Danielle Angeloni is a singer/songwriter inspired by culture, traveling, and life. She loves collaborative writing, learning, and performing and is honored to be finishing her Degree in Professional Music and Minor in Music Technology and Innovation at Berklee’s Valencia, Spain Campus
At the end of this post I’ll bring to light some tips for traveling in Europe…all things I learned the hard way! But first… I am currently finding Madrid to be one of the most walk-able and English friendly in Spain! For a minute I thought I had become AWESOME at my Spanglish, but then I remembered that most people also speak English here! Going to Valencia tomorrow will be the true test of how much Spanish I’ve retained.
After checking in at Way Hostel just right outside of El Puerto del Sol I easily found my way to El Mercado de San Miguel, where I was reunited with my most favorite tapas. On the way I ran into this typical Spanish café with an extraordinary name 😉 Unfortunately it was closed for “siesta” time. “Siesta” is the Spanish word for a nap. The Spanish take their naps very seriously- most restaurants and clothing stores close from 2pm-6pm and then re-open until later in the evening. From there I walked to Parque de el Retiro, a grand park on the eastern side of Madrid strongly resembling Central Park in NYC.
Tomorrow morning I complete my trip and land in Valencia! It seems with every European flight I learn a new rule about the airline’s check-in regulations. Here are some helpful facts per airline:
• You MUST print your boarding pass or you will have to pay 70+ Euros. If you buy your ticket through a second party like Travel Advisor, be sure to thoroughly read the confirmation emails. You may be assigned a temporary email address where your boarding pass/Ryan-air check-in info is being sent and be unaware of it!
• FOLLOW CARRY-ON LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS EXACTLY. Unlike American Airlines or US Airlines which make you check your luggage at the gate if it is too big, Ryan-air will make you pay the checked luggage fee for checking it at the gate.
• Always check your flight time last minute, especially if you are flying with-in Spain. In my experience, Iberia has many flights within Spain and you may be able to hop on an earlier flight or they may put you on one unexpectedly!
• FOLLOW CARRY-ON LUGGAGE REQUIREMENTS EXACTLY. Some times they weigh the Carry-on luggage if it looks heavy!
General Connecting Flights:
• When flying from America to Europe you may be tempted to buy a cheaper ticket even if it has a 22 hour layover. Be sure that your original boarding pass has your END destination on it (example: Valencia, NOT Madrid). Otherwise, you will have to re-check your bags, and pay for them all over again! The general rule is that if your connecting flight is within 24 hours of you landing in your connecting city, you do not have to pay to re-check the bags. However, in my experience there is not great communication between different airlines on different continents.