry supplies. I know I’m not going to outer Mongolia, so I can expect some comforts when I arrive.
First stop was Lisbon, and the Hotel Olissippo Saldanha Hotel was great, with a great hairdryer and high-quality toiletries, as well as marble, marble, marble everywhere. The hairdryer was on a shelf, not attached to the wall, so I had a longer cord to dry my medium-length hair. I’ll be writing general info on the hotels in another post (have to rate those beds!) so look for more details later. I also post on Trip Advisor quite regularly, with more photos and details there. Body wash and shampoo were combined into one, but we also had bar soap, shower cap, comb and nice bathrobes which remained mummified in the corner the whole time we were there. It was really nice that they didn’t have the whole counter taken up with coffee maker, and gee-gaws holding all the toiletries like the American hotels (what is up with that?).
New town and new hotel: Hotel Amadeus in Sevilla and the bathroom hairdryer is one of those things on the wall, with a curly cord which works okay. Not great, just okay. This is it for the toiletries: packets of gel, weensy bars of soap, that when I open fall to pieces in my hand. The tiny shelf is loaded with their stuff and apparently I can purchase the shell soap dish, according to the price list on top of the a/c unit in the bedroom. There’s lots of stuff for sale here: shell dish, accent pillows, pictures.
The hotel in the next town, Cordoba, was a pretty snazzy place, as apparently the Queen and King of Spain had stayed at the Las Casas de la Juderia. They had a nice hairdryer, mounted on the wall, and it beat all the hairdryers in terms of output: heat and blower strength. Just thought you want to know how I grade these things. They also had the arrangement that it only works if you are holding the button down, something I’d seen on our last trip, which flummoxed me at that time. I’m used to the button being a “cool-down” button, but no. . . it has to be held down to get the hair dryer to work.
This is to show you the floating shower floor, a unique feature. No drain at all, but just a slab of marble with about a 1/2″ clearance all around, so the water flowed over the edge and out of sight.Comb, shower cap, body wash, lotion, bar of hard soap for washing hands at the sink.
Now we are at Granada’s Hotel Leo, and we are roughing it: no marble anywhere.
(I’m kidding, of course, about roughing it.)But what they lacked in fancy stuff, Hotel Leo made up for in Capitol-C Clever. I wanted to swipe the shampoo, but I knew the packaging wouldn’t make it. But that shower cap came home with me.Yeah. I can see the drain.
Moving on: We were so un-impressed with our hotel in Madrid that I can’t find ANY photos of it anywhere in my stuff. Good thing because on the first day the hair dryer quit after 35 seconds–it overheated and the automatic shut-off switch kicked into gear–and so they had to bring me up one from the front desk: an old-style wall-mount hair dryer which I perched precariously on the edge of the sink while I used it. The rest of our stuff had to be put in the well of the bidet, as there were no other places anywhere. It was basically a hotel for students, but the location was great. And the last place. . .
. . . was Barcelona. This is the bathroom in Hotel Praktik Bakery, a walk-through affair with the shower and toilet in separate stalls to the right, hairdryer on the wall to the left of the sink, and it was a pretty good hairdryer.This place is compact, but comfortable, and it was a place that gave us plenty of room for our toiletry bags and what-nots in the bathroom.Best lotion of the trip–I brought home all the bottles they’d give me, cramming them into my one-quart toiletries bag. When I use this, I think of our perfect trip to Lisbon and Spain and it makes me smile.