Friday, April 23, 2010

We Arrive in Madrid

Newark was very busy as we expected but we still made it through all the check-in lines in less than 30 minutes which gave us plenty of time to rest up in Continental's President's Club lounge. However, we had to recheck in at the gate counter since they wanted to be sure of filling every seat. There were people still waiting for a flight out, all were full. Due to all the checking, we were an hour late taking off. The flight itself was uneventful and we even were served two meals, a dinner and a small breakfast!

The Madrid airport was no problem and the Hertz car rental was right by the terminal (Terminal 1). I had loaded my Garmin iQue with maps of Spain before I left and just plugged in the address of the hotel in downtown Madrid, the iQue guided us there without a wrong turn. It would have been a hopeless task without the GPS - many, many turns.

The dinner hour in Spain starts at 8:00 pm but the most popular time is 9:00 to 10:00, much too late for us with the 6 hour time difference (Spain is earlier). It's now 10:00 pm over here in Spain but it's only 4:00 pm in NY. Madrid is very festive with street performers all over the place (see photo). We ate at Botin which is the older restaurant in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. It's in the background of the second photo, a typical side street scene in Madrid. The strange thing is that the street are packed with people! There's hardly room to walk, the city comes alive after 7:00. On Friday we're off to the south to work our way to Malaga for picking up the Royal Clipper, our home for 12 days starting Monday.