Sydney to Dubai to Madrid

Leaving Sydney
I was so excited taking off. Didn’t matter that this wasn’t my first trip overseas ever. Not at all. Second trip to Europe and third overseas so far for 2016. I’m an overgrown kid still. Love the ritual of settling into my seat on a plane and waiting for loading to finish. And then, like now, taxiing down the runway. Even better when it’s an Emirates A380-800 with its seating arrangement.

Suddenly the lights of a city, Sydney, were below us and we were away. Away. Again. A full load in my section of the plane. Many hours passed and many eating options later we could see a dark Dubai.

Leaving Dubai

And then we were about to leave on my last leg, Dubai to Madrid. The Emirates lounge was a disappointment this time.

First imperative on landing in Dubai was to find my flight and get to the lounge for a luxurious breakfast. Yup. Don’t ever spend too much time dwelling on anticipated pleasures. You can guess the rest.

What gate? What flight? I am on an unlisted flight! Not on the boards downstairs or upstairs (hardly surprising with one input source.) Found an information desk and got a gate. Travelled up and down escalators, along long passages and finally in a train to gate A13 and the adjacent lounge. Truth be told I think I did one loop of up and down escalators too many. C’est la vie! I can get lost anywhere, anytime. In a department store, a small town or a big city.

Eventually on the right track, chatting to a nice Brit, also out of Sydney, and offered her entrance to the same lounge. She needed a different part of the terminal to me. So, breakfast alone and catch up on the newspapers.

No berry compote! No! No longer on the menu apparently.

Anyhow, great coffees. The waitress seemed to think 4 (or 5) was a lot! She hadn’t been flying for the previous 13.5 hours and then suffering a lost departure gate.

Finally to the next plane. I had some anxieties as gate A13 remained unmanned until the last moment. Finally two people in the right uniforms appeared and eventually one redirected me to the correct lift. Easy. If you don’t count my patient wait by the wrong lift. 😏

By now it was daylight in Dubai.

Next stop Madrid. I have a car booked as I’m never sure how I’ll feel when I get there. So far I feel really good, despite the depressing sleep report from my Fitbit. It said I hardly slept but it doesn’t ever cope with travelling backwards in time so I’m ignoring it. 😚. Again. Of three fitbits my group recently walked into Maccu Picchu my step and climbing data was always quite different. Not possible to lose a group so not for that reason. I now take its readings as relative, no longer absolute. Alright. I don’t really trust it any more.

Why does the last hour before you get there take longer than earlier hours? It does! Must be possible to graph how much difference past time makes to the passing of current time.

Madrid at last

Finally arrived. Dry landscape.

A few clouds.

Border control easy, waiting for bags not so easy or quick but ok.

Found my driver and I ended up having a Spanish lesson on the drive into madrid. Usually I’d have enjoyed it but too many neurones are still wending their way here a few hours behind me. I’m now voting with the Fitbit despite earlier comments. I can’t have slept much. So. Boots off (too heavy to put in pack). And outside in thongs or runners.

It’s 30C.

Wispy clouds in an otherwise blue sky and I’m delighted to be back in the Lusso Infantis, a hotel in Chueca, central and pleasant. Must also buy some coffee as, unusually, this hotel has an electric jug. I need coffee and a sleep.


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