An undesirable welcome!

Madrid Travel Blog

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Safety! Ok....sorry the room isn't tidy.

Rob’s extended work week in Zurich meant that we did not travel to Madrid, together. He flew to Madrid, directly.

My flight from Amsterdam left really lake in the day, 20:25 but, due to late arrival and a slow boarding, the flight left about an hour late. I text Rob and let him know. He would be arriving at 21:30 and would be waiting for me. My arrival had now changed from 23:00 to almost midnight!!!

I flight was full to overflowing. People had so much luggage and coats that the over head bins were straining to close.

I spent the flight with my listening to my ipod and working on my Zurich blog. It’s almost complete. The new netbook is really working well for travel. I love it!

Upon arrival, Rob was waiting for me at the terminal. It was good to see his smiling face. I haven’t seen him very much of him this week. He’s been working very long days. I hoped to take his mind off of work and have different view for the weekend.

He had already had the metro route planned and we headed down to the platform. We had a 30 minute ride and two changes. The metro was really, really crowded. The first leg went fine but, on second leg (closer to central Madrid) the rough characters were more prevalent.

The last segment of the metro ride into Puerta del Sol (the center of the city) was the worst. The metro car was already jam packed when it arrived. We were able to cram in as I went to the opposing doors but, Rob and the big suitcase had a harder time getting in. He was in the middle. We were only 2 feet away but there were so many people crammed around. He kept looking over at me. He was in a sea of shorter people, all young and headed to the center for a party night.

One of the young guys was smiling and chatting with him and a woman was flirting with him, he thought. We the next stop came, they all got off. He moved over near me and as his back was to me to move the suitcase, I saw that two of the zippers on his suitcase were open. I asked if he knew that, he hadn’t. In a panic, he went through the open pockets and found his ipod and top of the line Bose headphones, stolen. He was, however, very lucky that his passport was stolen as it was in the very same pocket.

One of the guys on the metro suggested that we tell the police but, we knew it would get us nowhere. Rob was so upset and can certainly understand since it has happened to me but, in a more aggressive manner.

We exited the train at out final stop, Puerta del Sol, and stopped to get our bearings. It had been a year and a half since I had been here and the construction on the square was complete, so it looked different.

I headed in the direction that I remembered the online site showing but, after 15 minutes or so of walking in a very sketchy area, we decided that we were in the wrong area.

We stopped and asked a cop, and he gave us directions that were unable to make work. So, feeling lost again, we asked another set of cops and they gave us directions that did not pan out. Finally, Rob called the hotel and the night attendant sent a porter to retrieve us. We had seemed to pass it but, their front sign was not lit. We would have seen it, otherwise.

We checked in, which seemed to take forever and opened the door to the room and it wasn’t what we reserved. So we went back downstairs to have the room exchanged. He was very apologetic.

The new room was on the courtyard, which was the quieter side, which would be fortunate. The noise of the weekend’s crowds would become deafening.

Finally settled and almost 02:00, we watched a little television to try to fall asleep. Soon it would come and we could be done with this night.

Africancrab says:
OMG, please do tell, I'm all ears.
Posted on: Dec 29, 2009
delsol67 says:
Hey thanks Harriett, we just arrived at our hotel in Jerusalem......and I already have a "story".
Posted on: Dec 29, 2009
Africancrab says:
Wow!, great blog as usual Brian. But what a trip
Posted on: Dec 27, 2009
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