Exploring a bit of Madrid- Widebodies and Short Routes
- Let’s do a challenge
- Off to Heathrow
- Points to be Made vs Economy Class and Beyond – Two idiots race across Heathrow
- Heathrow Terminal 5 and The British Airways Galleries South Lounge
- IB3167 London Heathrow to Madrid (BUSINESS CLASS)
- Crowne Plaza Madrid Airport
- Exploring a bit of Madrid
- Back to Barajas and the Iberia Lounges
- BA461 Madrid to London Heathrow
- To the trains!
- Two sides of the IAG coin
Exploring a bit of Madrid
With an hour less or so than I had actually wanted (mainly because I overslept), I headed on the hotel shuttle back to Madrid T4.
Pro-tip. Actually, head to Madrid 1-2-3. It’s a shorter ride into the city.
I reached the airport, and got out of the shuttle, and begun the hike to the local train station. Now, there are choices to be had when travelling to/from Madrid Airport – mainly because there’s a big surcharge in departing or arriving from the airport of €3 each way.
So that’s €6 you have to factor in before you start. Next, you have to pony up for fares, which start at €1.50 each way.
Now, if you’re day tripping into the city – or having an extended layover in the city, I would seriously consider one of the visitor cards. Not only does it include all travel around the city, but it also includes the fare excess that is required to use the airport stations.
A useful feature to say the least – and starts at €8.40 for the day. You will need to get this from the tourist office next to the ticket machines.
And yes, they accept contactless payments.
With a 50 minute ride to Sol (the starting point of my adventure), I settled in for the joy of metro riding. And the first thing I noted – was USB Power sockets in the train.
We’ll come back to Power sockets in a bit.
I followed Google Maps directions (always a bit dicey), hoping it would drop me where I wanted to go near Place de Sol. Not that I knew where I was going, because muggins here didn’t do his research.
What’s that the term – the more things change?
A couple of subway rides later, and I was in the wrong place. Apparently, line 2 between Noviciado and Sol was closed.
Rather than worry about changing my travel plans and spending more time underground, I headed out of the ground – and begun the slow walk to Place de Sol.
Now, Madrid was grey – considering the weather in Europe – unsurprising. Alas, on the way, Tim dropped me a message that there were protestors in the area – mainly moaning about Cataluna.
And guess what the hell I ran into the head of.
I. Cannot. Make. This. Up.
I moved away as fast I as I could reasonably walk, passing by the Metropole (which looked stunning)… and towards Place de Sol.
And it’s a nice enough central plaza.
This is also where all distances in Spain are measured from, with their Kilometre 0 here.
Alas, what is also here are those in character costumes. Put it like this: if you’ve ever been to Times Square in New York, and saw a lot of characters offering to have their pictures taken for a tip – you’ll know what I’m talking about.
None the less, it’s a nice walk to the Opera house from here – passing some local performers (including some opera on the street), and just as short as a walk to the Royal Palace.
Well, I did something cultural at least.
Opera in the street
Of course, street performers were out, doing mostly the still life sort of thing. There was also a harpist too – which was very entertaining.
And also in a way – very peaceful. Even in the hectic environment.
I had a walk around the area – but also kept an eye on the clock. With Tim heading back to the airport early to review both Iberia Lounges, I said I would have a look too.
I, therefore, headed back to the Opera Metro station for the indirect ride back to the airport.
One thing of note I saw in the Madrid Metro was the number of USB points in it. And the number of friend faces (almost Kawaii style).
Whilst I didn’t have voltmeter with me, I did test this at the Nuevos Ministerios station. And the phone liked power. From what I could see they were USB 3.0 power outlets – so in theory – up to 2.1mHa outputs – or what used to be called “fast charging”
It’s a great passenger experience thing to see for those who are short on power and need to top up their charge – and considering the wait, there may be on Line 8 between Nuevos Ministerios and Airport T4 – not a bad thing to take advantage of.
When boarding the train, some useful hints
- If you’re heading to T123 – you need to be in the 2nd or 3rd car of the train for the easiest access to the escalators
- If you’re heading to T4/T4S, you need to be in car 1 (the front of the train heading to the airport) to get to the escalators first.
- Also, remember to account for the €3 exit fee in case you haven’t got a tourist card.
Overall: An interesting morning out – which would had been better if I had woken up earlier. It’s certainly another city I’d like to visit again.
Next: Back to Barajas and the Iberia Lounges
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