Subject: Re: Digital Camera in Spain
Lesley,

This was a BIG concern when we went to Spain last year. Here is what we finally did:

1) Brought along the standard 2 prong European power converter plug. Used it for everything electric. Camera battery chargers are 110-220v so you shouldn't have a problem charging your battery. I charged it every day to make sure I had enough juice in case I went nuts with the camera -- which I recommend.

2) Instead of buying more memory cards, I brought my notebook computer. This way, every night I uploaded all my pictures to make sure I physically had them and could check on the quality of the shots I was taking (especially with a new camera). With the storage problem solved, I always shot my digital camera at the highest resolution without worry. My camera also does movie clips, so I downloaded them too. Every night, it was enjoyable to recap and see the days activites with my family while it was still fresh and make appropriate notes.

3) (option A) Since I had my notebook with me, I located a FREE internet connection site for cities in Spain called GoNuts4Free (www.gonuts4free.com) that I used to get free local access in the major cities. It worked great and I used it to email lower-res images to friends while we were on vacation. http: email accounts work best such as hotmail, yahoo, etc. so you don't have any email sending/receiving problems.

(option B) I bought a prepaid phone card online to use while in Spain from www.europhonecards.org. 2 hours for $7 that can be reloaded at anytime. This allowed me to call my home internet provider via computer AND normal telephone calls to the US and Canada for 3 cents per minute from anywhere in Spain.

(option C) I was concerned about the additional weight of carrying my notebook, but in the end, I am glad I did. Other approaches could be to buy a device from CompUSA that has a 20 gig harddrive designed to upload memory cards (or use an Ipod) --- but you can't see the pictures until you get home.

4) The problem with going to an internet cafe is they are hard to find, expensive and slow. A lot of cafes don't allow uploading files because of possible viruses. A lot of hotels in Spain now offer guest access on their computers as well.

The biggest problem is figuring this all out while you are in Spain detracts from your valuable vacation time. Get a system that works at home BEFORE you go and stick with it.

Hope some of these options will help you and other travelers to Spain. Good Luck!

Roger Denver, CO