We made it to Madrid, however, there may be some details that should not be looked over in-between us leaving and us arriving here. For those of you that didn't see us before we left you may not know the stress we were under. They are summed up in these three bullet points:
- We didn't know if we could actually move to Madrid until the Saturday before our departure (one week).
- We had to move out of our condo completely in one day.
- We worked every day until the day we left.
I don't write these things to make you feel like you need to send us a care package, (I mean you can but I don't know where I live), but to let you into our crazy move.
We arrived on Tuesday and have had a great five days. Two of these days were spent at our schools. Ali's school is really far away. She has spent a lot of time on public transportation: 30 min on the metro and then a bus that takes 1-1.5 hours to get to her school. I, however, have a 15 minute walk from where we are living.
Speaking of "where we are living," we are living with our friend Chris. We are sleeping on his futon. It is very generous of him and his two other room mates to house us! We know Chris because Ali worked with him when she was in South Korea. He has helped us get a bank account, he's shown us around town, paid for our sim cards (we don't have access to cash yet), and been our translator when we don't know what is going on (about 90% of the time).
We have many stories from our travels that we want to share but it would be the longest blog ever if we shared them all. One of our favorite stories comes from our journey from the airport to Chris's apartment.
It all began five days ago...seriously, it did. I was under the impression that we had a two bag allowance on British Airways, so we packed 4 huge bags that were 50 lbs a piece, guitar, mandolin, a heavy backpack, and a carry on with all our camera equipment. Let's just say we may have overpacked. Anyways, we got to the airport in Denver and they said that we had to pay for our extra bags. I felt like Macaulay Culkin when he put aftershave on his face after she told us that it would be $95 for each bag. A single tear was slowly trickling down my face when she swiped the card and told me to "have a nice day." I'm pretty sure I heard a menacing laugh as we walked away.
The flight was smooth and we had decent food. I was planning on watching a lot of movies but after the first one I fell asleep like a little baby. After traveling 12.5 hours, we arrived in Madrid at 5:30 p.m. Chris met us with a smile that turned into a fearful grimace that turned into confusion. Our plan was to take public transportation (the Metro) which consisted of two transfers and a couple flights of stairs. Did I mention that it was rush hour?
Our first Metro was easy to board and we had no problems. Then came the first transfer. Fortunately this transfer had an elevator that went down 4 stories. We had to wait a little bit because the first two trains had too many people on them. We decided to dash onto the train and wedge our bags in-between people's legs. The next stop was not as easy. We basically fell out of the train and then had to ride 3 escalators and then carry our lives down two flights of steps to another train. Two trains passed because we couldn't fit into them. Then we mustered up a little courage, split up (I went by myself and Ali went with Chris), and pushed our way onto the train. This was not a little "excuse me" push, it was a "I'm getting on here whether you like it or not" push.
After we arrived at our last stop we were hot and sweaty. We had to carry our bags up two fights of stairs and walk to Chris's apartment. The sidewalks and streets are all cobble stone in Madrid. Everything is uneven and cars come at you out of what seems to be a sidewalk. You could hear the sound of our bags from a mile away. It was like a machine gun farted for ten minutes. In the end, we made it to Chris's apartment and were able to relax! Woo!
Here are some pictures from our travels so far: