We went to the airport with the group because even though our flight didn't leave until 5 am the next day, this was the easiest and cheapest way to get to the airport. Having stayed all night in the airport the night before, I knew that it would be busy and we could get a table and just hangout, pretty much uninterrupted.
Come 2 am, when we could go check in for our flight to Frankfurt (connecting through to Madrid), we saw the sign that said CANCELLED. Oh no! This was bad news. The good news, or seemingly at the time, was that they had rebooked us all on flights. Well, bad news. My mom, Joe and Rach were all booked on one reservation and mine was separate because I used airline miles for the flight. I was rebooked on a direct flight to Madrid and they were booked through Zurich. I would get in before them, but we already had a private transfer arranged, and the hotel was reserved in my mom's name (although likely they had my name too, but not sure they would let me check in alone). For reasons I won't get into at this time, it was somewhat necessary that I stay with my sister and we just didn't want to be split up. So I was placed on the same flight as them. We went through security and seemed to be on our merry way.
The flight was really a pain because there was a tennis team with us where some of the members were oblivious to other people on the plane with them. I was, no joke, smacked a few times by one girls bag as she walked up and down the aisle. The other members had excessive large bags and some were just as careless pushing them around and trying to shove them in areas where they really couldn't fit. Thankfully they sat still during the flight and stopped disturbing other passengers (at least those of us in the back whom they had been disturbing when they first boarded, as I obviously can't speak for the people in the front).
So we land in Zurich and we go through customs check and ran, not kidding, I totally ran because we had a short time for the connect, to the next gate, which was a little ways away. We made it just as they were starting boarding, so there was no time for shopping for chocolate in Switzerland.
Deep breath, right? Wrong! On this flight I decided to take a picture of something only to discover I no longer had my camera. WTF! How did I lose my camera. The good news, of course, as I blog and upload my pictures regularly, the pictures had all already been uploaded on my computer. The only lose was material- the camera, camera bag and memory cards filled with pictures already uploaded onto my computer.
Once we landed in Madrid, we headed to the hotel, checked in, and washed up. Guess what I did immediately after that? I went to El Corte Ingles, the largest department store chain (and in store size it is massive as well) in Spain and bought myself a new Sony Cybershot. I made sure it took Pro Duo cards since I still had an empty 16G card with me, and the spare battery for my sisters camera would fit in here, so it saved in some money since not everything had to be replaced. Hooray for a new camera!
So, I know some of you are feeling my pain as you have been there too with this kind of incident. What I will tell you next will probably shock you-and anger perhaps those of you that were not as lucky. I emailed the airline and mentioned I lost my camera. Initially I thought I lost it when I pulled it out to take a picture of my airplane meal (the one picture I have actually lost because it was after my upload), then fell asleep, so I thought it rolled off my lap. The mentioned finding a camera on the escalator by gate A71, the very gate where my connection was. After describing it to the lost and found, they determined that my camera was in their possession and let me know how to go about getting it back. At this time it has been forwarded to one of the airports I will pass through later in my trip and I have already confirmed with them that it is in their possession. AMAZING!
With the help of my iPhone camera, while my new one as charging, I took some pictures from that first evening in Madrid.
We stayed at the Santo Domingo Hotel in Madrid, near Puerto del Sol and the Palacio Real. I will say the location was phenomenal. The only issue was that the hotel was undergoing some renovations and our room was dirty (most likely from extended use and just old) and outdated. It was larger than our parents room, and in fact, they had to switch to a larger room because they couldn't even fit all their things inside their room. But, like I said, the location was excellent.
Right near by was Cafeteria Oskar and we kept walking by and watching people with olives, potato chips and sangria, so we decided to give it a try.
The Sangria was pretty good, and offered at a great price.
I don't remember potatoes being so popular when I was in Madrid in 2001, but they seemed to be one of the most popular foods at restaurants/cafes/bars.
When we finished with our snacks and sangria, we moved on to get some dinner at a restaurant nearby called Domingo's.
We were brought some paella with shrimp.
Then we ordered some patatas bravas, which is a traditional dish of potato pieces covered in a spicy tomato sauce.
My sister and I ordered some small squids (chopitos), but they weren't exactly what we were looking for.
Lastly, we ordered the gambas al ajillo, which is shrimp in garlic. This is one of our favorites.
Of course we enjoyed all of this with bread.
I managed to take at least 1 picture of a building in Madrid with my iphone. I can tell you that I was happy when we got back to the room and my new camera battery was charged and ready to go.
The last thing we did that evening was enjoy some frozen yogurt at Llaollao
I ordered mine with pineapple, chocolate pieces and strawberries. Yum! This was a great end to the evening.
I was so happy we had made it to Madrid on time and we had some time to get out and walk around. Madrid is a beautiful city. Up next is more on Madrid, including the Palacio Real and the Prado.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been delayed due to a flight cancellation? Have you ever lost your camera? Have you ever lost anything that you eventually had returned to you?