I really tried to make it to Ireland. Like, really tried. But some force of nature seems to not have been in agreement with me on that. This post is going to be a little bit backwards, because the last 18hrs have felt like a bad TV show where everything that could go wrong does go wrong, and it would be laughable if it weren't so incredibly pitiful, and the pain is fresh so I'm just going to go for it. I write this from the airport in Madrid in the 5hrs I have before my flight, so there's that. But at this point I will take way too early over a little too late every single time.
I left my hostel for the taxi stop down the street at 11.25, having called two taxi companies to send me a taxi (just in case). My bus for Madrid was supposed to leave at 12.15, and I was only a five minute taxi ride from the station - it would have been a 25 minute walk and my bags are heavy, so leave me alone. I left myself plenty of time to wait for a taxi, arrive at the bus station, and actually board my bus. Or at least I would have, if either of the taxi companies had followed through with those taxis they said they sent. After several calls to each of the companies to send more taxis and a clock moving faster than I ever thought possible, I was preeeeetty concerned. Apparently it showed on my face, because the nice man working as a waiter across the street brought his own phone out and started calling cab companies as well. By 12.12, I had messaged my mom and my friend Lára to tell them that basically my life was over. Obviously the situation was not so dire as that, but it kind of felt that way. I headed back to my hostel actually praying that someone was there to open the door and let me in to use the computer. After several aggressively distressed knocks, they let me in and I explained the situation. Let me just say before this gets any farther that this is one of the absolute best hostels I have ever stayed at (Hostel One Cathedral in Seville) and I am beyond lucky I got stuck here and not elsewhere. After I - tearfully - explained what had happened, they let me onto the public computer, whose Wifi was, of course, not working. Luckily they let me onto their work computer which was indeed working. Mind you before I even came back I had tried to call my bus company, the bus station, and obviously the taxi services, to absolutely no avail. So on my arrival, Lára (from her house in Ireland) and I started looking for ways to me to get into Madrid in time to make my flight. Madrid is a four hour drive from Seville. It's only a 2.5hr train ride, and it's 6hrs by bus. The problem was that I was already on the latest possible bus (or train) out of the city for the night. Being that I am in Europe and there are always at least three ways to get where you want to go at any given time, I checked Blablacar (kind of like a long distance Uber but the drivers post their trips) for any overnight trips into Madrid. I had already been getting loads of notifications for posts of trips leaving on the 18th (today) into Madrid because I had signed up for them when I was still looking at booking my transportation months ago. Chrissy and I had been making jokes about how annoying the notifications were. Remember that bit, it's important. I found a Blablacar. (Fun fact I have to type this part out again because my iPad just deleted it as if my life isn't already enough of a joke and I need to relive this yet again). There was a car leaving at 1.20am for Madrid, which was in 45 minutes, so I registered for the trip and called the girl who had posted it. By the way I'm not dumb for reserving without contacting her, you have to pay before you get their number. So I called. I called again. I messaged. The girl helping me called. She also messaged. Nothing. 1.20am came and went. At this point I had been holding back tears for like an hour, and apparently that much was evident, because my helper offered me a free bed in the AC-less room where some of the staff slept. I almost broke down right then and there I was so grateful. She soon left to meet friends who had gone out for one of the staff member's last night and I was left to my seemingly impossible problem solving. Mind you by now I had been in constant contact with my mom and dad and sisters who all should have been asleep hours before, and Lára who had an interview this morning that she could have been preparing for if not for my minor mental break. I love these people. I can't even tell you how grateful I am for them. Do not have the words. Partly because my brain hurts from the ball of stress that was my life for the past several hours, but whatever. At this point my brain was mush but I tried contacting my airline to change my flight. As luck would have it the numbers posted online did not work or were not in service because of the late hour. Awesome. This was the part where everyone was telling me to go the hell to sleep before my brain exploded, so I did. Naturally by the time I got upstairs and changed and ready for bed, the trash truck was coming around. More awesome. Like a never ending pile of awesome. By 2.30am I was asleep so that I could wake up at 7.30 this morning and re-make plans to get to freakin' Ireland.
I woke up from my 4.5hrs of beautiful sleep to the crashing realization that I was not in Dublin with Lára, instead I was sweating in bed with no AC and no way to get to Ireland. So I headed downstairs - much to the surprise of the hostel morning receptionist who, considering she knew I was supposed to have left last night, was shocked to see me - and hopped on the computer. I immediately went to call Ryanair to cancel my flight and reschedule. They didn't like that. Apparently I had to have called at least four hours before my flight. Was Ryanair available or open in order to talk at least four hours before my flight? No. I said as much to the woman on the other end of the phone as she repeated that she could not do anything to help me. In this moment I was incredibly happy that I speak Spanish so that I could handle this myself instead of needing help. Regardless, this lovely woman was not going to be any help, so I'll be calling again to figure things out when I get to Lára's. Anyway, at this point I knew I had to buy an entirely new flight and train ticket - no time for a bus anymore. I found one with Iberia - I refused to give Ryanair any more of my money - and looked for a train ticket. Par for the course at this point, my credit card would not work on the Spanish train system website. HOW NEAT IS THAT? I ran upstairs and got my bags together, called for yet another taxi (it actually came this time) and went to buy my ticket at the station. I arrived in time for a 10.45 bus which got me to the train station 45 minutes outside of the airport at 12. I proceeded to take two more trains, making friends with a Canadian who spoke no Spanish and could not find her way to the airport. I felt like a mother duck, but in her defense, they do not make it easy to get to this airport. At some point I formed some sort of message chain with several other spaniards who were also attempting to reach the airport, and eventually we all made it to the terminal. Talk about a process. I found my gate about the same time I found out that it would be another 30€ to check my bag. Freaking. Awesome. Literally just yesterday I was saying that I needed to make sure I was watching my budget. The irony is so real it's painful. But I made it. And now here I am, on my 5h layover from hell, waiting for my flight to be given a gate so that I can run and jump onto the plane like it's a long lost friend. But that means I have time to tell you about my time in Seville, a time in which I was young and innocent and still had faith in cab services. I joke. But seriously. Will never let this happen again.
Until next time (in like an hour when I'm done writing about Seville) lovelies!!
About the Author
Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
USA, Mexico, Iceland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Poland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece
The Baltic countries,
if Covid allows for it (Latvia, Estonia, maybe a stop in Finland)
(in August in the US)