. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: August 1, 1999

Sunday, August 1, 1999
Algeciras to Madrid, Spain
Spain's Flag

Map
Madrid, Spain:
Latitude: 40° 24' 56" North
Longitude: 3° 42' 27" West
Altitude: 2264 feet
From Seattle: 5873 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Hostal Hispalense

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Spain
Region: Greater Madrid
Route: RENFRE Train: Algeciras - Madrid (Overnight)
Path:Algeciras - Madrid, Spain
Linear:348 miles
Weather: Partial Sun / Sunny

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 843
Linear Dist: 155418
Countries Visited: 60
Regions Visited: 240
More stats...
Hotels: 269
Friends / Family: 176
Camping: 118
Hostels: 217
Transit: 56
Other Lodging: 6
Beers: 3135
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Journal Entry:
Despite the luxurious accommodation still felt tired in the morning. The train arrived in Madrid on time at 8:30. The train station was pretty shocking in its bustle and modernness after a year in Africa. Got a number and had some coffee while waiting over an hour for it to be our turn at the ticket window. Bought tickets to Porto on tomorrow nights train giving us two days in Madrid.

Jumped on the metro to head for the Sol / Opera areas where I was going to try and find the little pension I stayed in last time I was in Madrid. At the Sol station the train was packed and it was with some effort that we got off the train - Amy especially as this man kept on blocking her - weird. With out to much walking around (both of us are very tired) I found a hotel which may or may not be the same one, but was nice with a great location and not to expensive.

At the hotel Amy realized she didn't have her wallet. The last time she could remember having it was when we bought our Porto tickets. Her wallet had her passport, credit card, ATM card, all the cash for her vacation, driver's license, checks, etc. This was not a good thing to be missing! With some help from the hotel owners and an upstairs tenant who spoke English we tried unsuccessfully to call the lost and found at the train station and had a note written out in Spanish explaining what was missing. Walking back to the metro to head for the station Amy realized that she would have noticed the wallet missing when we had the guide book out on the train - the weird man who kept bumping in to her must have taken it. In hind sight is was painfully obvious and I can't believe I didn't realize what was going on.

We filed a report at the metro police. The procedure was remarkably quick and painless - though I suspect they must deal with a lot of such reports. Just to make sure we went back to the train station and checked that nothing had been turned in - no luck. Amy called her dad to get the credit card cancelled. he called back a little bit later to say the card had been taken by a bank machine when someone tried to use it (she didn't PIN for the card) - good news, but then she realized that her ATM card's pin number was pretty predictable. Another call later and it looks like he didn't try to use it, or couldn't find an ATM that would accept it and now it's cancelled.

It being Sunday there's not a lot we can do about replacing the passport so we sat down in a cafe on the Plaza Mayor for several well deserved pitchers of Sangria. After relaxing and looking on the bright side for a while we decide to go check out the Prado museum. The guide book indicated that it was free on Sundays from two to nine PM. The guide book was wrong, it closed at two on Sundays. Hung out in the botanical gardens for awhile then walked back to Sol. Had a splurge Mexican diner that turned out to be merely OK before calling it a night.


Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Madrid
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Spain
CIA World Fact Book: Spain

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