My NSSpain trip / Day 1 / The not-so-great travel experience.

Posted on September 16, 2014 by Lukas under Conferences | No comments

Since I wasn’t awarded with WWDC scholarship this year, and because I really wanted to attend at least one iOS dev conferrence, I looked for an alternative. From what I’ve read and heard about NSSpain, it looked like a good choice. The vibe seems to be very welcoming, and the affordable tickets and closer proximity to my home city (Prague) were all things that finally made me go for it.

I thought it would be a good idea to write at least one blog post about the experience, but since a friend of mine specifically asked me if I’ll be covering it on the blog, and since today experience so far was quite intense and somewhat upseting, I decided that I’ll try to write one post every evening. That way, it will be much more authentic, and a more complete picture for you, my lovely readers. After all, it’s only 5 days, so I belive I could do it (Oh, those blog posting promises, they almost never end well and I dare to do new ones anyway.)
So, enough introductory talk and lets get into it!

Day 1 – Was this really a good idea?

In case you didn’t know, I live in Prague, so I got flight tickets from our Vaclav Havel Prague airport to Madrid. The day started really good – Apple approved my new version of Routie for iOS 8, which is really neat, I finished everything that I had to, and my parents dropped me at the airport 2 hours before my first flight; from Prague to Zurich. Because I was flying with Swiss air, I somehow expected that the flight will be on time, but it was delayed, for an hour. And because my connecting flight to Madrid had only an hour gap from my expected landing in Zurich, it seemed sure that I will miss it. Which wouldn’t be that bad in and on itself, except for the fact that I’d probably miss my bus to Logroño as well, and that would result in all kind of problems. So I spent some time worrying about that.

Fortunatelly, the connecting flight was late as well, so when I runned to the gate, it was still opened and they seemed to be expecting me. So I got on board, and everything seemed ok. I will cut the details because this is probably starting to sound like a diary of 14 years old girl, and get to the ‘meat’.

We landed in Madrid and I with the other people went to the buggage claim. I waited for my bag to appear. And waited. And waited. Until the little doors closed and there were no more bags comming in. So “great”! They lost my baggage! This was actually my third time flying somewhere so I am still mostly newbie, and I had no idea how this situation works. Fortunatelly for me, I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get the bag, so I followed the litle crowd of people to the place where you report the lost baggage. The women there filled a form with me, and told me that hopefuly I will get my bag tomorrow, to my hotel in Logrono. If they find, obviously.
I honestly didn’t expect that to happen, so I was quite angry and saddened. All my stuff is there, and even if they find it (which I really hope they do) I’ll be forced to get by in my current clothes, without any food and hygienic stuff, and I’ll bo forced to spend even more money from my limited budget. This probably goes without saying, but it Really. Sucks.

But the story goes on. I bought a water bottle from one of the machines so I’d have at least some watter for my 4-hour bus ride, and I got a caffee and recharged my macbook a bit. Then I needed to go to Terminal 4 of the airport Madrid to get on my pre-booked bus ride to Logroňo. I went on the free bus between terminals about half an hour early, but this turned out to be nearly fatal mistake. Again, skipping the details, I got off the lical bus on Terminal 4, and I had about 4 minutes before the bus to Logroňo was to leave. Which would be fine, except for the fact that there weren’t any bus stations. At least I couldn’t find them. After a short while of frantically running around, I noticed that there is lower level road where some buses were standing. Now quickly, find a way to get down there. 2 minutes remaining. I got to the lower level, and there was an ASLA stand (the bus company I am going with). The women there told me where their buses are and showed me to hurry. Well, no kidding, with 1 minute to the departure. I got there, but no ASLA buses. Did the already left? Then one artived. I asked the driver if the go to Logrono, but they didn’t. Then a second bus, and neither them were to Logroňo. By then, I was really stressed out, annoyed and to some extent desperate.

“Perhaps it was a stupid idea to go there. I should’ve stayed at home, none of this would’ve happenned. Maybe I am just not capable of traveling without this extraordinary level of stress. Maybe traveling is just not for me at all.” — was running through my mind. But then the bus to Logroňo arrived, I got in and I slowly started to calm down.

Except there was a guy sitting next to me, and he really wanted to talk with me. Which in itself would be great! Except for the fact that his English was bad. No, actually, it was terrible. I really tried, but I didn’t understand a single word he said. I think he wasn’t even speaking English. After a few awkward moments of him trying to start the conversation and me saying something along the lines of “Umm, I really don’t understand what you’re saying.”. He finally gave up. But he didn’t seem too happy about it.
Anyways, I am still on the bus, I should be in Logroňo in about an hour. I hope I’ll find the hotel without too much hustle; and I really wish so much they’ll deliver my bag tomorrow! I’ll probably write a few sentences after I get to the hostel, to wrap this day up, and I’ll publish this first raw version as it is, so people can follow my struggles in Spain ;D. But only a few sentences! Because I need to finish a bunch of tasks for one client work that unfortunatelly can’t wait, and I need to do some marketing for the launch of Routie 2.7. Oh, and a dinner would be neat too.

So I am at the hostel in Logrono. It’s called Check in Rioja, and the receptionist here is very welcoming and nice, so that’s great. I also had a Kebab for dinner, so I can’t really complain.

::This is a very raw version of the post, I will clean it up and add some pictures when I get back to Prague.::