Ok, some pictures...finally! I know, right? haha.

A few things before the pictures, I think some of you can't see the pictures? If you are getting my posts by email, it's probably because everything shows up in the email. If you can't see the pictures there, try clicking on the link to take you directly to my blog site (www.davalli.blogspot.com). If it's not showing up on my actual blog...then I have no idea. You'll have to email Eric for info on that one. Haha, sorry (to both people who can't see my pics and to Eric for offering him up as the go-to man....but we all know he's the go-to man for technology troubles anyways). Ok, and now, picture time!

Momma and I at the airport before my flight. I didn't realize the gate closing time had changed from my original itinerary and I made it there just a few minutes before boarding.

Me and my daddy.

Yay! I finally made it to my Stuart! We were sitting on the metro from the plane. I barely made my connecting flight at Heathrow in London to Berlin. They really need to do something about their transportation from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5. I was soooo afraid I'd miss my flight. But I made it halfway through boarding. *sigh* Then I had a 6 hour layover at Tegel airport in Berlin. That was painful. I wanted to go out and see a bit of Berlin, but that would have meant spending fare on a bus and I was also afraid of not making it back in time for my flight. So I spent the first hour and a half looking for the Main Hall (tucked back behind the Golden Shops...not very "Main" hall like, haha) because I had to store my suite cases. I didn't want to have to take them to Madrid with me if I only needed a few days of clothes. Then I walked around for a while trying to figure out where my flight left from so I could make it to the flight on time. Then I realized that I smelled super bad from the long flight and changed clothes in the teeny WC (literally water closet, but that's what it's called in Germany). I felt much much better, but my carry on stuff was super heavy, so my shoulders were killing me. Then I tried to get internet so I could at least post for all of you, but I had to pay like 16euro, so I decided against it.

Then I sat down and just watched people for a bit when I remembered the great bit of advice my friend Kristina Manente told me from when she traveled all over Europe by herself last semester: bring a notebook and pen and write everything. So I wrote about 3 full pages of just stuff, eves dropped on conversations to see how much German I could understand (I could understand 4 and 5 year old kids no problem! I have a very elementary grasp on German! haha). But a lot of people had East German accents like our German Tutor Alexandra. Nearly impossible to understand. Kat and Hannes said that they couldn't even understand it sometimes. I guess I could compare East German accents to Georgia or Louisiana accents from the south...haha.

Well, the time finally came for check-in and I went through quickly because I just wanted to get to Spain! I was feeling exhausted from my long flights and slightly sick from airline food and jet lag. Oh, and if at all possible, don't try flying Iberia Airlines. It was tiny, a little dirty, and very very lax. Actually, much like Spain. Very very lax. People have a very "whatever" kind of attitude and just do things as they come. Very different from the Germany that I was getting acquainted with. Everything very organized and set in a rigid and specific way and it MUST BE DONE like that. haha. And the flight was hot and bumpy. I felt pretty sick. But the couple next to me was amusing. They were older and when the person in front of us started coughing like crazy, the old man kept making disgusted gestures that were rather amusing. They were a little apologetic when the wife kept going in and out of the seat. That was fine with me, but they were really nice. They eventually said something to me in Spanish and I had to say, "Sorry, no hablo espanol." Then they thought I was actually from Germany! Yay! And I had to say no, USA. Then when the plane was landing, it got really bumpy and I actually cried out a bit it was such a severe drop! The woman chuckled a bit and said something to the effect of also being afraid to fly and grabbed my hand. I blessed myself with a frightened look on my face and she laughed for a good while about that.

When I arrived I ran through as fast as I could because I thought I was later than the time I told Stuart, only to realize that they didn't even make me go through customs! I followed signs for the exit (which usually also includes customs....) and didn't even go through a security check point! I saw two large double doors people were going through, one that said "Items to claim" and the other said "No Claims". Well, I thought, I don't have anything to claim, I'm just going to go the short way. Then all of sudden I saw Stuart's face! No check point! I had a super confused look and Stuart was also confused as to why I didn't go through customs. I hope I didn't miss it! ...and I hope it doesn't give me a problem when I leave tomorrow. Probably not?

Madrid is very beautiful though. Here are some pics of the hostel we're staying at:

Name of our hostel...Our room with a balcony!

We also have a private shower. The lady here is really nice to us, but she said she doesn't like working here in Madrid. She's originally from Morocco. She said there are too few people who are good and nice but that we were some of the nice ones. It's sad she has such a dark view, but I guess working at a hostel probably doesn't always meet you with the nicest people. We've met two of the other people staying here: Jack from Montana/Canada/Pottstown (he went to the Hill School for a while!) and William, an older fat and balding man from Ireland. Oh, which reminds me, if I can figure out how to get pictures off my camera, I have an aerial photo of when we flew over Ireland for Matt! The picture is either from above Killarney or Cork...we flew over the very south of Ireland.

But now it's getting late and I think I might take a little siesta before going out. We found this awesome outdoor market that's only every Sunday until about 2:30 or 3. It's much like going to the Irish Festival only much much much much larger, like 2 whole city blocks filled with merchants. It was really cool...I think it was called Rastero? I'd ask Stuart but he's sleeping. haha. But I think you all would have liked it. But now I'm going to rest for a bit and put more pictures up tomorrow, hopefully. This is already a very long blog post....


Denise said...

Darn it I wrote this whole big comment and then my computer lost the internet and I lost it. anyway what I was trying to say before my computer went crazy is that you wouldn't go through customs because you flew to Madrid from Germany both of which are part of the EU. I would actually think that you would have gone through some sort of customs in Germany but since you never actually left the airport they may have overlooked it. You should double check about that if you don't ever go through anything in Germany because that is where you are staying the longest and it may give you trouble when you are trying to go in and out of Germany (and since you are flying back from Madrid they may overlook it so you should check). Anyway...thats my two cents....

Kristina said...

YAY! My advice worked! I had an 8 hour layover in Weeze (by Düsseldorf) last semester, and foolishly forgot anything to write in... I did finish an entire book though.

Yeah, about customs, going along with Denise, the whole EU thing, it may not have been required. I know when Lesley went from Bergamo to Paris, she didn't have to go through customs and everything was fine on the way back. I suppose if you have a serious concern you could ask the American embassy in Madrid, or explain the situation at the airport if you run into any problems.

Momma said...

Well, I guess you're off to find out now if that customs thing is going to cause you trouble.
Let me know when you leave... and when you arrive.
Love you!!!!