Today marks 3 months since I arrived home from my vacation in Spain. This post about my trip is long overdue, but this is as good as time as any to finally sit down and reflect on my trip. It was an amazing vacation, and I know I'm going to want to look back on it someday and remember everything I did, so here it goes: Costa del Sol, Spain, December 2010.
My dad and stepmom surprised my brother and me late in the summer by announcing that we would be going to Spain for a week over winter break. I was (and still am) itching to go to Europe, so I jumped at the chance, and my excitement grew more and more as the trip approached.
Finally, Christmas day came and we boarded our 10 hour flight from DFW to Madrid. Since I had never been on such a long flight before, I was pretty nervous. Luckily, the set-up was pretty nice, the food was good, and I didn't find it too difficult to get comfortable. Plus, we were flying overnight, so sleeping wasn't an impossible task.
Personal movie viewer on the plane:
We landed in Madrid the next morning, got through customs, made a pit stop, and headed to our gate for the 1 hour flight to Màlaga. This is when I first experienced a difference between American and European social customs. Personal space does not translate well, apparently. In the U.S., it is normal to give everyone their own space, but this rule does not apply in Spain. Boarding the plane was like trying to move cattle. There was NO order whatsoever! Everyone just tried to board at one time, and pushing, elbowing, and shoving was the only way to guarantee you got through those doors...even though everyone had an assigned seat.
Landing in Madrid:
The flight was very different than what we're used to as Americans. We flew on Iberia, which is one of the leading Spanish airlines. The planes are not as well maintained as U.S. commercial planes are, there are no refreshments served at all, and if you're luggage fits, put it there, regardless of regulations. All in all, the hour-long flight was fine. I really didn't care that I didn't have a soda in a clear plastic cup or that my suitcase was taking up all of my leg room. I was in Europe, and that's all that mattered.
Once we landed and got our rental car, we made the 45 minute drive to our hotel in Estepona. The drive was beautiful! The sky and water were so blue, and there were mountains everywhere. We got to our hotel, checked in, and I passed out almost immediately. I was so jet lagged, and I wanted to wake up the next morning ready to go!
Sunset from our hotel room on the first night:
We spent the first day of our trip in Granada. Stay tuned!