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About hkto

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    Toronto, Canada
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  1. Yes tap is accepted wider in Europe than in the US however it's a setup function. So one card may work and the other will not on the same terminal. Rules are defined by type of card and amount. For example, local card will more likely have a higher limit for tap then the foreign one or foreign one will not tap at all. Here my MC elite has $200 tap limit at Costco and $100 anywhere else
  2. Businesses don't care whether payment is authorized by tap or pin. Payment providers setup rules and as a precaution most foreign cards are declined on tap but usually authorized with PIN. Even here in Canada certain local cards fail tap with one provider but work fine with the other. Most gas pumps are setup to deny taps. So it all depends.
  3. Most places take CCs. However pay attention to idiocynracies of credit card terminals. Some ask to convert currency which is a ripoff (always choose €) and others ask for some extra input before pin entry (1 in Portugal). Tap will not likely work for foreign cards.
  4. If buying train tickets buy RT as it's cheaper than 2 OW. Santa Justa is about 30 min walk. San Bernardo is closer but not by much. Buy Alcazar tickets in advance online (for 1€ extra) but they are timed. Live lineup can be long especially in the middle of the day. Cathedral lines are short.
  5. 100 series buses go to Palma Nova. Takes around 30 min and fare in 3€ ballpark. Most go via waterfront not far from cruise dock. Can check info here https://www.tib.org/en/web/ctm/autobus/seccio/100
  6. Port of Gijon is about 4-5 miles from city center. Closest beach to center is Poniente. Arbeyal is smaller and closer to port but probably too far to walk, 30-40 min. Another beach is San Lorenzo which is the biggest and is the main city beach.
  7. Most consumer electronic adapters (phone, laptop, electic toothbrushes, etc) are dual voltage which is marked on it (110-240). Small appliances like hair dryers, irons, battery charger, etc are more likely not but some can be.
  8. If going in the summer Gijon has nice beach
  9. For $40 it must a Cadillac of adapters. Any EU to NA plug adapter from Dollar store (see image below) is ok. Costs around $1. Their true cost is around 20c
  10. There is a direct bus http://siu.ctmam.ctan.es/es/movil/horarios_lineas_tabla.php?lang=en&linea=3 More frequent buses need transfer in Torremolinos
  11. Logistics are different for each place, no one fits single formula. For private apartments booked through Airbnb rules are set by owner. So more likely you'll negotiate check in and out time with them. Some more progressive owners have electronic lock with pass code. It's necessary to have working cell for messages and unfortunately BCN airport it's not a good place to get local SIM card. For corporate run apartments there is some one to check in but not late (may be up to 8-9pm). If doing lots of cooking look for places near supermarket. They are mapped by Google maps (e.g. Mercadona near Barcelona, Spain). It's always possible to do one shopping and get can take cab back from supermarket. Everything is closed on Sunday except small shops. Personal preference is Eixample. Not as noisy and crowded as Ramblas/Barri Gothic but central and has excellent restaurants and shops.
  12. Also can check out branded stores like Vialis http://www.vialis.es/en Picolinos or Fluchos. All high quality Spanish brands.
  13. If sharing a taxi to port saving is 20€ on 39€ fare. Asking people in line and finding someone going to same destination is unlikely. However once I found people (who took same flight and going on same cruise) to share transfer on roll call forum. But that was for much more expensive transfer between Gatwick and Southampton.
  14. You can see a list from here www.getyourguide.com/barcelona-l45/wine-tasting-winery-tours-tc104/ Most are walking/tasting tours but some are wineries. Region has some original wines but cava is probably most known.
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