Thursday, January 27, 2011

B-Bye Dallas, Madrid Here We Come!

I think Seattleites are a little prejudiced against Texans. We're not that big on cowboy hats or country music, and as our group of Seattle pilgrims watch Texans go by in the long corridors of DFW I can sense the occasional snicker. One thing that used to make me certain Seattle was better than Dallas/Fort Worth was how DFW was laid out in comparison to Sea-Tac.

In the past I used to greatly dislike DFW because of the long, long walks down narrow corridors with beeping and impatient electric cart drivers ferrying disabled passengers to their gate. I expected that's what we'd be looking forward to this time, especially because of the transfer from domestic to international. However, we arrived at Terminal A and discovered the amazing SkyLink train could quickly take us to Terminal D without even  having to go through security. Hooray, we can save our footsteps for the punishing walk across the Pyrenees in a little more than a day!

The plane (see right) boards in just a few minutes. Now is the time to grab one final Starbucks -- no more tall, decaf, 2-pump, no whip mochas for a month or more. Instead our group will be floating on a river of cafe con leche and inexpensive La Rioja vino tinto.

As always, I'm worrying a little about our connections. We'll feel our way through the Madrid Metro when we arrive, testing our Spanish skills. The train to Pamplona will be easy and fun. Then in Pamplona we have to make contact with our van driver who'll take us over las montanas to St. Jean, where we make the beginning of our walk to venerate the memory (and bones) of St. James the Greater.

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