Wednesday, June 19, 2013

18 & 19 Jun 13 – Day 12 & 13 (Madrid)

Today was the last day of our trip and we didn’t have to check-out till 11am so Kim and I got up slightly later and went for slightly later breakfast before heading out to the nearby super mart. Ever since we bought the mini bottles of olive oil, Kim had been hunting for extras but no luck. Fortunately for her, the super mart had those and Kim bought a few more. Returned to the hotel and bumped into the family with the small boy. They were on the way out to another direction to check out some shops they saw the evening before. Got back to the room, did another round of packing to make sure I got everything into the luggage and those that could not be hand carried be put into the check-in luggage. Message little big sis and got to know that the haze in Singapore had worsen over the last few days. I knew about the haze when friends posted about it on FB.

When it was about time to check-out, we did one last round of checks around the room before proceeding down to the lobby. Today we were supposed to take the local coach to the airport so we had to wait for it to arrive. As the lobby was small, some of the members chose to wait outside. There were two seats in the area between the two glass doors, one connecting the lobby, the other connecting the street. Kim and I chose to sit there with our luggage. I took random shots while she used the Internet connection. Most of the members commented that we had the best seats and some of them asked us to help them look after their luggages which were placed opposite us while they waited in the lobby.

The local coach was really late and when it finally arrived, we quickly loaded our luggage and boarded the coach. While on our way to the airport, Nancee told us that those who needed to do tax refund would have to follow her to a counter to settle the paperwork before checking-in their luggage and those who didn’t need to, can proceed to check-in on their own. So once we reached the airport which was rather fast, all the members except Mr and Mrs Goh, Kim and I, followed Nancee to do the tax refund. After we had done the check-in, we bumped into Nancee who told us that we need to cater about 45 minutes to catch the airport bus to another terminal to board the plane. So we looked at the time and decided that we had some time to spare. Walked around the airport and realized that most of the shops were closed due to renovation.

We saw the shop “Loewe” and Kim went into the shop to find out the prices of the two bags that her sis was eyeing on. After knowing the prices, Kim went on to message her sister to find out if she wanted to buy. So during the time of waiting, I popped into a duty free shop to get a box of Spanish chocolate and then into another shop to get a UK edition of the Cosmopolitan that came with a free pair of shades while Kim went to get snacks from KFC. Then it was about time to get to the platform to wait for the airport bus and just when we reached the platform, Kim’s sister replied telling her to get the bags but it was too late for that.

At the platform, it stated that it would take about 30 minutes to get to the other terminal. Airport bus came and we boarded it to go to the other terminal for our flight. When the airport bus stopped, we thought it was not our stop to alight so we continued to sit because only about 10-15 minutes had passed. An older man who sat next to us told us that it was the final stop and we should alight. He then tried to help direct us to the correct place to get to our gate. While we were on the escalator to go up to the ground floor, there was another board that indicated that it would take about 20 minutes to get to our gate.

After we reached the ground floor, again, most of the shops were closed due to renovation. Within the next 10 minutes, we were in front of the designated gate so I sat to read my magazine while Kim ate her snacks and shared some with me. Soon, members came strolling to the area in front of the gate to wait for boarding. Again, Mrs Chia was complaining about the shops being closed for renovation.

Soon it was time to board the plane and I spent the next many hours either dozing off, sleeping, eating or watching movies. Touched down in Singapore in the late afternoon and I could smell the haze once out of the plane. Little big sis came with BIL to pick me up and I spent that night at her place, sorting out my things and doing the laundry.

Thoughts: The whole trip was so-so compared to my previous two Europe trips. I guess it was because this trip focuses more on big cities rather than small towns and country sides which would have provided nicer sceneries. 

Will I go back to visit Spain and Portugal? Maybe. Maybe not.

Click here for more photos of the trip.

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