Unfortunately our plane was delayed for about an hour and a half at DFW, so we were going to be behind schedule.
The plane was packed and we were stuck in the middle section of five seats. (We had wanted the two seats along either side, but none were available.) Even though I had requested seats, we didn’t get them assigned until check in and there was going to be a person between us. I figured we could just ask the person to swap because who would want to be stuck between two people traveling together? As it turned out, the seating arrangement was even weirder than we thought originally. It was: a pre-teen girl, me, a random woman, Curt, and the father of the pre-teen girl. So we rearranged everyone and ended up sitting beside each other in the end. It was cramped, for sure, but not horrible. It also was not freezing like it usually is, but it was like a TB ward with some kids hacking and coughing behind us. We swear by the Cold Eeze lozenges, though.
The flight we took in September was also filled with coughing people and we both ended up with terrible colds. The next trip in January we took the Cold Eeze and even though there was some hacking on the plane, we were healthy on that trip. So we decided to stick with what seemed to help keep us healthy and took Cold Eeze before departing, again before sleeping, and again upon waking up. Better safe than sorry!
The girl I was sitting beside has been living in Madrid for the past two years and loves it. She and her husband decided to go on an adventure and teach English in Spain for a year. They got TEFL certified and ended up loving it, so they extended their time for a second year. They are able to live in Spain with a student visa, and have been traveling around seeing a lot of Spain, as well as other countries nearby. They decided to extend one more time and will be in Madrid for one more year. (note to self: get TEFL certified.)
We really had a decent night’s sleep and I didn’t feel too bad when we landed in Madrid. Except that for some crazy reason my feet had swollen up and were totally scary! I’d never had that happen before, and it was terrible. I spent the in-flight time wearing comfy socks, but of course I had to put my shoes back on to leave the plane… and my shoes were so tight on my swollen feet — it was nasty.
Getting the car sorted out at the rental counter was no problem, and we decided to get a couple of coffees and take a look at the map before leaving the Barajas airport.
Our original plan was to leave Madrid and drive toward Gibraltar via Cordoba, stop for lunch in Cordoba, and arrive at our La Linea hotel in the evening time. Since we were running so far behind schedule because of the plane delay, we figured we should drive to La Linea via Granada instead because that would shave a little bit of time off of our trip.
The lady at the car rental counter told us the wrong parking spot number and we first walked up to a teeny tiny fiat that looked like one of those car you’d expect to see twenty clowns climb out of, but thankfully the actual car we rented was just beside it. This car was a great size and quite comfy. We needed to make sure it was big enough to hold the bike Curt was planning to buy.
By the way, all cars in Spain come equipped with a roadside safety vest in the glove box. People are super good about actually wearing this thing when they are broken down. Reflective road wear is serious business here and anyone doing road works is wearing highly reflective garb.
The girl on the plane seemed to think we were a little crazy for making such a long drive after just flying in, but we wanted to see Gibraltar the next day and if we stopped overnight in Madrid that would take up another whole day. At least we felt somewhat rested from the flight. So we hit the road.