Whirlwind travel

UC3M, Leganés, Spain

It is about time that I let the world know what I am up to these days. Well, this week in particular is going to quite busy. Monday and Tuesday are normal-ish, but on Wednesday, I am going to London for the night in order to leave the Schengen region. I am going with Q and Sissi. Essentially we are fleeing the country in hopes of getting certain stamps that will allow us to stay more legitimately in Spain for the duration of our exams.

So all day Wednesday and Thursday are devoted to that little project, and then on Friday, I have to turn around and go to Brussels. I was chosen as one of the representatives for our Erasmus Mundus course to attend the 2nd Annual Erasmus Mundus Student Conference. It should be interesting to attend, but I’m not sure how rested I’m going to be, as our flight leaves Madrid at 6:25, and that means we need to get there around 4:30 – a time when the metro isn’t running. So we either go the night before (which might not work for me), or we take a cab. The cab would be 40€ so Teeroumanee and I (she is the other student going with me) could split it to save on costs. However the rest of the trip is free, so I guess I can’t complain. The route that the conference team found us has us going through Milan, so while I won’t leave the airport, I will be in Italy briefly. Then we are on to Brussels where we arrive around 11:35. The conference starts at 14:00 I believe so it will be a fun time rushing to the hotel (which we have to find by metro I guess) and then getting to the conference hall, which I think is near the hotel fortunately. Then we finish up the conference the next day around 13:30 and our flight leaves Brussels at 17:45 so we have a couple hours to sight-see, depending on the time to get to the airport. We get in around 23:00 after going via Milan again, and hopefully we can make it across Madrid before the metro shuts down. Luckily we won’t be carrying much – just a backpack I suspect.

The quick trip to London is just as crazy, because the cheap prices we found (116€ return – all in), mean that we aren’t flying out of Madrid, but out of Valladolid, which is a two hour bus ride from Madrid. Ironically it will cost me less getting to that completely different city than it will to the Madrid airport in the middle of the night. Then we fly into London Stansted, which means a £25 round-trip ticket on the Stansted Express into the city. Then we take the Tube to wherever it is that we want I guess, but our ultimate destination that night is to stay with my aunt – who has graciously allowed three disillusioned international students to camp out for a night. In the morning we pretty much turn around and head back home. We might get a chance to see some things, most likely on Wednesday night, but who knows, we don’t have any plans except to leave Spain and then return again. :)

So that is my week. A little bit of a departure from my usual routine, but I’m hoping everything goes smoothly and we don’t get stuck in customs somewhere.