Walking Camino de Santiago – Day 1, Riga – Frankfurt – Madrid

Una BaufalaEurope, Spain, Travels and Adventures Comments

Hiking in the hills

Kaspars’s diary of the adventure completed in spring 2013. Translated by Una.

Before we begin, I would like to mention that exactly this trip – walking a part of Camino de Santiago – caused a wanderlust and encouraged us to go on a long term travel just 4 months later!

Plane

It is 20th of April, Saturday. We wake up at 9’o clock to leave for the airport 2 hours later. We finish all the food that is left at home, put few more needed items in our backpacks and then it’s time to leave. On our way to tram we visit the nearest grocery and buy few snacks for the flight.

It’s cool outside and we are dreaming about Spain’s warmth. We can’t wait to be there! According to the weather forecast during the day there will be about 20 degrees, with possibility of rain in some days and cool mornings.

starting Camino de Santiago

What to take with me and what not – that’s something I have been thinking about most when preparing for this trip. People are used to pack their fears with themselves, that’s what I remind to myself again and again.  They take extra winter clothes, in case if it will be colder. And extra shorts and sandals, if it will be more warm. So at the very last moment I decide to leave at home also my spring jacket. I go only with one hoodie. But if it will be colder, I have one long sleeve to wear under it.

Now my 35l backpack feels like 5-6 kilos. And that’s including 2 person tent and sleeping bag. That’s the way of packing, nice!

In the airport we meet my friend and former classmate Edgars, the fifth person of our group. The flight to Frankfurt is very short, though we need to wait 6 hours for the next flight, to Madrid. These 6 hours we stay in the big airport of Frankfurt – just wandering around, reading our books, talking and eating snacks we took with us. Our flight to Madrid is at 9 PM.

Frankfurt airport

Plane lands almost at midnight. We collect our luggage and go to search for the metro. We are quite in hurry because we don’t know when is the last metro train. Luckily, we find it very easily and the metro and ticket system is easy to understand. Just choose the destination metro station and that’s it! Ticket from the airport to the place where our AirBnB apartment is located costs 5 euros.

In the metro we understand that winter in Spain has ended, as all the people dress very lightly – there even are some persons who wear only shorts, T-shirts and flip flops! Yaay!

Our apartment is in the city center, and the metro ride takes approximately 45 minutes. After going out of the metro we just choose one direction, where our flat may be located, and we walk.  We have neither internet in our phones to look on Google Maps, nor offline map of Madrid. And you know, we are right! There it is, near the junction where we go ouf of the metro station! The right street, the right house number. But the thing is, we have also forgot to write the number of the apartment owner. So I need to use mobile internet (in roaming) to look up the number in the e-mail.

Phone number is found, I call, like, five times, but the person is not answering. I call the sixt time, and now the phone is switched off! What on earth? What’s now? O.K., maybe we will need to use our sleeping bags even before Camino de Santiago, ha! But no – fortunately, just a moment later the guy calls back and apologizes, and after 5 minutes he comes.

He quickly shows us the apartment. And before leaving he instructs us to leave the keys under the flowerpot just by the doors of the apartment when we go out. Oh well, what a security system!

We go to sleep. Tomorrow we plan to go on a walk and see a little bit of the city, but in the evening we are going to Rammstein concert. Yaay!

Read all articles about Camino de Santiago!

Author: Una Baufala

Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.

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