Today is my last day in the Madrid City Center.
I’m leaving tomorrow, so will stay close to the airport tonight. I walked a Km to Aeropuerto Autobus, asked and finally found the stop in La Plaza de Cibeles. I arrived at the Madrid Aeropuerto in an easy 20 minutes. Called the hotel from a waiting area outside, which looked just like the waiting area in my hometown airport. So many similarities in airports before we step out.
After pickup and a short drive, I arrived at a small hotel in a residential area, checked in to a comfortable room, printed boarding passes and found there could be delays weather. Then I discovered there was no food service until breakfast, no restaurant, not even a vending machine. And how many power bars did I have?
The people at the desk were very busy and I didn’t ask many questions. They directed me to walk to a restaurant nearby that I couldn’t find it at first and a Spanish woman out for a walk showed me the way. Camino kindness. Ah, but it was closed. I walked around the neighborhood asking about cafes or tiendas and never found any.
I need to brush up on my Spanish. Traveling solo calls for clear communication skills and understanding the environment. A tour and guide usually reduce the discomfort or fear of being in another country, but I’m all for improving my skills and forging ahead, trying to be in direct contact with the people.
The next morning, guests on the Aeropuerto shuttle told me there was a large supermercado five minutes away in the one direction I didn’t walk. Language is an important pathway to understanding. Not first or last time I’ve wandered and misunderstood what I observed. I added more kilometers to my journey and another Camino lesson I’ll bring home with me.