He’s a bit set in his ways, but, who’s perfect? I was originally booked to return 11 May but since I couldn’t use the extra days to walk I managed to book an early return -for tomorrow. I could only get a flight out of Madrid which also suited since I didn’t have to worry about the pesky SIM cards and phone numbers for different countries.
Next puzzle.. how to go to Madrid. Spain has great train and bus services, when they’re not on or threatening strike action. I consider it a triumph of my poor grandmotherly tech skills that I managed to book transport directly onto the Madrid airport for the 1st and a flight to Canada on the 2nd. Getting to Madrid on the same day as the flight would have driven my anxiety through the roof so… here I am in the Madrid airport with a whole night to kill.
The cross-country bus was to leave at 5:45. Ok I have British blood so I bugged and wheedled the alberge owner to book me a taxi for 4:30 am. Of course I woke up every hour of the night for fear of missing it. The taxi showed up on time of course. “Why so early?” he asked. “The bus terminal doesn’t open until 5 “
I practiced my meditation and Jesus prayer for half an hour. At 5:02 a taxi driver came through the darkness with a baby seat and managed to get in by flagging a security guard. No mere mortals like me could enter. In a torrent of Galician ( imagine Spanish spoken in broad Scots) he motioned for me to come downstairs to the bus bays. After insisting a few times that I must speak German-I don’t, he managed to get across that the terminal would open at 5:30 instead of the usual 5 am because it was a holiday! Only 15 minutes to get on board! The bus bays were all locked up. In the meantime I was lugging my backpack now beefed up with a few interesting tomes, and my hip was starting to act up. A teenager obviously the worse for a hangover dragged me back upstairs where the magic eye motion detecting doors were now working and I hobbled in. Not a soul to be seen!
Fortunately one day last week I had gone to the station to scope out which bays handled local busses and which long distance once’s so I was pretty sure the Madrid bus would come to bay 18. It did! With trembling fingers I retrieved my electronic ticket and the blasé driver shooed me upstairs. A double-decker! I was the first of about five passengers and …,he left five minutes early.
We hurtled through pitch black for almost two hours but my spirits were soaring. I was going to get to Madrid to catch my plane. More about this weird airport next time