Our actual journey to Granada was a bit extended. On July 4th we took an early morning flight out of Seattle to Minneapolis and drove the three hours to Jason’s hometown of West Union, Iowa. We spent a great week there with Jason’s family, catching up with his mom, sister, brothers, and their spouses. Walks around the park behind Grandma’s house, daily visits to the town pool, and golfing on the “exclusive” course in town were highlights for all of us, but the best part was relaxing with family and catching our breath for the next big step.
On July 11th we drove back to MSP, and caught our flight headed to Madrid after a four hour layover in Frankfurt. We are a little concerned because we were supposed to enter Spain by July 15th, but since we ended up going through customs in Frankfurt on July 12th, our passports were only stamped there, not when we arrived in Spain. We are hoping that because Germany is an EU country it will count (which is the very reason we didn’t have to go through customs again in Spain), but we will find out more this week when we apply for our residence cards.
After a delay receiving our luggage and two subway rides later, we made it to the center of Madrid, with just about a kilometer walk left to arrive at our apartment, home for the next couple of days. Coming up out of the subway tunnel on to Puerta del Sol in Madrid was a great introduction to Spanish culture. Gabi wanted to know if it was a holiday because there were so many people about and everyone seemed so happy. It was just a regular Tuesday night. Jason’s response was, “Welcome to Spain!” We had no problem finding dinner that first night, even though it was 11 p.m. before we even began searching for something to eat. Chocolate and churros the next morning, then a trip to the local waterpark, many meals, much helado, the Prado museum (kids could have skipped that one!), and dinner with a former co-worker of Jason’s and his family, kept us busy until it was time to leave for Granada on Friday morning.
Carting our luggage up and down subway tunnel stairs first thing in the morning was tough, but we were able to make our 8 a.m. bus to Granada. It was actually a nice bus ride, with screens in the seat backs for entertainment, and with very few passengers on board we were able to spread out. LOVELY views of endless olive tree orchards, then a winding road up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains led us to the bus station in Granada. It took two taxis to take us all and our luggage to the meeting place with our landlord, Carmen. After leading us through some very narrow streets that don’t allow car access with each of us dragging our luggage and backpacks down numerous cobblestone stairs, Carmen showed us our home. It’s as nice, if not better than we expected. As I type I’m sitting in our third floor (air conditioned!!!!) bonus room looking straight across at the Alhambra Palace.
Now that we’ve made it to Granada, we hope to spend the next week getting settled in our new home, learning the neighborhood, completing all the rest of the necessary paperwork and just enjoying our new city.
PS: Robbie has created a YouTube channel to document our adventures on camera. Search for Wilbur Travel Forum (WTF, get it? Robbie’s dig at his parents and this whole adventure…). You can find the first video at this link.