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(In Spanish; English translation below – Guide to Ryanair flights at bottom of entry:)

Me desperté muy temprano en la mañana y me dirigí directamente al parque del Retiro. Caminé todo el parque, tomando fotos de los lagos, las estatuas y los muchos gatos. Quería dormir aquí, pero que cierran las puertas durante las seis horas de la noche y tuve miedo de que no se me permitiría quedarme. Sin embargo, me encontré con un hombre que dormía al lado de un monumento y me di cuenta de que era posible. Lo bueno de Madrid es que esta sección es muy limpio y hay un montón de seguridad y la policía. El aparcamiento es gratuito y seguro y muy hermosa.

Tomé el metro y caminé por unos pocos lugares en Madrid, al igual que muchos de los parques y de la Plaza de España. Me senté un rato en un Starbucks y me reí porque el barista escrito mi nombre como “Keynat”. Una vez que me quedé satisfecho con mi día en Madrid (domingos son más lentos que mi larga noche del sábado con sus animadas bares y vida nocturna), me decidí a tomar el metro hasta Barajas. Pasé algún tiempo en el aeropuerto tarjetas postales de compra y las personas de observación. Yo también he leído mi libro para empezar a pensar en francés nuevo. El vuelo fue llamado, todo el mundo hizo una cola, y esperé hasta que finalmente se le dio un asiento al azar en la parte trasera del avión. Yo prefiero la parte de atrás, es el más seguro, pero a nadie más le gusta la parte de atrás por alguna razón.

España se ve muy seca y desnuda del cielo como lo hace desde un tren. Marsella, por el contrario, era increíblemente azul y hermoso. Llegué en el aeropuerto en una hora, tomé un autobús gratuito a la estación de tren, y esperé dos horas para mi tren a Arles. En Arles, estaba demasiado cansado para hacer nada más que hablar con mi familia francesa, cenar y dormir. Es Día de la Bastilla, pero la mayoría de los eventos que sucedió ayer. Yo estaba tan feliz de bañarse y dormir después de un largo fin de semana!

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I woke up very early in the morning and walked directly to the Retiro park.  I walked the entire park, taking photos of the lakes, the statues, and the many cats.  I wanted to sleep here, but they lock the gates during six hours of the night and I was afraid that I would not be allowed to stay.  However, I found a man sleeping beside a monument and realized that it was possible.  The nice thing about Madrid is that this section is very clean and there is a lot of security and police.  The park was free and safe and very beautiful.

I took the metro and walked through a few places in Madrid, like many of the parks and the Plaza of Spain.  I sat for a while at a Starbucks and laughed because the barista spelled my name as “Keynat”.  Once I was satisfied with my day in Madrid (Sundays are slower than my long Saturday night with its busy bars and nightlife), I decided to take the metro to Barajas.  I spent some time in the airport buying postcards and observing people.  I also read my book to start thinking in French again.  The flight was called, everyone made a queue, and I waited until I was finally given a random seat at the back of the plane.  I prefer the back; it is the safest, but no one else likes the back for some reason.

Spain looks very dry and bare from the sky like it does from a train.  Marseille, on the contrary, was incredibly blue and beautiful.  I arrived at the airport in an hour, took a free bus to the train station, and waited for two hours for my train to Arles.  In Arles, I was too tired to do anything more than talk to my French family, eat dinner, and sleep.  It is Bastille Day, but most of the events happened yesterday.  I was so happy to bathe and sleep after a long weekend!

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One of many photos of El Retiro as the sun came up.

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A shot of a corner building as I walked through Madrid.

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Marseille from the sky.

 

AND NOW A QUICK GUIDE TO RYANAIR:
1. Print your tickets out before you get there or you will be fined.
2. Make sure you have one carryon of the given dimensions or you will be fined.
3. There is no free food or drinks on the plane; you have to pay for everything.
4. Basically, Ryanair is cheap because they find ways to get you if you’re not careful on everything else.
5. If you want to reserve a seat, you have to pay.  I didn’t pay for the reservation, I just got in the queue and took an available seat.  The reserved ones are indicated by paper and roping when you board and the flight attendants help you find seats as needed.
6. When you get to the airport, if it’s indicated by your nationality that you need a visa check, you just need to go to the separate counter for stamps to go through security.  You only need to check in if you check in a bag.  You need the stamp to pass the visa checkpoint.
7. The line to wait in is ridiculous, but apparently 90% or more of Ryanair flights land on time or early (as we were told by a trumpet playing and an announcement upon arrival).

Hope that helps!  Enjoy, and sign up for the newsletter if you want e-mails about one-way trips for as low as one euro!