First impressions of Valencia / Spain

So we arrived two days ago and I guess it worth talking about my first impressions of this part of Spain.

First of all the airport - we landed through cloud and fog and then they had to park the plane for a few minutes. The pilot announced that unfortunately there was still a plane in our space so we would have to wait until it was moved somewhere else. After 10 minutes or so we were taken to our slot then we had to stand there for 10 minutes whilst they brought the landing stage over and connected it to the plane - much confusion with the cabin crew and the ground crew.

Once the landing stage was brought over we disembarked from the plane and were then directed to use the steps down the side of the landing stage to get to the tarmac - not use the nice corridor into the arrivals area of the airport - there was a woman there frantically talking on her walky-talky - who seemed quite surprised that a plane had landed at the airport. We wandered across the tarmac to a backdoor of the airport and then went through passport control.

This all lead to me feeling that life in Spain may not be quite as organised as the UK and that there were somethings I would need to get used to. Writing this though has made me realise that we probably had to enter through the backdoor as we needed to go through passport control because the UK is not in the Schengen Agreement. The surprised lady and the plane in our space could have been related and I know that planes go to the wrong places at Stansted so on reflection my initial feelings were probably a little harsh.

We got picked up at the airport by the woman we are renting the apartment from, she is German and so apart from the small talk Nicole had to do all the talking with her. As soon as we left the car park (and for the next 30 minutes) it became clear that complaining about traffic in the UK would fall on deaf ears to anyone who regularly visits Valencia airport - chaos! Not only were there just queues on all of the roads - frustrated and impatient drivers zoomed up the inside lane to push in ahead - which was making the queues much worse! I asked when was a good time to fly into the airport of Helga (our landlady) and she said it doesn’t make a difference what time - even 2am there are problems!

So my first impressions of Spain / Valencia are disorganised and chaotic - the first may be harsh but the second so far seems fair comment.