Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Arriving in Spain

The flight from Iceland to Spain was relatively painless. Mia was given another children's meal pack for free and this time it was breakfast style. Erika ordered the mini hamburgers while Jose and I enjoyed another ham and cheese baguette. Jose and the girls were able to get some good sleep but I have the hardest time sleeping on a plane. It's unfortunate since I am the one who also needs to hit the ground running since our complete plan is safely stored in my head and nowhere else, not the smartest plan. We landed in Madrid around 10:30pm and went to collect all of our suitcases. We didn't have to pass through anything that resembles immigration or customs. In the airport, you have to buy a token from a machine in order to collect a luggage cart. I needed two carts so two tokens. We didn't have any Euros yet since we had just landed and most of my credit/debit card managed to get blocked by the banks, just when I needed them most. I had to walk all the way across the large baggage claim area to find a working machine that would finally cough up two tokens for me.
I know that everyone in the baggage area was looking at us with a mixture of amazement and sheer horror, much like an exhibit in the zoo. Everyone else is traveling with one large suitcase and a cute backpack or carry-on and we're loading up the Uhaul of baggage carts while using our fingers and toes to count all the suitcases so we don't leave anything important behind. We landed in Terminal 2 and had to find our way to Terminal 1 without having any prior knowledge of the airport. Do we walk? Is there a courtesy shuttle? Call a taxi? Fling ourselves on the floor kicking and screaming? Oh no far worse than that. We have to push our 450# of luggage all the way to Terminal 1. It's conveniently located in the same area, just a long way down the stretch and it has multiple levels too. They kindly provide a style of moving sidewalk that goes at a very long slant before two floors. It was working perfectly until it stopped while we were only halfway up. I had to push that cart all the way up the ramp until I reached level ground again. I'm sure I was smelling quite lovely at this point after traveling for 28 hours straight by this time.
We finally found the rental car window for Europcar and I joined the line of three other people waiting for service. I'm messaging back and forth with Pilar, our AirBnB host for our first night here in Madrid. I thought we would be arriving to her piso around midnight and it quickly becomes apparant that that is not going to happen. I waited in line for over an hour before my five minutes at the desk where I quickly signed the paperwork and received the keys for a Skoda Yeti. I was worried that it was not going to hold our luggage and we were either going to be stranded or paying for a monster sized rental car to get us to Salamanca. Thankfully it had luggage racks and combined with the bungy cords from Iceland we got everything strapped onto the SUV and off to find the piso.
I found the piso without too much trouble but what I couldn't find was a parking spot anywhere near it. We unloaded all of the suitcases into the living room and I squeezed in the motorcycle sized parking spot between a driveway and curb. The front of the SUV stuck out a few feet past the red line so I was stressed. I wrote a note and left it on the windshield asking them to please knock on our door before calling the tow truck. We stayed up for a couple hours unwinding and then crashed pretty hard. Tomorrow was the big day, finding our way to our new home.

1 comment:

  1. The moving walkway was probably not used to that much luggage. Lol

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