Saturday, September 05, 2009


Ryanair’s maximum checked luggage allowance is 15kg.  This is one of the ways in which Ryanair makes money – excess baggage is €15 per kilogram.  My fully loaded backpack weighs 20kg.  Before catching my flight from Brussels (Charleroi) to Madrid, I managed to jam all of my books, my camera and lenses and my laptop into my carry-on camera bag, but my backpack was still two kilograms over, so I had to pay €30 (A$51). It would be a tolerable amount, except that I already paid for two tickets! I was stupid enough to book a ticket under my middle name of Wayne instead of the name in my passport, Geoffrey, and the €100 cost of changing the passenger name exceeded the cost of simply buying a new €55 ticket. Still, at a grand total of €140, it was probably still cheaper than a full flight fare on a national carrier.

Getting from the Madrid airport to my hostel was very easy because the Madrid metro is so efficient.  A single ticket anywhere on the network is €1 (or €2 from the airport), and you never have to wait longer than five minutes for a spacious and air-conditioned train.  It surely must also rival the Paris metro in its extent.

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