Saturday, February 14, 2004

Buenos Aires, Argentina-Madrid, Spain--Days 14/15

I’ve made it to Madrid and its been a long two days! Yesterday (the 13th) me plane left at 2:45 in the afternoon which was great, since this gave me enough time to pack, mail some things and then check out and get to the airport without really rushing. There were a lot of tennis players everywhere, so maybe that explains the tight security and the bus last night. I also decided to take a hotel car over to the airport, instead of going through another B.A. taxi driver experience again!

I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to peruse the duty-free shops. My plane was a direct flight from B.A. to Madrid and was just under eleven hours long. It was very turbulent at times and I had a hard time falling asleep. In fact, I’m not sure that I really slept at all! I also wasn’t able to see the movies and chose the pasta for dinner, which was really bad and very unsatisfying! All in all, it wasn’t that great of a plane ride but at least we made it on time.

The plane landed in Madrid and the sun had yet to rise, which was actually kind of good because I knew that I could go straight to bed when I got to my hotel. I was picked up and taken to my hotel which is in the center of Madrid. The man working at the desk was most unhelpful and gave me grief for trying to check in early. He eventually checked me in and when I got to my room I realized that he had given me a smoking room (ugh). I was so exhausted and didn’t want to have to deal with the man downstairs so I decided to sleep for a bit and then change rooms when I woke up. Around 1 o’clock I woke up and immediately grabbed my stuff and went downstairs to change rooms. The man at the desk was a lot nicer than the other man and gave me a new room, but apparently my floor is going to be closed tomorrow (for whatever reason I don’t know) and so I’m going to be upgraded to a new room, which will also be non-smoking.

I got ready and set out on a walk around to see what Madrid was like. I was really surprised by how clean and bright everything is and really impressed by everything. I began walking down a main shopping street and then meandered through a few small ones. People from Madrid are much more into fashion that I would ever have originally guessed and I felt very out of place with my hiking boots and fleece jacket. I was also amused by how much the mullet is rocked here, in all forms and different types of hair. Pretty funny to me, tre chic to them.

Anyways, I found a place for lunch and found the service to reeeeaaaalllllly slllllooooooowww. Unbearably slow. Like I had to remind the waiter that I was actually eating slow. I ordered the special Valentine’s Day meal (which reminded me that it was Valentine’s Day) which meant that I got three courses, all of which took an extraordinarily long time getting to me. Maybe it was because I was so hungry and tired that it became annoying, but the cream of the cake was when the waiter didn’t give me back my change of 10 Euros and insisted that I gave him the right amount in the first place. Oh no, I reminded him, and he gave me my change.

That all took about three hrs and after walking a few more blocks I headed back to my hotel to take a nap. I know, a lot of sleeping, but with the time difference and lack of sleep on the plane I was really tired. I woke up around 8 o’clock and repeated my afternoon walk (going in the other direction this time from my hotel) and found a small dinner at a cafeteria place and the came back to my hotel to attempt to connect to the internet but with no use.

Now its time for bed and the Madrid zoo tomorrow!

(c) 2004 Sarah Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.