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Madrid, Spain - Long Layover - Returning to airport during ciesta, problem?

Madrid, Spain - Long Layover - Returning to airport during ciesta, problem?

Old Sep 27, 06, 8:36 am
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Madrid, Spain - Long Layover - Returning to airport during ciesta, problem?

We will be arriving in Madrid at 9:00am and then departing at 7:30pm in the evening for a flight to the Canary Islands. We intend to head into downtown Madrid during the day to take advantage of our stopover. My question is, I know the ciesta is usually during 2 to 5, and if we need to be back at the airport around 5:00 to 5:30 I would say, is there a problem getting to the airport during the ciesta hours. Will taxis be available? Will the metro be running normal times? Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 10:48 am
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It’s ‘Siesta’ by the way (not ‘thiesta’)

And it’s a tradition that’s fading fast in Spain.
During the winter you’ll hardly notice Siesta time – only a few old people keep to it – or students. It was an established way to get through the summer and remain productive. With modern airconditioning, it’s become unnecessary. Farmers in Andalucia and other rural parts still take a nap in the afternoons, but as people are living further and further from their offices, few can afford the luxury of a siesta nowadays.

A lot of people really miss it! And there are always articles by scientists and professors saying how good siestas are for concentration and memory.

Answer to your question is that you won’t have any problems using public transport during the afternoon. Some shops close for a long lunch, but most don’t. Trains run as usual (and are much more reliable than the English ones).
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Old Sep 27, 06, 11:05 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap
It’s ‘Siesta’ by the way (not ‘thiesta’)

And it’s a tradition that’s fading fast in Spain.
During the winter you’ll hardly notice Siesta time – only a few old people keep to it – or students. It was an established way to get through the summer and remain productive. With modern airconditioning, it’s become unnecessary. Farmers in Andalucia and other rural parts still take a nap in the afternoons, but as people are living further and further from their offices, few can afford the luxury of a siesta nowadays.

A lot of people really miss it! And there are always articles by scientists and professors saying how good siestas are for concentration and memory.

Answer to your question is that you won’t have any problems using public transport during the afternoon. Some shops close for a long lunch, but most don’t. Trains run as usual (and are much more reliable than the English ones).
Thank you LapLap, especially for the correct spelling and pronunciation of Siesta. It has been a few years since Spanish class for me. That is why I am bringing my girlfirend, a Spanish minor.

Sad to hear the Siesta is going away, but I guess good for us in the sense of maximizing our stay and time in Madrid.
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Old Sep 27, 06, 5:11 pm
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Yes, the Socialist government actually eliminated the long siesta for most government workers last year on December 27, 2005. Spanish society has changed dramatically and the economy is booming and productivity became a major issue.

Small shops in the neighborhoods typically still close from 2-5 but department stores and shops on the main shopping streets remain open. The museums do not close for siestas but instead close down on either monday or tuesdays.

A great site for planning a quick visit to Madrid is www.esmadrid.com

While lunch restaurants now open at around 1pm one suggestion would be to enjoy one of the many all inclusive three course menus offered from 2-4 daily before heading back to the airport.
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Old Sep 28, 06, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by MADflyer
Yes, the Socialist government actually eliminated the long siesta for most government workers last year on December 27, 2005. Spanish society has changed dramatically and the economy is booming and productivity became a major issue.

Small shops in the neighborhoods typically still close from 2-5 but department stores and shops on the main shopping streets remain open. The museums do not close for siestas but instead close down on either monday or tuesdays.

A great site for planning a quick visit to Madrid is www.esmadrid.com

While lunch restaurants now open at around 1pm one suggestion would be to enjoy one of the many all inclusive three course menus offered from 2-4 daily before heading back to the airport.
Thanks MADFlyer. Your suggestions are always extremely helpful!
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Old Sep 28, 06, 1:04 pm
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You won't have any trouble with a taxi or Metro, but good luck if you are trying to do business at a pharmacy or dry cleaners between 2 and 5...
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Old Sep 28, 06, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by dankyone
You won't have any trouble with a taxi or Metro, but good luck if you are trying to do business at a pharmacy or dry cleaners between 2 and 5...
There are strict rules in place limiting how many pharmacies are allowed in cities. You can't just lease a shop and open one.
Most pharmacies are inherited, and there are huge waiting lists of qualified chemists anxious to have their own. Pharmacies are sold on for huge amounts.
Each pharmacy will have a map showing where to find a 'farmacia de guardia' - if you need it, you should always have access to a 24 hour service, you just might need to travel a bit to get to it. Otherwise, farmacias have a bit of a monopoly and don't need to try too hard. As I said, siestas are a bit of a luxury nowadays.

