Monday, August 12, 2019

A Taxi in Madrid

Today, we returned Lola to  No problem.  We took a shuttle from there to the Malaga airport.  No problem.  We found the metro train to the big train station in Malaga called María Zambrano to wait for the 3:00 train.  No problem.  Security, no problem.  The three hour trip to Madrid through wide-open vistas filled with miles and miles of olive trees..beautiful...again, no problem.  The beautiful blue sky yawned above us and the AVE Train was on time.  Once we slid into Madrid, the problems began and multiplied.

Our welcome to Madrid had two hiccups, but Caroline and I are adaptable.  We followed the Metro signs, which was our choice to ride into Madrid to find our Air BnB apartment.  Chaos.  Nobody in the information booth.  Everyone crowded around the metro map.  Which line to get on?  Where is Puerta del Sol?  I was told that metro stop was only three stops from apartments??  My eyes were nearly crossing before Caroline said, “how about a taxi?”  Good idea.

We followed the crowd out of the huge Atocha Station (train station) and saw a bus or two, lots of people and we turned left.  That was to be our downfall.  How could we have known we should have turned right instead??  Long story, but we walked lots longer than we should have, tried to get into a taxi when a driver expelled other riders and we were turned away.  What?  The security guard pointed in a “straight and over there” pattern with a swinging arm in the general direction of the train station again and all we saw was a big parking lot.

By this time, Caroline was dragging her feet, sure the instructions were wrong.  I kept walking and she had no recourse but to follow (she’s sweet that way.). We saw so many taxi cabs, they were three deep on the entire street, but no walkway to get there.  I saw a break in the vehicles, swung around to make sure she was still there and we pulled our luggage through the maze of cars.  And then there was a huge railing barring our way.  By this time, several taxi drivers were eyeing us and surely laughing.  I ducked beneath, tipped my bags under it and poof, I was on the sidewalk (avoiding eye contact with the snickering drivers).  When I turned around, I saw Caroline push her blue bag under and she grabbed onto the rail, tried to swing her little self under it and started laughing.  She seemed stuck in time...I tried not to laugh, I really did..

All in all, we had a smooth taxi ride to Calle Postas, which we learned is adjacent to a huge, open air plaza called the Plaza Mayor.  And no cars travel on our little street.  The apartment is great and we were delighted to meet Luis, who welcomed us and lifted our bags all the way up the stairs!

Within the hour, my cousins rang our doorbell.  Long, loving hugs and a lot of laughter was soothing and perfect.  Mercedes Trascasas and her husband Jenaro walked us to a fabric shop first for Mercedes and then he found us a café where we shared wine and good conversation, often with a translator APP.  This is Caroline’s new toy and she’s able to be part of the conversation now.  When I explained I’d rented a car to drive to Toro (about two hours west of Madrid) for my week with them on August 22, they were horrified.  It was quickly decided I’d do no such thing...I’d ride a bus to Toro and they would drive me to Fuentesaúco and other places.  They are excited to do this for me and it brought me to tears.

Tomorrow, we will hop on and off the bus and explore Madrid...

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