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The Rough Guide to Spain (7th Edition) Paperback – 1997
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Reliable, readable Rough Guides (Conde Nast Traveller) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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The first 50 or so pages are devoted to the usual general basics, such as how to get there, culture, customs, suggested itineries etc. We also have the almost obligatory sites not to miss, which in this book stretch to 28. However, with a country this large this must be, in the main, regarded as highly subjective. However, the meat of the book is in the following 850 pages which are well organised by area. The country is divided into 13 regions (clearly not a superstitious editor!), and then each region is split into sub areas. Each of these covers sites to visit, accommodation, eating and any other information deemed to be useful. There are plenty of maps and illustrations to assist.
This is an impressive guide. My only slight niggle is that the publishers clearly have not gone overboard on printing costs and although in colour, the colour printing is of low quality. I have to question whether it is really sensible to try to save a few pennies in this area for a guide with a headline price of £17 and which has numerous strong competitors. However, this obviously does not detract from the job this book is intended to do and my personal rating would be that it is extremely comprehensive and well put together.
As usual for a Rough Guide full of ideas away from the overly touristy bits (although they're covered as well) and well worth the money for an overview of the country.
In fact, the maps are difficult to use - there's a key with accommodation and restaurants highlighted, but the actual landmarks - the things mentioned in the text that you might actually want to visit - are just labelled directly on the map. So you have to continually play "Where's Wally" trying to find them.
The book is also surprisingly lacking in useful information. Take the section on Seville. It's dominated by pages and pages of 'tour guide' style content about the 2 or 3 main landmarks which is pretty much pointless since this is exactly the sort of thing that is a) useless unless you're actually in the landmark, and b) normally written on a sign in the room anyway. Once you remove all of this junk, there's only minimal information.
The sections within the chapters appear to be arranged arbitrarily. The index page at the start of each chapter, instead of having towns/cities listed alphabetically is just an unsorted jumble.
I could go on...
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