Sunday, July 06, 2008

traveling tales of lylah - part 6

My flight from London to Madrid was exciting. I really enjoy the experience of new places and faces. I enjoy it more - along side my husband. He's really the best to travel with and as I shared earlier, I experienced (with this trip) that I needed to become more vigilant.

Madrid is just about in the center of Spain. The airport is called Barajas Airport with international terminals of 1 and 4. Iberia is the national airline and they schedule flights daily in and out of Madrid.

British Airways was my flight of origin from Phoenix to London. In London, BA partnered with Iberia to get me the rest of the way to San Sebastian.

So far,I've experienced London Heathrow Airport, Frankfurt Airport and now Madrid. I have to tell you that when my plane landed in Madrid, I had not stink'n clue where to go. I could NOT figure out what terminal I was supposed to end up at. All I knew is that I was thankful for the 3.5 hour layover to figure it out.

When I got off the plane in Madrid, I just followed everyone else - through a passage way and then to the trains that transport one between the terminals. For some God only knows reason, I ended up in terminal 4 and as His mercy would have it - it was where I needed to be. I only figured that out about 30 minutes prior to boarding the next little plane for San Sebastian.

Terminal 4 in Madrid

The big yellow tube - where you get euros.

Arriving in San Sebastian
I arrived in San Sebastian - so excited to see the Griff fam. Gerald greeted me - he's always one of the best to greet a person. No matter how he feels, that guy smiles.

While G. patiently waits, I'm anxiously looking for my black suitcase with the little silver tabs. I'm waiting for my ONLY check in piece. You know, they've just recently changed the rules. One can take only 1 suitcase into the European countries.

Packing ONE Suitcase
At first, I really stressed over how to pack the ONE suitcase. I packed and repacked. I evaluated and reevaluated what was absolutely necessary. Part of my tension was that I was bringing a few things for Jenni - her nutritional supplements ($400+) because # 1 you can't get the same quality in Spain and what you can get is soooooooo expensive. I also was bringing along our birthday gifts for Jillian. She turned 7 on June 21st.

With each trip, I am learning how to be a better packer. And, this ONE suitcase only challenge was good for me. I was actually proud of myself - I'd figured out how to make it with a few good outfits. Chico's had this awesome sale and I "invested" in some great new pieces. I decided to be a bit more chic and bring my very favorite red high heeled sandals, a new pair of black ankle strapped sandals and my favorite yellow flip flops.

I took the time to individually package my own nutritional products - you know when you get 'my age' you end up taking a few extra things. Let's see, oh, yes, my personal items: you know undies and sort, jammies, facial products and the Aveda hair products I just purchased.

Oh, my favorite and all marked up New Living Version Bible, my favorite pillow and my computer back pack with the mouse. I also had just purchased a new stainless steel water bottle and that was in the suitcase too.

HUH? You're Kidding?
I can only imagine the look on my face when my suitcase didn't come rolling around on the conveyor belt. I frantically went to a man standing there in some sort of uniform and spoke some English he most likely didn't understand, but my face and body language were obviously enough for him to know that "this woman's luggage didn't make it."

This kind, quiet man led me to the Iberia desk where I filled out information about my flight and my baggage information. Not to worry, though, he assured me that it'd come on the next flight and would be delivered to the flat.

Phew. I felt relieved. Sorta. Only sorta, because I began to recall what the sweet older couple on the flight from Phoenix told me about the luggage fiasco in London.
That was Wednesday, June 25th. Today is Sunday, July 7th. Still NO suitcase.

The Gamet of Emotion
I've gone from gut wrenching anger to feelings of being violated. I've researched everything on lost luggage and it sure didn't help - but only increased the sense of thinking that I'd been lied to.

The Names of Those at Iberia
I've called at least three times per day to this number in Madrid that addresses lost baggage. I've spoken to Julia, Anna, Jacob, Ben from England, Julio, George, Fred from France, Simonn from Argentina.

I've been told:
We're checking in all the places (Huh? and just where are all these places?).

You're suitcase is in the warehouse. (I'd ask: where is this warehouse - to which they've responded: it's in a special place)

It's in the warehouse in Madrid. (Huh?)

There are 1000's of luggage and 10 people are working hard to find the owners. ( I also found out that they only work until 1:30 pm. Hmmm.)

We've sent requests to the warehouse and all the airports. (Huh?)

After 21 days send us a letter. (Huh?)

More to come . . .

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