Monday, October 1, 2007

Alcocebre - Madrid 11th October 2007

This morning we got up and started moving reasonably early - the drive to Madrid awaited and we (Kaitlin and I) were eager to get started so that we could get home !! Al isn’t quite as keen as us to get home but I am tired of living out of a suitcase. The weather was overcast and we went through some rainy patches as well - luckily they weren’t as bad as the other day when we were out driving to Alicante.

We got to Madrid without any problems and found the airport without any wrong turns until we actually got there and couldn’t get to the correct terminal. Eventually made it to Terminal 1 only to find that KLM had moved to Terminal 2 on 2nd October - luckily we were there the day before as there would have been another “oh sh*t” moment if we had arrived there tomorrow morning and found out we had to get to the next terminal. We thought we would catch the shuttle to Terminal 2 and the lady said - hop on a green bus so we ran outside and saw on the back of the bus T1 - T2 so thought that was it. Wrong - that was the bus going to Terminal 4 which is way on the other side so when they were driving along the freeway we thought that maybe this was actually the shuttle going into town !!!!! Another “oh sh*t” moment as we suddenly thought - How do we get back to the airport if this goes into town. When we got to Terminal 4 Al went to ask the driver if he was doing the loop back to Terminal 2 but he said no we had to get out, go down 2 flights and wait in the road there. We did this and when we got there found he was the bus second in the queue. Al, always wanting to give the benefit of the doubt, said that maybe he told us to go down and catch the bus there as he knew there was one leaving before him - I’m not so sure. Anyway, we eventually got back to Terminal 2 - managed to our tickets changed to show that we were leaving on 12th October and not 11th October as per our tickets - this wasn’t nearly the problem that Al thought it was going to be which was good. Then we got our boarding passes for the morning and then left in search of a hotel for the night.

Kaitlin was upset with us because we made her stop reading for an hour on the way and said it would be better for her to talk to us than to read plus it would give her an extra hours reading on the plane or in the airport - she wasn’t too keen on that but we did have some laughs although can’t remember what they were about now !!!!

The guy at Hertz told us that the Hotel Ibis in Barajas city was probably the closest, cheapest and best value for money - got directions from another Hertz chap and off we set. Well it really was literally around the corner (3 mins) - we were very pleased to actually see an Ibis Hotel as we had seen adverts throughout Spain at different times - advertising these really low rates of 59 euros per night but we had never actually seen an Ibis Hotel and had come to the conclusion that, like some of the tourism signposts - they just advertise and then don’t actually have anything at the end i.e. no tourism office and no hotel to actually stay at !!! It landed up costing us 82 euros for the night (including parking) which was a lot cheaper than the Best Western at 135 !!!!

By this stage (4pm) we were absolutely starving having only had a pastry (Kaitlin and I) and a bocadillo (Al) for breakfast on the road. We couldn’t work out whether to have something to eat then and then to eat again at 9pm before going to bed or else to wait and eat a little later - none of us could wait so we ate then. Then it was back to the hotel to get the car (we walked to the Burger King) as we wanted to go to the Carrefour. We got some really dodgy directions from the receptionist and didn’t manage to find the Carrefour but we did find an El Corte Ingles (department store with a hypermarket in it) and so got a couple of things for the plane and the stop overs. The worst was we couldn’t find anywhere that sold souvenirs as there were a couple of things I wanted to get when we got back to Madrid having not bought them when we were there to start with as it was the first stop of the trip. Unfortunately, some of the things we saw in Madrid, were much nicer than what we saw afterwards so have had to do without them - bugger !!!!!

We got back to the hotel after a lot of back tracking on ourselves and then did a dry run through to the airport to make sure Gloria was programmed for the correct terminal and that we knew which way we had to go. Went back to the hotel and had a shower and then into bed for an early(ish) night. The shower was really good - no fancy power showers only suitable for people over 6 feet or low water pressure - just a really good shower. I probably could have stayed under there for an hour !!!!!!

Suitcases all packed - just need to get up in the morning, get dressed and be off. The last night in Spain has arrived and while I am sorry our holiday is coming to an end, I am glad that we will be on our way home soon.

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