aerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2495 posts, RR: 18 Posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2784 times:
In June 2011 I had finished all me college exams & MIAspotter suggested I meet him in MAD during a bank holiday. His friend José kindly let us stay in his amazing gaff just outside Madrid (Cribs-esque). I got a good deal on skyscanner.ie (of course) an FR EI combo. On Friday 10th June (I would miss my parents anniversary the next day-whoops) I got the Urbus from Blanchardstown Shopping Centre to DUB for the student price of €4.05 . The Urbus is an experience in itself: a little minibus that rattles over the canyon sized potholes on the back roads to DUB. As we were passing through the Dublin Airport Logistic Park security hut, the barrier came down on the bus! Unfortunately due to these times the Urbus schedule has been cut back drastically.
I did my usual scoot through T2 on the way to T1, confusing DAA staff in the process. Sorry guys, it's the geeks way of life I picked up a few Irish-y gifts for José & then went on me way.
DL Habitat for Humanity 767 seen on my "secret" route to my real terminal (Ooh I feel all Bond now!)
In T1 I picked up a book (The Help - loved it) in Eason's, kind of a little tradition for me now. I got a delicious panini & then headed off to boarding.
B737-800 EI-EBX Communitat Valenciana (3 years old)
Friendly crew welcomed me on board. I noticed that when travelling in general I get so nervous I turn into this unblinking monster that just tries to shove their bag up & nearly killing people in the process. So I calmly walked through the cabin, saw an empty row, nonchalantly put me case in & sat down, relaxed in the window seat. Two other girls joined me, and were both reading the same book as me lol! I was thinking about how happy the author would be if she knew this small weird statistic. I didn't order any food as I was stuffed from that panini (which returns to the story later). But OH! Oh. Yep, the drinks trolley was accosted by me for a sparkling wine. They had none. This is a disgrace. I will never fly FR again. I had to make do with white wine.
Choons & wine.
Obligatory winglet shot
Soon the spoilers did that thud thud thud thing, hilarious to me because it really feels like you're in say...a Urbus on a Dublin back road... The approach was quite squeamish: lots of big drops & a bit of turbulence. Is this because MAD is situated kind of in a valley? I saw some dead IB MD's & a 747 as we flew in. But I also saw THIS:
I could barely contain me excitement! After some time in the bathroom spent making myself look human, I walked over to the massive window & took in the IL96. Wow. After psyching it out for some time, I thought I couldn't possibly wait the 5.5hrs there until I met MIAspotter I slunk away & walked up to a gang of chatting passport security officers who all went quiet & stared at me. Gee, gracias!
I hung out in T4, checking on Christian's VY flight from BCN. It went between being delayed to not showing to showing the wrong time to aghhhhhhhh!!! I hung out here for a little while, listening to two old men having a rousing old chat!
T4 is really cool...
But I was starting to go a bit insane from walking around between arrivals & departures, going up & down in lifts..going to the bathroom...I was too tired to read so I thought: food! I'll get some food. I queued up in this place & saw lots of lovely tapas & so started piling them up onto a plate, which a staff member was not happy about "No madam, etc" in Spanish. Ok. Obviously not a self service place then. So I just begrudgingly picked a jambon y queso bocadillo. The icing on the cake was dropping my suitcase behind me as I walked to the table. If Christians'plane didn't land in the next 5 mins....
While waiting in the arrivals I suddenly got the urge to puke everywhere. I figured this would not be the best way to greet Christian so I ran to the toilet. Now the €50m question: Was it the DUB panini or the MAD bocadillo? Happily, when I emerged, he soon came out of the arrivals, thanks be to Jesus. José picked us up & packed us off to an amazing Brazilian restaurant. I had never seen anything like how they just come to your table with giant knives & cut off as much as you want!
Some bits of Madrid
The Indignados in Sol
We were able to stand in the middle of one of Madrid's busiest roads because protesters were in a giant circle all holding hands!
We took a daytrip out to Toledo, an absolutely beautiful place.
Our Renfe train back to Madrid
To give José a break, we also stayed in a nice 4 * hotel, which I forget the name of but from where we had this view:
Puerta de Europa tower
After four lovely days in the Madrid sun it was time for me to go back to Dublin on EI & Christian back to Barcelona on JK. Luckily our flights were both quite late departures so we just lounged around, eating & spotting planes from José's roof A departing IB A346 really got us all excited for our flights. After security (& poor Chris being de-belted & felt up) we checked out some of the shops. T1 didn't look the Mae West at the time as it was being worked on. I think. We had food in our hands ready to buy but when we saw the extortionate prices we just waited for plane food! We had a great time spotting through the windows, cautiously taking photos.
Christian's JK MD80 back to BCN
Chris's flight left before mine so we said our goodbyes in the JK queue. I checked the old fids...GO TO GATE aghhhh & then I really had to hotfoot it all the way to the other end of the terminal! When I got there nothing was happening but I felt bad for the people on a W6 flight to BBU who got hit with a massive delay. No pink & purple A320 to be seen, however there was a green one.
Well you'd never guess Malachy would look so crazy in the Irish language eh?! Christian siad he got a Maddog home & I got a MhaolMaddog . This A320, along with some ex-IB A320s, are actually oddballs in the EI fleet. -EDS was scheduled to go to Comoros Island Airways but instead EI took him so there are different, slimmer Recaro seats onboard. There was not a large passenger load, in fact I had "European J class" as the middle seat was free. I sat back & relaxed as Malachy taxied out, the cabin illuminated by the sun.
I got the fabled Bacon Bap (€5) from the now defunct Sky Cafe & asked for a sparkling wine (€7.50). The fa didn't hear me & gave me a sparkling water instead. I said "Oh no sorry, it's a sparkling wine please" & she laughed & agreed it was the better choice. I also treated meself to the EI retro model for €10. All too soon we were descending but it did console me with a beautiful sunset over DUB:
I was picked up by me rents, including me mam, who insisted on hobbling all the way to T2 arrivals even though she had just really injured her back.
Madrid was cool & Toledo was spell binding.
FR: 10/10 I'm not docking a mark for no sparkling wine on board! EI: 10/10 Just poifict.
another amusing read, thanks! When I said keep them coming in your previous report comments, I really meant it
Hiya Signol thanks I have a few more!
Quoting signol (Reply 1): Madrid and Toledo look lovely, I've only transferred at MAD and that was in the dark. I really must go back and visit, and I too have a friend there (in Mostoles). Another time
Both are very much worth a visit, & if you have a friend there-even better!
Quoting signol (Reply 1): FR look like normal FR here, cheap and cheerful. Shame about the lack of bubbles, but then you could have a coke if all you wanted was bubbles right?
Yeah FR was fine. Ha well maybe I wanted a bit more than bubbles!
Quoting signol (Reply 1): EI look to be the cut above FR, friendly service and good onboard model shop
Yeah, it was all in all a very relaxing flight, (after the sprint to the gate!) & crew were in a good mood. One of me better EI flights.
thanks for sharing your TR on MAD and lovely pics!!!!
Hi thanks very much for reading
Quoting B738FlyUIA (Reply 4): I've seen this bird a couple of times in ZRH a while ago and was fitted with winglets at that time... (early Summer 2011) A lovely looking aircraft with special livery!!!!!
Absolutely, very nice to see it. It's visited DUB quite a few times.
BA EI FH FR LX RE SK TS VY ZB 3K 5G A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A333 ATR72 B735 B738 B744 B772 MD82 BCN BOH BRU CPH CRL DUB