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Saturday, June 26th "Airport delays make for a very long trip…"

Starting on a Tuesday night I left Seville for Madrid at 9:25 on a flight. After arriving I caught a free airport shuttle to my 4 star hotel by the airport – The Auditorium or something like that. It is billed as the largest hotel in Euorpe. I was able to spend these few hours in luxury by booking through A 4 star hotel set me back just 53 €, plus I got a free shuttle service too and from the airport. If I had booked in another place I would have had to pay cab fare in both directions, so hopefully it saved me some money.

The next morning I was up at 5am to catch a 7am flight from Madrid to Munich. I had a 50 minute window in Munich to get to my connecting flight to the U.S., which I quickly learned would not happen after successive delays in Madrid. We left 2 hours late due to a problem with the hydraulics in one of the wings, something I would have preferred not to have known. Either way we landed in Munich with no problems (aside from the delay) and I learned I had two choices – wait 6 hours and catch a flight to Philadelphia where I would have to stay the night before arriving at my final destination, or stay the night in Munich and then catch the same flight I had booked for today but on the next morning. Selecting Munich over Philly (who wants to spend 6 hours more in an airport, just to get on a flight for another 9 hours?) I received meal vouchers, a free hotel room and free shuttle to and from the hotel. My first destination was the Munich airport biergarten, where I shared a few beers and a meal of some kind of roast pork leg with a Chinese fellow who lived in California. For about 11 Euros I had a large meal and two beers, and then caught the hotel shuttle. I spent the day swimming, riding a bike and eating for free in a little town by the airport. Comparing this experience to staying in the airport and then catching a flight to Philly I knew I had made the right choice.

On Thursday afternoon and some 72 hours later I finally arrived in NC, went out with friends for the night and then woke up the following morning at 6am to drive 12 hours to a wedding in Pennsylvania. After two very late nights of celebrations and family we drove 10 hours back to NC where I was finally able to rest. All in all it was almost one solid week of airports, hotels and cars. Something I don’t wish to repeat in the future.