Sunday, January 15, 2012

Three Countries in 24 Hours

All vacations have to come to an end. Some should end sooner than others. This vacation was just right. I was ready to return to Europe, not to say that I didn't appreciate all that we did or didn't do. We had to take a taxi to Belize City to the airport, another capital that has a high crime rate. 

The check in process is fostered by electronic machines to print out boarding passes, though the airport is not tremendously large. What angered me once we brought our luggage to be checked was the fact that it would only be checked as far as Miami. We would have to pick it up, go through Customs and then recheck it. WHY?? The reasoning given was this was our first port of entry into the US, but what flummoxes me is that we did not need to do this going. Our luggage was checked through to Guatemala City

American Airlines is on my Do Not Fly list unless absolutely necessary. The flight from Belize to Miami is a short couple of hours. Miami's airport is horridly huge and though we had 3 hours between flights, it took 138 minutes to get from one flight to the next leaving only28 minutes to shovel down a lunch before the next part of the journey when our boarding had started. The flight from Miami to Madrid was again one of those hideous planes with community theater experiences, not back of the seat view your own. We both skipped the movies because the sound quality was that of scratched record played on an antique record player. They don't even serve a drink of beer or booze without whipping out the credit card reader with charges that start at $6.00.

Turbulence was beyond the control of anyone but Mother Nature and she must have been having a bout of PMS. We shook, rattled, and rolled like an old television commercial for Shake and Bake chicken. Needless to say, if you are reading this, we made it to Madrid safely and early. Not that this was provident in our case, as check-in to our hotel was not until 2pm. 

We left our suitcases, and sleep deprived, wandered the city that has now been stripped of any sign of Christmas cheer, but had a blanket of early morning fog and winter chill one never associates with Spain. By noon, the hotel felt sorry for us and opened the room early. After a cold shower as there was no hot water, we napped before returning to the hot chocolate and churro cafe. Dinner was at the mini sandwich shop we had discovered in December on our walking tour. Then it was an early night, for tomorrow, we will wander the streets again before our final flight to Budapest.
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