We were beyond excited to be on our way to Spain at long last. We were ready to go. Our bags were packed!
But speaking of bags, it was hard to know what and how much to pack, especially for when heading to a place with four seasons. We originally limited ourselves to a big suitcase and a carry on each. Then at the last minute, we decided to take our camping backpacks because we hoped to do some backpacking while here. Even if we don’t backpack, I figure we can put any extra stuff in them when we head back to the US.
Anyway, here we are at the Greenville-Spartanburg airport …
Our flight schedule was pretty great. We flew from Greenville to Charlotte and had a three hour layover. Then we left Charlotte around 6 pm and arrived at 6:50 am in Madrid, Spain.
We didn’t sleep much on the plane. We were ready for sleep around 10:30 (there were too many fun games to play and shows to watch on the plane!). That only left 2.5 hours for sleep and breakfast at the end of the flight. It was pretty strange to be eating breakfast at what was 1 am for our bodies’ clocks.
We planned a long layover in Madrid because we didn’t know how our flights would go and how long it would take to get through immigration. As it turned out, there was no line to wait in. So, we had MANY hours to kill in Madrid (8 am until our train to Granada at 2 pm). Ugh. I won’t do that again!
We had all of our luggage, so we didn’t go out to explore Madrid. I wish we could have because it would have been a much more pleasant way to spend the day.
We sat in a café in the Madrid airport for a while, where the girls had their first traditional Spanish foods – a bocadillo (Spanish sandwich) and a tortilla española (omlette). We ate, colored in coloring books, and read for most of the time waiting. Then after two hours, we took a subway from the airport to the train station with all of our bags.
Thankfully, the subway wasn’t full, but we definitely got some stares because of our large amount of luggage. And moving around with all of our bags was not fun either. It was cumbersome, to say the least.
At the train station, we ended up finding a restaurant with air conditioning, and we camped out there for another few hours. The girls played Google’s No Internet Game for hours, and I was painfully tired after two more hours of waiting. My eyes hurt, so I couldn’t color with Ali anymore. On top of that, I didn’t count our deck of cards before we left… It turns out that you can’t play too many games with 44 cards.
Aaaanyway, we finally got on the fast train to Granada… just three and a half hours to go!
The girls didn’t sleep a wink, but maybe that was because of a stop by the candy store in the train station.
My eyes were closed much of the train ride, but every time I pried them open, I saw hundreds of miles of olive groves and arid landscapes.
As we neared Granada, we saw the fires in Andalucía that we’d heard about. There were helicopters dropping water on them, so I’m pretty sure they weren’t prescribed burns.
It is so dry here. It is usually dry in the summer, but there was less rain this year than in the past. And, the outside temperature read 42 degrees! (That’s 107 degrees!!!)
Welcome to Granada!
Thankfully the extra large taxi I’d arranged was waiting for us, and we were able to get into our house easily.
We were so grateful for a safe and smooth day of travel. We arrived, and all of our luggage made it the whole way too.
It was time to celebrate!
At this point it was 8 pm in Spain, which was 2 pm on our bodies’ clocks. Serena, Ali, and Chad hadn’t slept for about 30 hours. Did I mention what amazing travelers Serena and Ali are?!!
We capped off our night with a five minute stroll to the San Nicolas overlook for the sunset over the Alhambra.
And with that, we headed home, hauled our beds up to the air-conditioned third floor, and slept for 12 hours.
More adventures ahead!