For those of you who have been to Spain you might know that many cities are known for their beautiful ceramics. One of our first stops on this recent one-month trip to Spain was Seville. The part of town in which we were staying, Triana, is famous for some local ceramic manufacturers. My hostess took us to her favorite local shop for ceramics and I, like many others, was in awe. So many beautiful things in one place. One of the things I like about traveling is getting practical souvenirs that I can use regularly, which will bring back memories for years to come. I found a few things I thought were small enough to take home in my suitcase and left happily on my way.
As I toured the city more I was constantly reminded of the beautiful artisan objects famous in this historic city. I was drawn back to the store with the idea to buy a bunch and ship them all home. They had very reasonable prices on many of the items I liked (I always like a clearance section). I bought oil dispensers, a teapot, and some great gifts for family and friends. The clerk said she could ship them for me but it would cost a lot, so I had this GREAT idea to do it myself.
I went to the local post and found the biggest box I could get – largest green box – for about 6Euro. No bad. I found tape and bubble wrap (burbubas plastico in Spanish) at a local bazar. Bazars are stores quite often owned by Chinese who sell just about anything you could need. The lady at the post was very helpful and patient. She had me fill out the custom form and I gently packed up every piece meticulously with bubbles and newspaper. I did buy some insurance even though they weren’t expensive items. I found out insurance is just if the items are lost, not broken in transit. Then I asked for fragile stickers and was told there is no such thing. BAD sign. I packed it all up and said a prayer. I sent it SLOW mail as I wouldn’t be home for another month.
Needless to say when the boxes arrived (actually 2 boxes as I sent another box of Moroccan items from Malaga as well), one of them had a side crushed in. A few fragile pieces made it. At least the tea set and most items from Morocco were intact.
LESSON LEARNED – don’t ship fragile things yourself from Spain. I believe that if the company would have shipped it directly, they would guarantee items intact. If it’s really worth it, have them ship it!