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Trip Report Strange trip report on my trip to Spain.

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I'm not sure what I think about my recent Spain trip because there were so many disappointments and twists, but what the hey---if I decide not to finish it, I won't. And if you decide not to read it, that's okay too.

I've been to Spain several times and have always enjoyed it, but this time there were some specific things I wanted to experience that I'd missed before--among them being the casas colgadas in Cuenca, the peaks of Montserrat and Escalonia, the boys' choir at the monastery there, the Alcazaba in Málaga, along with more of the Semana Santa processions and especially the Spanish legion. I also wanted to see the Sardana in front of the cathedral at Barcelona and to wander the streets of Barcelona.

I'd used frequent flyer miles to schedule a trip from Seattle through Frankfurt and then to Madrid. This plan got off to a horrible terrible no good very bad start when Lufthansa had an previously unannounced strike and my flight was cancelled. Since I'd made my reservations through United Mileage Plus using the aforesaid miles, Lufthansa wouldn't reschedule my flight. Turns out the United people wouldn't do it for me either. They told me I had to call Mileage Plus and make new reservations through them.

I called and was on hold for 20 minutes or so, then gave up and went whining back to the United counter. They insisted that they couldn't do it--something to do with their computers, so I went back to Mileage plus and was on hold for half an hour or 45 minutes before I spoke to a real, live, human person. She got busy looking for new flights, which took about half an hour when suddenly....the call broke off!

I was distraught--ready to become hysterical. I didn't know if my cheapie phone would hold its charge through another hour and a half stint on the Mileage Plus line, and my charger cord was in my checked baggage with Lufthansa. It is possible that at this point I MAY HAVE RAISED MY VOICE because a lovely lady standing nearby told me that she had an extra phone charger cord and I could borrow hers. She said that if she saw me later, I could give it back. If not, "Merry Christmas."

I was saved! I called MIleage plus again and was on hold for the usual half an hour or 45 minutes when I talked to another representative, giving her the flight information that the previous agent had tentatively given me. She was able to confirm those reservations, but unfortunately by that time it was too late to make the first flight. She made them for the next day. Since my phone was charged up by this time, I was able to lend the borrowed charger cord to a young guy whose phone needed a charge. I was pleased about that.

I then went to see if I could snag my bag from Lufthansa, and not only was I able to get my bag, but Lufthansa volunteered vouchers for a room for the night and $25 worth of dinner. Later, at dinner I talked to other passengers who'd lost their Lufthansa flight and I lent one of them the magic phone charger cord. I was reminded of "the sisterhood of the traveling pants." The sisterhood/brotherhood of the traveling phone charger.

The next day I got up at 4:00 a.m. to take the 7:00 a.m. United flight out of SeaTac. I was expecting another mess a la Lufthansa, but I didn't even have to wait in line. A United rep took my passport, ran it over a scanner, and gave me my boarding pass. The flight was okay, but I didn't sleep much. Instead I watched a Japanese film about their great admiral Yamamoto. Very interesting, though the film did not mention his famous quote that if Japan attacked America, he feared that it would "awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." I've always thought he was a tragic figure since he did not want war with the U.S., and the U.S. forces made a special effort to eliminate him.

When I arrived in Madrid I took a bus directly to Atocha station, where I caught a bus to Cuenca. I had intended on spending that night in Madrid, so as to help recover from jet lag, but since I was a day late, I went directly to Cuenca.

I think I'll continue this tomorrow. I think jet lag is getting to me.

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