dad and I arrived in Madrid about 20 hours after leaving Houston. had a little fun in Heathrow when we discovered that while I was seated in 18A and Dad was in 18B, we were actually booked on different flights from Heathrow to Madrid! So, I got to Spain a few hours before Dad. (He had some adventures of his own when two people on his Madrid flight failed to show up. the airline had to pull their luggage and then, when their travel companions who HAD shown up decided not go without the missing pair, there was another round of baggage pulling with the added fun of a on board search of the area where the second pair had been seated. All for safety's sake.)
When at last we were both I Madrid we set off for the hostel where we had reservations for the night. After a bit of extra practice carrying our packs back and forth across busy downtown streets, we found the hostel and climbed the stairs to learn that they'd run out of room at that location, and had arranged accommodation for us just "a short five minute walk away" The glance that Dad and I exchanged on hearing this must have spoken volumes because we found ourselves being accompanied by a kind Romanian member of the hostel's staff (See pictures I took of him carrying my pack for me. Dad insisted on carrying his own.)
We got settled in at the new location and went out in search of our first real meal since Fuddrucker's in Houston on Thursday afternoon. Happily, there is a delightful place immediately across the narrow cobblestone street from our hostel. It is a retro-60's-hip vintage spot run by enthusiastic (and talented) young people. We ate delicious bocadillas (sandwiches with ham and egg omlettes as filling) with lovely salads and, my staple sustenance, French fries. There is almost nothing that French fries cannot cure (in my opinion).
Tomorrow (actually, later today) we will catch a train to Pamplona, then a bus to St Jean Pied de Port where our pilgrimage 'officially' will begin.
I've already lost track of what day it is.
So many details are missing here-because I'm typing on an iPhone, and there are limits to the fun when typing with one fingertip.
We are here. We are well. We are having a blast.