Standing at the Vancouver International Airport in the dark and pouring rain, I could only hope that Madrid would be a sunnier place!
It was 5:30 am and I was all set to go. I had narrowed down my belongings to one manageable back-pack with a detachable daypack. All of my necessary documents were safely tucked in my money belt beneath my waist band. I was ready, set and raring to go!
The flight to Toronto was uneventful -- the usual breakfast-and-a-movie kind of flight. I read and re-read the instructions in my guidebook for navigating Madrid. I'm a little nervous about getting around in Madrid because my Spanish is pretty rusty and I'm not sure how much English I will run into.
Changing planes in Toronto gave me a chance to stretch my legs and pick up some more reading material for the l-o-n-g flight to Madrid (about 11.5 hours).
Back on the plane, I managed to get 3 middle seats all to myself so I could stretch out and get some sleep. I wanted to be able to get going immediately upon arriving in Madrid, so I took a mild sleeping pill to help me get a full night's sleep on the plane. It definitely worked -- I slept for 7 hours straight and woke up to a dark and sleepy plane-ful of people.
I always find that last hour before landing the hardest. You know you're almost there, and everyone is packing up all around you. The flight crew turn off the entertainment and then you have to just sit there and wait for what seems like forever until the plane actually lands. Then it seems like another lifetime until you actually get to the gate. Another eternity passes until it's your turn to get off the plane. But then, you have ARRIVED and the adventure begins!!