The trip was packed with loads of excitement, adventure and silliness. It seems that Mary Beth and I end up finding ourselves swallowed up in laughter quite often while travelling together.
Day 1: Madrid
After a relatively uneventful trip - minus our bikes being detained in Heathrow, typical - we found plenty of excitement in the first few hours of arrival in Madrid.
- Opting to take a Taxi instead of waiting another hour + at the airport for other athletes to arrive the driver starts to pull away at high speed whilst the door was still open. Fortunately, Emma Davies (Ireland), pulled her leg in quickly and slammed the door closed before limbs were lost. No one else in the car spoke any Spanish at all, so I was immediately forced to start translating as the driver tried to carry on a conversation with me. I think I understood about every 5th word.
- MB and I checked into our room. She had asked for us to stay on the 2nd floor so that we wouldn't have to rely on the very small, we are talking standing shower small, elevators on race day. One of them could snugly fit one person and a bike while the other managed to tightly cram 2 bikes and 2 people in. Thus, race morning it took a while to snag an elevator. We made our way to our room, 503, and started unpacking. I brought basically nothing with me. I don't think I've ever packed so light. Then, I look over and see MB, who asks to use both hangers, and proceeds to pull her closet out of her suitcase. I'm not sure how long she was planning to stay for...
MB and her clothes.
- Now, it was time to go for a run. Mind you, it was completely light out and about 9pm. So we suited up, thought nothing of the time, and headed off to the park where the race would be held. Yes, we both wore our sunglasses despite the time and quickly realized that we probably wouldn't need them. Once in the park MB got her first look at the prostitutes. I'm not sure if she believed me until she got her first topless flash. Amidst laughter we kept running and were soon after cat called by a group of boys. One of whom declared his love for us as we passed on our way back towards the hotel. As if that were not enough, we had about left the park when we came across a gentleman urinating publicly. Not trying to conceal himself at all he had just stopped on the edge of the dirt path next to the road to relieve himself. Apparently, like prostitution, this is not an issue there?!
- After a quick trip to the Kebab shop a few doors down, which was amazing (I ate from there everyday!), we settled in for the evening. MB did some stretching... and some contorsionist moves... and we watched the German station which was airing a show called "Are you hot?" The premise of which involved men and women walking a runway while 3 judges decided if they were hot or not. It was quite humorous as we only understood about 3 words of the entire show. I think it beats any game show we have on in the USA.
The "stretching routine".
- Then it was time for bed. A very broken sleep involving a 3 hour hiatus from sleep between 4 and 7am. Got to love adjusting to time changes!!
All of that and we had only just arrived to Madrid. Plenty more to come in my next post!!