We have arrived in Madrid. After an extended trek which included three train transfers and a lengthy walk from the train station, (mostly because we didn't know where we were going) we made it to the hotel. Hotel Cruz Sol! It was the hotel that I picked out. It seems nice enough. Our walls are a nice purplish color. We are on the second floor and we have a balcony overlooking a little courtyard. Just a few minutes ago there was a guy who played the Popeye the Sailer man theme song, presumably on a flute.
First a few pictures, then more on the day
This is our first airplane. Air Canada Jazz! It was a little prop job. Eric had problems reading the writing on the side. He thought it said Pizazz and didn't believe allison or I until we got up close.
Eric and I got to sit in the first row, facing the back of the plane! lol... I don't think I have ever sat in a seat like that. It was interesting. The next two pictures are the view from my seat. As you can see the guy across from me really enjoyed having his picture taken. He moved! So... Maybe I drove him away.
Next Eric and I got out our books to read.... something fishy is going on. We have the same books! Great minds think alike? As I said previously, we brought the same snacks too... very weird.
Eric is much farther along than I am. I have watched a lot more movies than him.. lol... 1 more movie than him. He is a slow reader. So I should catch him in a few minutes, unless he gets reading.
The Vancouver stop was short, Eric and Allison each went and separately got food. They managed to get the same exact sandwich! Without talking to each other about it! So that was cool... now everyone is matching!
I had some chicken strips, which was good. Allison had seats that were not next to ours, so we had to convince the one person in our row to switch with her. And it worked! So we were all together. Then we made perhaps one of the worst decisions we have ever made. We decided to watch The Last Airbender together. We each had our own seperate screens, but we all started it at the same time. Eric and Allison are really into the cartoon, so they were super sensitive about all the little things that were different . and the acting was horrible! horrible! and all the comic relief that they tried to implement was just flat.
After that, Allison watched Shrek 4 and Eric and I played cards. Eric destroyed me. And then the flight was just about over and we were close to landing, so I watched Big Bang Theory. This inspiried the first argument of the trip. Eric hates 2 and 1/2 men and allison compared big bang theory to it. And he flipped out in typical Eric style. This led to us trying to come up with some way to compare TV shows, other than just comparing the shows... which... in hindsight probably would have been smarter, but oh well.
Then in toronto Eric and Allison bought the first souvenirs of the trip. A coat and a magnet. Allison tried out some tiger gloves, but decided against getting them. Pretty stylish though.
We grabbed some food and chilled at the gate while we waited for our plane to leave, which came much sooner than we anticipated. Well... not sooner than anticipated, the time just flew by as we waited though and we were soon boarding. We were again split up with Allison being about 9 rows in front of us. We couldn't get the guy across the aisle to switch. He was a bit of a selfish prick.... but oh well... So after the take off I took the aisle seat two rows in front of them and allison took my seat. The best part was during the take off to the south there was a huge lightning storm that lit up the cloud bank with each blast if lightning. It was pretty amazing.
I sat next an older couple that did not speak english, so I didnt have to really talk to them, so I watched Hot Tub Time Machine. I must say that it was actually disapointing. Not nearly as funny as I thought it would be. During the movie they brought dinner, which consisted of a weird chicken noodle dish, horiible horrible carrots, a roll and a brownies, I actually thought the roll was the best part. At this time, they decided to mess with the cabin lights, changing them to a really red color, which was really strange, it made my skin look a very odd color. Eric managed to figure out that you get free wine with the meal, however, he neglected to tell me. He claims that he tried, but I am not sure!
Luckily for me I was able to sleep on the plane, it was a little bit of a fitful sleep, I certainly woke up a couple of times and looked around, but I think that I was able to sleep for about 3 hours, maybe a little more, which helped me a lot after our arrival.
Our breakfast was.... not all the good. lol... it was orange juice and a muffin, which was actually not very good at all, which i suppose shouldn't be too surprising.... it was airplane food.
Soon after that we landed and prepared to go through customs, another long line. Eric and Allison made a much better choice of lines than I did....this picture was about as close as I got to them in the next 20 minutes.
Spanish airports don't have wifi.... but they do have smoking rooms... lol.... they are sort of ridiculous, since they are wide open and in no way confine the smoke... so basically they are not effective at all. This is an attempt to capture one such.. zona de fumadores!
After staring at the guide books in confusion trying to figure out where to go... lol... yes we were ill prepared for this step... we decided just to walk to the metro, so we headed out. About 200 feet into our journey we could the information desk and they were able to inform us very nicely about which trains we needed to take to get to our hotel, and where to catch the trains. Confident we headed out. Eric and Allison might be laboring a little at this point as they are nearing 24 hours without sleep.
We have to trek a ways, but we finally find the train depot and figure out which tickets to purchase. Luckily up to this point everyone that we deal with speaks english, which is very helpful. The train travel actually goes very smoothly... a few pictures:
After we got off the trains we then had to find the hotel... which is much harder than I thought it was going to be. Madrid is kind of a maze of roads and we started walking in the wrong direction twice and we sort of had to spiral in to find out hotel. Hostel Cruz Sol!
There is actually a picture of the exact room we are in on that site!
That image is a bit distorted, but it shows off the basics of the room. This is Allison crashed out, and Eric exploring the room.
The view from our tiny little balcony
After freshening up, showering and brushing our teeth we did a little bit of planning and set up what we are going to do tomorrow, then we had to convince Allison to come out with us to explore a little bit. She was really exhausted, but we thought it would be better to try and get to sleep a little bit later, and to eat before hand. I think she made the right choice in coming with us. If she hadn't then she would never have meet spiderman and had a posing session with him. Spiderman also showed Eric and I how to fight crime and fly back to Corvallis. Luckily, I do not have those pictures or I would be obligated to post some. :)
You may notice that Spiderman is a bit chubbier than normal. I guess that Spanish food must be really good. There were also several mickey mouses.... some who occasionally took off their heads for a smoke break, a headless horseman and the invisible man. lol, I am not sure what it is about Plaza Mayor that makes them want to hang our there, but they were all over. Plaza Mayor is supposedly one of the best things to see in Madrid... I am not sure why, it isn't incredibly exciting. I mean, it looks kind of cool... but #1? no.
After our experience with spiderman we explored a little more, got some dinner... much too expensive... but we got suckered in by this spanish charmer. Also the prices arent on the menu at all!! lol... that made it tough.
Dinner was really slow and afterwards Eric and Allison were both exhausted, and were soon sprawled out on their bed(s).
And thus our day was effectively over. More to come tomorrow after our extensive adventures traveling through Madrid!