On our way to SpainSusan & I decided to meet at Kings Cross station at 2pm so we could catch the 214 to Liverpool Street Station from there we'd get the Stanstead Express. Sounds easy, right?!?! Well it would be if the two of us had decided where in KC we'd meet - I sent her a txt message at 1.50 saying I was right next to the Swatch watch booth - I got her txt message saying "I don't see swatch anywhere I'm by the barriers" (which I knew meant she'd gone downstairs to try to meet me near the northern line tube exit so I replied, "I'm upstairs by the ticket booth". By 2.10pm we were sorted and standing outside waiting for the 214.
Bus ride was rather uneventful . . . The 214 bus route terminates a Liverpool St Station, so we just chatted about this and that until we arrived.
Arrived just in time to get the 2.31 Stanstead Express train :) it was rather full, but we found 2 seats & about an hour later we were at Stanstead airport! Thus far our plan had worked out rather well as far as timing was concerned, only thing we didn't take into account is that check in does not start until 2 hours prior to departure and our flight wasn't until 18.15 which meant we had about 45 minutes to kill - we browsed through all the shops in the "pre-check" in area & decided to get ourselves a little snack seeing as the plane's food would be way over priced and most likely tasteless!
Check in went as planned - gave them our bags, they checked out passports, they hand wrote our names onto our tickets & off we went to the security check point. We were in line there for about 20 minutes - reading all the signs about 6 nations rugby. Without a glitch we went through the metal detectors & into the rather large waiting area with tons of tax-free shopping to be had. We perused many of the stores but didn't purchase anything until a few minutes before boarding - when we picked up a few dinner items.
We were flying with RyanAir which is sorta like SouthWest - no assigned seats just find one that suits you. Susan & I spotted emergency door row seats with a lot of extra leg room, so we took those & this is where the funniness begins. We safely stowed our purses below the seats in front of us & put our books in our laps - sounds reasonable, right?? The stewardess comes over and tells us we can't store anything below the seats in front of us since it's an emergency exit row - okay, whatever, never heard that before, but easy enough. As we were handing over our purses for her to put in the overhead bins she asks if we have any liquid in our bags. I remembered I'd put my water bottle in there - she said we had to hold on to that since they couldn't put any liquid in over head bins - a little strange that they'd let us hold water bottles that could fly all around the plane in an emergency, but again, whatever we're on our way to Spain!!! About 5 minutes later a steward comes over and tells Susan she has to put her sweatshirt & scarf up in the overhead compartment b/c they can't be loose in the emergency aisle. To which I want to question (but don't) it's okay to have a two-2 liter water bottles in the row, but not a scarf?!?!?!?!?! As the plane was taxing down the runway we started to chuckle as we compared our views of this plane trip so far - nobody checked we had our belts buckled, but they took Susan's scarf; nobody asked if we were willing & capable of opening the emergency door, but we can't have a small purse below the seat in front of us.
About 1.5 hours later we landed at Reus aeropuerto in Spain (yeah). We walked down the staircase from the plane onto the runway and over to the covered walkway that lead us to the passport control area. Since it was 9.30pm (we'd had a departure delay thanks to the air traffic controller strike in France) it was dark & there were not many employees around - we did not see any signs of what to do so we just followed the other travelers into the queue. When we finally got up & presented our passport we were handed cards to fill out off to the side. We did as we were told, but this put us at the back of the line again :( While standing in line I asked Susan what happens when you run out of pages for them to stamp in your passport. Before Susan could reply a man in front of us told us they just sew in a new set of pages and give them letters instead of numbers & that if you know you'll be doing a lot of traveling that you can ask for extra pages to be put into the original passport and he flashed us his with the extra lettered pages - You learn something new every day!! How many of you knew that?!?!?! We had no problem getting our little stamp & finding our luggage (after waiting a second time in line) we were the lonely 2 pieces of luggage riding the conveyor belt.
Legged it outside and luckily were able grab the last taxi. 15 minutes later we were checking in to our hotel Estival Park Salou. We were both pretty exhausted after all these modes of transportation in one day (walking, tube, bus, train, plane, and finally a taxi) so we went straight to our room to check it out and have a little dinner. Here are some of the photos.
view of room from our balcony
Susan on the balcony
Lovely Valentine's Day Dinner - tuna & cheese sandwich, Tesco's pre-washed veggies, salt & vinegar kettle crisps, and 2 brownies for dessert. (chocolate chip granola bar & strawberry nutrigain bars turned out to be snacks for other days)