A Travellerspoint blog

Mis-Adventures in the Madrid

Changing Planes - March 28th, 2008


View 2008 Med Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The man in front of me reclined his chair into my knees for most of the flight which meant that all his tossing and turning was transmitted through the chair to me. It was a curiously intimate situation considering that I could only see the very top of his head.

The sun rose about 5:25 according to my watch
sunrise

sunrise


and also the information screens about what the time was currently in Madrid. Although I couldn't see very well as the print was too small. They gave us a 'breakfast snack' which consisted of OJ, a croissant and a strawberry yogurt.
breakfast

breakfast


I took some pictures as we were coming in, although it was difficult.
Mountains - Arriving in Spain

Mountains - Arriving in Spain


100_3968.jpgx100_3969.jpg
We had a window in front of our seat and a window almost even with the seatback, and that one had some sticky stuff on it that showed up in the pictures. The mountains were craggy and had snow covered peaks, and the fields below were greening up for spring. But there were also jagged brown areas.
100_3971.jpg
82B25642C1BEE0BEDB8BBA851321743E.jpg82B4DE91A358FCD1EEB994950FF52881.jpg
I got out my water bottle to take my pills (which I had forgotten the previous night) and downloaded some pictures to the computer and tried to change the time on it, but it insisted that the time in Madrid was an hour later than it was showing on the screen in the cabin.

When we landed and had all our bags together I was not able to find the little bag with the camera cable in it. I finally asked him to go into the seats back of us (those people had already gotten off) and look under the seats and there it was. I was so glad I did not leave without it.
Grandson walking off the plane ahead of me

Grandson walking off the plane ahead of me


We got off at what my watch said was 7:15, which was earlier than the scheduled 7:45, but I thought maybe they had made up time. But
The first clock I saw

The first clock I saw


said 8:15. I assumed that clock was wrong, but subsequent clocks all had my watch an hour slow. So I asked a terminal staff person and she assured me that it was indeed 8 instead of 7. So the computer knew what it was doing after all.

There were stairs (escalators), trains and elevators to get us to immigration where they stamped our passports and took the top half of the form we had to fill out. There was no suggestion that we get our bags. So we didn't.

My husband needed a belt, so we looked in one of the stores for a belt, but the cheapest one there was 20 Euros, which was way too much to pay for a belt ($1.70 = 1€) . But to go through immigration that meant that we had to go back through security again, and my grandson still had his two bottled drinks and I still had some water in my bottle.

So we got out of line and went to a Cambia, which turned out to be a REALLY good deal, as it was an American Express one, which only took American Express credit cards (which I don't have), but did not charge any fee for cashing traveler's checks or changing money. So my grandson changed two $50 traveler's checks, and I also got about $90 worth of Euros. Then he went to the bathroom and emptied out the bottles, and we got back in line and went through security.
Smoker enclosure

Smoker enclosure


So we walked around the little glass house they keep the smokers in (there's no top to it so you can still smell the smoke near it), and sat down. We both went to the bathroom and he looked for a plug to recharge his batteries and didn't find one. Since the plugs are those two round prong ones, I think perhaps he didn't know what he was looking for.

Our plane was supposed to board at 10:35, and leave at 11:10. The notice boards were confusing and for security reasons they did not announce planes boarding over the PA system so you had to look at the boards, and there was no place to sit and be comfortable while monitoring them.
Arrivals and departure board

Arrivals and departure board


My grandson asked if we were flight 1046 and without looking, I said yes, but that flight didn't have a departure gate yet, just that it was going to be a J gate of which there were 60.. We again asked a terminal person and she said the gate number would not be put up until a half hour before the boarding which would be 10:05. I tried using the computer, but it said it was having to close windows because of a fault, and I could not get it to boot. This worried me considerably. Then it got to be 10:05 and they posted that we were to be at gate 58.
x100_3984.jpg
We walked down there, and when they started boarding at 10:20, I asked the gate agent if we needed to check in again and she said (horrified) that this was flight 1046, and we were really on flight 2614. We should go and look at the boards to see what gate we had - the 1046 flight was a shuttle to Barcelona. Ack.

We found a departures board - our gate was actually H13. We had to walk the length of all the J gates all the way down to the other end of the terminal and had to be there by 10:35, and it was now about 10:28. So we walked. I walked as fast as I could. And we did get there just before 10:35 - one of the last people to check in. Then we went down two flights of stairs to a bus, the bus took us to the plane, and we had to walk up a flight of stairs to the plane.
Boarding plane for Barcelona

Boarding plane for Barcelona


We were seats 23A and 23C, and there was no B seats (I think it was an MD80 with a 2-3 configuration). They had sandwiches on the plane and drinks but of course you had to pay for them. So we didn't. We were on the taxiway by 11:06. I must confess that I fell asleep on the plane shortly after takeoff. I did take a photo first.
x100_4003.jpg

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:34 Archived in Spain

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Login