Day 16: Madrid & Ocaña

day-city-header1603 September 2014

00I woke up again around 4am to a coughing fit. Gah! T_T I made myself some hot tea in the kitchen and got back to sleep, waking up again just a minute before my alarm went off for 7:15am. I headed out – today was skydive day!

The bus station is much more massive than the other ones. Back on my last night in Barcelona, I had ended up spending more time than I would have liked researching my transportation options to get to the Skydive Madrid Aerodrome in Ocaña. I had less than five minutes to spare in finding and boarding my bus, and there were only a dozen or so of us in total.

We made a couple of stops in other cities before unloading in the middle of Ocaña. We stopped by these statues that looked like KKK members in front of a crucifix o_O. I didn’t really get a good look but that was pretty jarring. It’s a really small town and I didn’t see any taxis on our way in or during my brief walkaround. I decided to walk down to the Aerodrome which would take about 45 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, I got lost in finding exactly which road between the gas station and closed hotel I needed to be on. A really long story short, I eventually did find my way to the Skydive Centre, where I paid the remainder of my tandem jump and photo package. It was happening – I was really gonna go skydiving! Read more about my skydive experience here!



Leaving the Skydive Centre, I walked back to Ocaña light on my feet. The adrenaline and excitement actually kept me from feeling too tired, hot, hungry, or sick on my way back – just accomplished! :)

There’s no bus sign or timetable up anywhere; just a sign on one side of the street with a picture of a bus and PARADA underneath. I waited on the other side for a bus to Madrid. I had downloaded the Samora bus timetable onto my phone earlier and saw that the next one would be at 1:50 pm. The first bus that showed up was heading to Toledo, and the next was an AISA (not to be confused with ALSA) that headed to Madrid, so I boarded that. I noticed that this bus was €0.05 more expensive and had seatbelts.

After getting back to my AirBnB place, I went out to one of many Cerveceria 100 Montaditos just next door. It so happened they had a special that day that each montadito was €1. I got two of them plus a dessert one.

I then took the metro to Plaza de Colón. I walked around the area to take pictures of the Columbus statue for my supervisor, then looked at some of the numerous art pieces they had in the area.

Still not feeling 100%, I got a tall green tea at a Starbucks for way too much money and wandered over to the Palacio de Cibeles (Palace of Communications) and through the Parque del Retiro (Park of the Retreat).

And that would be the last of my tourist adventures in Madrid! I walked to the massive train station at Atocha to go back to my AirBnB place. It took me some wandering back and forth between platforms to figure out where I needed to be.

The next morning, I quietly left my AirBnB place and took the train from Atocha to Aeroport T4 for €2.55 (it’s €5 to take the airport express bus 203) and used the bus transfer service provided to get to T1.

It was an absolutely amazing and crazy trip, but I was excited to be home, do my defense, and finally get to feel well rested. :)


Portugal: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5
Spain: Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16

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