It started the evening before when I couldn’t check in on the BA app. As soon as the check in failed I KNEW that the flight was overbooked and we were going to have troubles. But being the good pal I am, I didn’t voice my concern over the matter to Claire, because what is the point in both of us worrying about it?
So we get up at 4.45 in the morning and Les (my dad – the good lad that he is) drops us off at Heathrow after making a string of wrong turnings in the car which I will put down to lack of sleep and not senility. We try to check in on one of the machines in T5 and unsurprisingly it doesn’t work, because we can’t check in, because there are no damned seats left. So, we head over and join the queue that you join to be told that you can’t get on your flight. As I am sure you can imagine there is not a single queue in the British history of queuing that moves slower than this one does, a ‘snails pace’ does not even begin to describe the rate of progression. Everyone in the queue is angrily tapping their passport against their hand and is looking for the argument that we all love to have with the innocent employee of the massive company whose fault it is certainly not.
Approximately a millennia later we get to the front of the queue and low and behold; our flight has been over booked and we cant get on (the audience gasps in surprise, not). We get told we have to wait until the gate closes and come back, and at that point we will find out whether we get on our flight. We are issued with a £5 voucher to spend on food and drink (for our inconvenience) and head to the nearest cafe. No sooner have I picked up an extortionately priced bottle of OJ does the lady from the desk come hurtling over to us and tells us to ‘HAUL ASS because you got a flight to catch bitchez’. Obviously she doesn’t say that but I like to think that’s what she’d say if this were a film. So we run. We run all the way through T5 to the gate. No word of a lie, I am pouring with sweat by the time we plonk ourselves down in our seats. The man next next to us looks at me aghast like I’m some kind of freak show (which I guess I kind of was at this point) and goes back to watching Narcos on his iPad with a distinct look of distaste on his face. Whatever mate. Get with the programme, Narcos is sooooooo last season (all puns intended).
We make it to Madrid and get the Metro from the airport to the hotel, because we like to think we are cool well travelled types, and then climb up a hill which I don’t lightly say was definitely more of a climb than Mt Snowdon and more than likely resulted in altitude sickness. Into the lobby of the hotel we go and I shit you not, it had duvets as a lighting feature. Duvets??? Whatever next?!
We had a quick shower and bounced straight out for our Segway tour; which I was a tad apprehensive about, seeing as I have the innate ability to make a fool of myself stood still, let alone on a set of wheels that rely on balance (of which I have limited reserves of). I got on fine with the Segway after emitting a few small sqwarks of terror initially and off we rolled to see the sights with our guide Angel – no joke.
Now, I would be lying if I said I understood what the bloke was saying and if I remember rightly he was half Venezuelan and half Spanish, which meant he was rather difficult to understand. But we nodded along and pretended we understood every word he was saying because we are polite and British. Plus, he did take some terrible double chin shots of us in front of a palace, so I can’t really moan. He also recommended an incredible place for dinner which we went to in the evening and ate all of the empanadas and paella, and drank all of the wine. Yummo. Nothing like kind of local knowledge to get you a good place to eat eh? I’ll be hitting him up for a good place to eat if I ever venture to Venezuela.
Oh, and we saw a unicorn on a Segway.