Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Porto, Portugal (Rua de Camões 21)

I had my alarm set for 7:00 a.m. to prepare for my 10:45 flight to Madrid. But I woke at 6:00 and decided get up so I could take my time getting ready and perhaps have an earlier start. I think I enjoy the activities to move to a new location. Most of all, I enjoy leaving a place just as I found it. I know the Airbnb hosts appreciate it.

As I left the building I saw someone waiting near the entrance with suitcases. I asked if he was going to the airport, and he was. Asked if we could share a taxi and he said that he and his family are going to take the metro to the airport. Guess that means that I’ll take the metro too since it is less expensive than a taxi. I really didn’t want to figure out a new metro system just before leaving, but I did what I had to do and walked over to the metro station across the street. A security guard was standing by the ticket machine and he helped me buy a ticket and showed me where to stand for the train going to the airport. I met up with the guy and his family on the platform and we talked for a bit before the train arrived.

It only took about 20 minutes to get to the airport and I immediately went to get checked in. The guy who I was talking to earlier pointed out that I was waiting in the wrong line and pointed me to the line for my flight. The lines were very slow. I spoke with a couple ahead of me who were also going to Madrid and we talked for awhile before it was their turn to check in. When I was my turn I found out that I need to pay extra for my suitcase. I then had to leave and walk across the terminal, pay for my suitcase then go back to the check in counter. By this time it was getting close to when my flight was boarding. I was one of the last people on the ground transportation that took us to the plane. Glad I got an early start!

The flight was easy and we landed on time in Madrid. I was going to take the metro into the city, but a person at the information desk said I would have to transfer along the way and recommended the bus. I opted for a taxi, which was 30 Euro, but I didn’t want to hassle with another metro line and then walk from the station in the rain to the hotel. Yes, it was raining when we got to Madrid. I should be thankful since most of Europe’s temperatures today were below freezing. Like Oregon, they had a massive cold front come through that affected most of Europe. Only the Iberian Peninsula, and the southern portions of Italy and Greece were spared the freezing weather.

The taxi driver was having a problem understanding the location of the hotel. Even after I showed him the address and a picture of the map showing the hotel’s location. This wouldn’t happen in London. I semi-guided him to the hotel, since I stayed there the last time I was in Madrid, and no wrong turns along the way.

My room is better than the one I had before, which was one of the perks of Hilton Honors. Of course I took a good nap after I got settled in.

When I woke from my nap I was hungry, and rather than go to McDonald’s, I went to the nearest Chinese restaurant and had chow mein with shrimp. Afterwards I met up with someone who I knew from when I was in Madrid in January and we had a drink and talked about traveling around Europe. Got home around midnight.

Not sure what I’m doing tomorrow. I know that I miss having a Hilton breakfast, so I know I’ll be enjoying that in the morning. Hopefully the rain will let up for a bit and I can visit the nearby park.


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