As for drycleaners... why not? Most people who use them take their stuff in in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon anyway. And it's a horrible job in hot weather, even worse then working at the pollastre - (a shop full of these on at full blast)
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Old Sep 29, 06, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by GoCanes
we need to be back at the airport around 5:00 to 5:30 Thanks in advance for any advice.
My best advice would be to bring a gas mask because Madrid Barajas Airport is the smokiest frikkin' place in Europe! MAD handles 25,000,000 pax a year and IMHO is a smelly, dirty, smokey-assed pit of a place staffed by uncaring types. Last year I was passing through MAD Immigration with my 17 year old daughter after just disembarking from a BA flight from LGW... The Police Agent was pissed at me because the cigarette dangling from his mouth brushed against my passport and the hot ash fell onto the back of his hand. His yelping caused a couple of his mates to come over to see what pain I had inflicted on him... I feigned ignorance of the Spanish language and just stood there like the moron they expected me to be until the guy tossed down my passport and waved me through. I think that if I had opened my mouth it would have been deemed to be a terrorist threat!
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Old Sep 29, 06, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by prspad
My best advice would be to bring a gas mask because Madrid Barajas Airport is the smokiest frikkin' place in Europe! MAD handles 25,000,000 pax a year and IMHO is a smelly, dirty, smokey-assed pit of a place staffed by uncaring types. Last year I was passing through MAD Immigration with my 17 year old daughter after just disembarking from a BA flight from LGW... The Police Agent was pissed at me because the cigarette dangling from his mouth brushed against my passport and the hot ash fell onto the back of his hand. His yelping caused a couple of his mates to come over to see what pain I had inflicted on him... I feigned ignorance of the Spanish language and just stood there like the moron they expected me to be until the guy tossed down my passport and waved me through. I think that if I had opened my mouth it would have been deemed to be a terrorist threat!
Since Jan 1st. Spain is basically a non-smoking country except for bars and rerstaurants so that should not be a problem.
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Old Sep 29, 06, 3:26 pm
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I cannot believe what i have read in this thread. !

What information of Spain do you have ???


Siesta is the act of sleeping at midday in the summer in the rural areas specially of the south ,because the extreme hot forbide to work in the fields.

The Spanish working day is break in 2 parts : mornings and afternoons ( Mañana , tarde) since always, and have nothing to do with siesta , but with food and eating. In fact in big cities most people stay in the city center eating in restaurants, instead of going to home like in smallers cities like Malaga.

The reason for this break is also the extremly looongs days in Spain because it's geographical location. Also in the morning the entry hour is later in Spain because despite sharing the same hour than northern Europe , the sun rises in Spain around 1 Hour later here .... so coments like in Spain goes to work later are erroneous .. one must take into account the real solar hour not the hour in the clock , that is the same in Sevilla than in Berlin , and is the reason of this anomaly.

Just to note that the Spanish workers works more hours this way than in other places with a continous working day.

But this break in the journey affect mainly to shops , NOT to public services like transport !!!.

I live in a city and the only ones that I remembers sleeping at midday , siesta, are tourist on the beaches and pools taking a sun bath.

Last edited by jennings556; Sep 29, 06 at 4:26 pm
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Old Sep 29, 06, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by jennings556
I cannot believe what i have read in this thread. !

What information of Spain do you have ???
Hey! Lay off the patronising tone there. Perhaps you don't remember a time when half of Spain was asleep in the middle of the day, but I certainly do... and it wasn't that long ago.

And I can't believe that I have read this in your post:

PHP Code:
so coments like in Spain goes to work later are erroneous 
Nobody wrote this... what information of Spain do you have ???

GoCanes made a valid enquiry that shows a degree of sensitivity to the traditions and peculiarities of Spain, so what if it's a bit out of date... and don't forget, the Spanish government spent a great deal of money advertising the fact that "Spain is different".

Shame you've completely forgotten the home grown advertising campaign that was run at the same time with the plea: "se amable con los turistas...".
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Old Mar 30, 08, 12:51 pm
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Interesting to see a post I made two years come back to life...

For those of you who were curious, Spain was anything but asleep in the middle afternoon hours. The people were delightful and we could not have enjoyed it more.

As for our long layover in Madrid, we checked our luggage in the convenient lockers in the airport and took the subway into the city. Extremelely easy.
The only tough part was staying awake as we were exhausted from our overnight flight form the US that connected through AMS.

We spent a couple hours in the city and headed back to the airport. It was easy to get our bags and check-in with Air Europa several hours before our flight. We headed to Terminal 2 (no wait) and enjoyed resting and plane watching in what appears to be a clean and brand new terminal. Definitely no complaints.

Our arriving terminal for KLM was old but I kind of dug the old 80's feel to it.

Either way, an A grade to both Madrid and Barajas Airport.

Although departing for a 6:00AM flight on KLM in the old terminal was so, so. It was crowded, nothing open and in the old terminal. Would probably not do that again but for the chance to enjoy a day in Amsterdam awaiting our connecting flight back to EWR.
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Old Mar 30, 08, 4:21 pm
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I deleted some posts in this threads which were NOT on topic for here

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