Subject: Spain & Portugal
I flew into Madrid, spent a couple days, then went to Segovia, guarda (Port.), Lisbon, Beja (Port.), Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Murcia, Tarragona, Barcelona, Pamplona, and back to Madrid. I only used Rick Steve's itinerary for Italy (more or less) - I agree that he leaves out too much, though I think he's just trying to hit what he feels are the highlights. I buy several guides (his, Eyewitness, and one other - I think for Spain I got Frommer's), look through them, then make up my own path.

I drove and there was no problem at all. The car rental agent warned me about stopping in isolated areas - he said there had been cases of people letting air out of tourist tires, then stopping and helping them down the road (relieving them of their heavy money). I picked up the car from Avis in Madrid on my way out. Generally, I parked at or near my hotel, then walked or took the subways within the town. Driving in big towns can be confusing, especially when alone - trying to find street names is very difficult. Fortunately, most towns have good signs to hotels. Marguerite