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Saturday, July 10, 2010

14th Stop - Madrid

Who would have ever thought that traffic in London would be so bad on a Tuesday morning? Obviously not me. At least I had my new GPS that I bought used on eBay the day before. As it brought me closer to Portsmouth, it was clearly indicating that I go in the opposite direction and not follow the “Portsmouth Docks” sign. As it was very early in our relationship, I wasn’t sure if I could trust it to go all the way... so I went towards the docks. Bad idea.

A stop at a hotel for directions and in a MacDonald parking lot to make a phone call via Skype later, and I realized I had totally gone in the wrong direction. Of course, the GPS was laughing at me as it displayed an ETD of 25 minutes and inferred that I would probably miss my ferry to Spain. Time to test the limits of the Mercedes on British highways!

I made it, just in time, got settled into my cabin and went out on the deck for lunch. Instead of taking the short ferry and driving through France, I took the more expensive option of taking a ferry to Santander, Spain. In the end, this actually worked out quite nicely. I worked on a translation, which more then compensated for the additional cost, got to sleep, and saved more than a 1,000 km of CO2.

I initially hadn’t planned to stop in Madrid but I got a message from a colleague, Virginia, inviting me for a few days if I happened to pass through. Ok, why not? I met Virginia at a translation conference last summer in Ohrid, Macedonia and was looking forward to talking to her about business. It turns out that she was recently promoted to Senior Resources Manager, though we both agreed that Super Senior Resources Manager would be a better title! While I was there, she had another offer to take on more responsibilities in quality control. Good luck Virginia, I know you’ll be great!

I didn’t do much tourism in Madrid. I mostly caught up on some work I had to do, went to the pool, and visited with Virginia and her roommate Julia. It was very nice to be in Spain for their semi-final victory against Germany.

I want to thank Virginia for hosting me for three nights and three bednets and look forward to seeing you again in Prague maybe!

Next stop: Tangier, Morocco!

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