Madrid! ... or so we thought ...

Trip Start Dec 20, 2008
Trip End Jan 12, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Canary Islands,
Friday, January 9, 2009

Our wake up call had us up at 06:00 hours - plenty of time to get up, ready and off to Tenerife Norte aeropuerto (you see, we are on the south-western side - so a long journey for us).   Anyhow, back to the story ... we made good time getting ready, packing and loading up the rental car.  We left Pearly Grey by 07:00 hours - perfect - couldnīt timed it out better.  We drove in the dark, making our way up the eastern side of the island on the lovely TF-1 Autopista Sur - the only really great autoroute on the island.   We arrived shortly after 08:00 hours at TFN and had plenty of time to drop off our car at Hertz, check in and relax.  We even had time for a nice coffee!  Well, to make a long story short - we did check-in and passed through security and waited and waited and waited for our flight to get a gate assignment.  We were told at check-in that our flight was delayed for a couple of hours due to the pilot strike going on at Iberia airlines.  We accepted that, spotted a great place to wait and watched as other airlines were taking off on inter-island destinations.  We watched the boards and our 11:25 a.m. flight was delayed to 13:00, then to 14:00, then to 14:40, then ohhhhh 15:00, then ohhhhhhhhhhh 17:00 etc., etc., etc., - getting the picture?  Tenerife Norte Aeropuerto was suddenly becoming home!   At around 13:00 hours, an Iberia agent was passing out vouchers (10 euros each) for you to get a snack and a coffee - but no update on our delayed flight.

Around 14:30, we were wondering about our flight as no new updates had occurred.  Then, we were wondering where all the other people were.  We were flying on an airbus 340, which holds about 400 passengers.  Why were we the only ones at our supposed gate?  Anthony went off an asked a guy in a suit (happened to be an Iberia agent) and of course, we learned on this trip that you only get information if you keep on asking (no one ever would voluntarily give up said info) and he replied to us that our flight had indeed now been cancelled due to extreme weather conditions in Madrid ... ?????????????????? ... so, we were told to go back to the Iberia ticket booth (exiting the gates, back through security, etc.etc.etc.) and then we found ALL the people.  Loads of them, all in line to get a new flight to Madrid.  

To make a VERY long story short ... we stood in line at 15:00 hours and at 21:00 hours (6 hours later), we had new tickets in hand.  We are still in Tenerife ... not in Madrid ... we are here until Sunday night, when the only flight we could get, leaves TFN at 20:00 hours, Sunday evening - arriving in Madrid after midnight. Then, on Monday morning, we have to hike back to the airport (in Madrid) to catch our flight to JFK (new york city).  Now, this may seem all doom and gloom ... but in fact, we were one of the very LUCKY ones ... We still are able to get out of Spain on Monday for our scheduled flight to JFK.  There were others that are not able to get out of Tenerife until Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday NEXT WEEK!  unbelievable really ... we do count ourselves as one of the lucky ones.  In addition, Iberia gave us a taxi voucher to take us to Santa Cruz (capital city of Tenerife) and a voucher for the Hotel Taburiente for 2 nights (basically, until our flights leave) AND full board (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner included).  Anthony is smiling as he doesnīt have to blow the dust off his wallet for two full days in Tenerife.

So - this is probably going to be one of my last entries into the Travel Blog ... as basically we are going to feast all day long in Santa Cruz, until tomorrow night - when our flight departs.  We are now in the heart of Santa Cruz where there are plenty of shoppes with 50% off sales ... so I am going to log off for now and GO SHOPPING!!!

Hasta Luego! and a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mom Baskey from Tenerife Norte

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