Andover; Sun 28th
Sevilla, Saturday morning, the rain fell steadily and cold.
At the stop for the airport bus, a dozen folks crowded under the shelter overhang and clustered in the dark under umbrellas. Daylight doesn’t begin until about 8AM at this time of the year. The windows of the bus were covered with the condensed moisture of a travelers leaving Sevilla. The defogging system on the bus was hardly able to deal with the windshield.
Check in and security is never the same. Each place and sometimes each agent have their own procedure. It does give credence to the idea of “Security Theater”. In Sevilla, anyone with fashion boots had to remove them. No other footwear came off. No need to open the computer here! With time aplenty, we settled at a table for a Spanish coffee. These are small cup espresso or cafe con leche. The milk is hot so as not to cool the coffee. The Cafe Solo is espresso; strong and with the sugar, a real different taste. Occasionally I get the double cup when a single “thimble” of espresso is not enough. This AM a roll, and out of a ziploc, some left over jamon Iberico del bellato from last night’s farewell tapas.
A tall Latin American guy asked us to baby sit his baggage while he got his desayuno. He too had a double espresso and a sandwich, which he heated in the microwave near the cashier. A seasoned traveler! Later he invited us into the boarding line with him as we waited the boarding of Sevilla to Madrid. [A common practice was to have one of the party hold the line while the others sat and waited.] It turned out he was a pilot for the Mexican Military and lived in Guadalajara. A little conversation about Chivas futbol and then we loaded.
Our flight from MAD to BOS was delayed a couple of hours! You have to enter another secure area at the far end of the terminal to fly to the USA…no out once you are in. But there was no additional security screening ?!? Bring in your bottle of water? OK! The ticket agent called our name to report to the desk. We knew that some folks had had their seat assignments cancelled and where placed on standby. How much to have us stay behind in Madrid until tomorrow?? No connections and a day later wouldn’t be a problem.
The agent was talking to a number of parties individually. “OL-mes?”, he pronounced Holmes. “Si, aqui. Yes.”, we answered. He was bumping us from seat 9 to seat 1. “You don’t mind flying BusinessPlus, do you?” “No, that is fine.” I am guessing that Iberia had filled the plane to capacity; with economy oversold and Business undersold. Who gets bumped up; Frequent flyers?
When you have carry-on baggage, being EARLY into your assigned seating area is a must. Empty overhead compartments need to be handy for the “backpacks”. It is not uncommon for folks in the back of the plane to try to use overheads in the front of the plane!! In Business, there is NO problem! “Would you like some orange juice, water, cava?” Meg chose two of the three – mixed! Cava is Spain’s version of champagne. Two fine meals and choices of wine and sherry were served.
The airport shuttle dropped us off at the local park and ride at 8PM. We lifted our packs on our backs and hoofed it over the hill to our abode. It was good to feel the dry cold bit of the New England night air. Ahh, and a familiar bed.
“Travel light and wear a smile.” Jack Holmes