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Shopping and proposing in spain

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm going to be traveling through Spain for about 3 weeks following my upcoming graduation.  I will be visitting these cities roughly in this order: Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Granada, as well as a lot of small cities on the coast between Seville and Granada A few questions for the board: Is Spain known for any sartorial wonders that I should look into?  Are there any items manufactured in Spain that are a bargain?  (in the same way peccary goods are cheaper in Peru) Any suggestions on where to do a little shopping?  (districts in Madrid or Barcelona, or market places in small out of the way cities) Finally, and most importantly, I will be proposing to my girlfriend of four years somewhere in Spain. Are there any suggestions for where and how?  I would like to add some pizzazz to what I hope will be an elegant proposal. My first inclination is to spell out "will you marry me?" in gasoline on a deserted beach, which would be set ablaze during a walk on the beach late at night.  The engineer in me likes this, but, the pragmatist can imagine ending up in a Spanish jail.  Please suggest locations and/or ideas for proposals.  We will be traveling with a few friends, one of whom is a native Spanish speaker.  Hence, I could potentially setup something rather elaborate with the help of my friend. Thanks for your help. (p.s.  I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt over the money on spend on clothes.  Gentlemen, if you're in a similar situation, don't feel guilty.  Nothing will be even remotely as expensive as the rock you'll buy for the engagement.  Also, I discovered an awesome resource for diamond information while I was researching engagement rings, namely www.pricescope.com)
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
*bump* any thoughts? anyone?
post #3 of 7
I think Spain is absolutely wonderful and envy you the experience. A suggestion for a more traditional proposal. (I also think the pyrotechnics would be cool, but imagine the authorities would be particularly unhappy in light of recent events.) In Seville: Work with the authorities at the Alcazar to give you approx. 1/2 hour of solitude in a quiet corner of the gardens to propose. The gardens are extremely romantic and you will be going at a wonderful time of year. (Sevillans are a fairly romantic lot.) Follow with a carriage ride from one of the many carriages out front and dinner at La Albahaca, Plaza Santa Cruz, (95 4220714). Dine at one of the tables in the outdoor garden.
post #4 of 7
For something a little more out of the way, (Seville, Madrid, etc... are all crazy this time of year) take a train ride from Madrid to Galicia, and propose to her at the lighthouse in Finisterra (literally end of the Earth) at the northernmost tip of Spain. It's rocky and there are warm days and coolish nights (unlike Sourthern Spain, where it will swelter day and night,) and you will be away from the bustling crowd. If you want her worked up a little, propose a walk along the secluded beaches (very many fewer ugly topless Germans) in the area. Good luck.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
marc237: good idea. a castle or a garden sounds like an ideal place. Perhaps if she "found" the ring somehow, it has an inscription that only she would recognize. LA Guy: You bring up a great point that Spain will be swarming with tourist. It's unlikely that we'll make it further than an hour north of Madrid so we probably won't make it to Galicia. Somehow I'll have to convince all the tourist to leave a castle at sunset... hmmm.... It sounds like both of you guys have spent a bit of time in Spain. Anything/place I should absolutely not miss? I've "heard" that Spain is know for its tooled leather goods. Is this true? Anything worth going out of my way to buy? Thanks for your help guys.
post #6 of 7
There are a ton of "not misses" in my view, but I travel for art, music, and food, not shopping. Moreover, my wife and I enjoy out-of-the way, off-the-beaten-path type stuff and would never miss an opportunity to eat like a native of whereever we visit. For example, one of our really fun experiences in our most recent visit was in Seville. It involved accidentally wandering into a local street fair honoring a local saint. (We often stroll without a clear destination in mind.) We found ourselves to be in a working class neighborhood enjoying local foods, drink, and musical performers. Great ambience - wonderful warmth and enthusiasm - lot's of fun. Beats pre-ordained tours and rushed itineraries for us. It is all about what interests you. That said, since this is a clothes forum, near the Casas de la Juderia, my favorite romantic hotel in Seville, there is a street (leave hotel, walk down alley that hotel entrance is located on, make left at 1st real street and proceed 2-3 blocks) that has a small leather shop (on right) with some of the most attractively designed tan leather shoes I have seen in Spain. The proprietor said the shoes are largely hand-made and not frequently exported. I cannot vouch for quality, but I enjoyed some of the designs and color choices. Unfortunately, nothing in my size when I was there and did not want to trust ordering and shipping without anything to try on. Ah well, it calls for another visit. Also, if I had the opportunity to devote the time to shopping rather that wandering and eating, I would to purchase a suit or two for the NYC summers. Because Spain can be so darned hot, there appears to be a decent amount of RTW clothes that function well in dreadful heat and humidity. (The concierge at the hotel we stayed at in Madrid last summer had a very light looking, well draped, pearl grey sb tropical wool suit that fit him beautifully. He said it was a local label @ ~ 400 euro. (or at least a name I was not at all familiar with) and I have since lost the name. Sorry.) p.s. Madrid seemed to have a hideous amount of mass marketed American dross such as the Hard Rock Cafe, Starbucks, and the GAP.
post #7 of 7
Madrid has a high end shopping area centered around, I believe the Salamanca area. Also Loewe of Madrid is a world class leather manufactuer, and Carrera y Carrera for jewels. Perhaps look into Carrera y Carrera for that ring.
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