Friday, July 17, 2009

Worst Travel...Ever!?

Actually, it’s not even close to being the worst travel ever, it just is the worst travel thus far of this trip and fresh on my mind…so we will exaggerate a bit for storytelling sake. It all started with the fact that I never went to sleep after the meet on Wednesday. After night meets it’s always tough to wind down because of adrenaline, extra cups of coffee, and large amounts of redbull. I’m basically a walking energizer bunny. So I stayed up catching up with friends, walking the streets of Luzern, and finding new uses for my laundry bag. By the time I packed up my suitcase and tried to lay down it was a hour and a half before I needed to be up. As we all know, the less time you know you have to sleep, the more time you spend worrying that you don’t have a lot of time and not actually being able to fall asleep. So I laid there, glanced at the clock a good 10 or 12 times, and turned off my alarm clock before it went off. Thus began my day of travel from Luzern, Switzerland to Zaragoza, Spain.

I walked to the train station and caught the 8am train that would get me to the Zurich airport in about an hour. Already I figure this to be a big score on my behalf because the shuttle they had me taking that the meet provided was leaving at 5:40am…a whole 5 hours before my flight!!! Anyone who knows how I like to travel, would understand how I find this to be unacceptable. So, I take off on the first flight to Frankfurt in a middle seat after they said I had requested a window for sleeping purposes. No biggie. I spend 2 ½ hours in Frankfurt and then I fly to Madrid. I finally have a window seat and look forward to some good rest. Except this seat doesn’t recline. My luck. So the extended nap that I thought I was going to get was more like fitful attempts at trying to find a comfortable position and failing miserably. I land in Madrid and I’m just happy to finally be in Spain. Except I’m not in the part of Spain I need to be in. The city I’m going to, with it’s small airport serviced by only 3 airlines, cost about $1200 to fly directly there so I’m going the budget route.

Luckily I have someone picking me up at the Madrid airport to drive me to the main train station that is supposedly about half hour away and then I’ll take a train to Zaragoza. But first we wait. We wait for someone else flying in and then we wait while he tries to remember where he parked the car. This takes a good 30 minutes. And once we are leaving the airport, our non-english speaking driver gets a call that someone else has just arrived that we might as well take with us, so we circle back to pick up one more passenger. I then proceeded to go on the scariest ride of my entire life. I literally saw my life flash before my eyes at least 50 times. The guy drove like a maniac. And what’s worse…he drove like a lost maniac. He didn’t know where the train station actually was and proceeded to get lost and go in circles over and over and over again.

So we arrive at the train station after the train we were supposed to be on has already departed. We change our tickets and hop on the next train leaving and barely make that one with minutes to spare. Except those few minutes somehow turn into an hour, as the train is delayed for Lord knows what reason…they gave one it just didn’t happen to be in a language I understood. We finally get moving and arrive at our destination 2 hours later. The best news I hear all day is when we step off the train and the lady there to meet us tells us that our hotel is connected to the train station. Finally…music to my ears. For 15 hours of travel you’d think I would have made it back home.


Bianca said...

Awww, Bri! I'm SO sorry. You deserve chocolate and a coffee :)

Marissa B said...

But think of all the yummy gelato in Spain!!

Erin Michell said...

Better late than never :-/.....Traveling ( i.e. airports, planes, trains, cabs, etc....) is always fun but its great once you get to your destination :-)

Anonymous said...

Worst travel but great victory in Monaco. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Worst travel ever but great victory in Zaragoza I meant. Congrats!