I tried the phone with the expensive plan, and the GPS took me around and around and around. I only wanted to find Puerta del Sol. It is one direct walk from my hotel. But the phone GPS did not deliver me there.
However, it was the last time I tried the phone GPS.
I had two maps this trip, but the printing was too small, so I could not really read any of them. I did not notice that on the back of the list of Hostals offered at the desk was an easy to read map of just the area of Madrid where I would be exploring. So that was helpful.
That was helpful.
But in giving directions, he did what so many do at home. He gave me too many options.
In this case one route was quicker but more complicated.
H. Allen Smith says it well in his humorous essay, "You Can't Help But Miss It."
"The chief fault of the average directions giver is an overabundance of detail."
He also describes a direction giver in England as one who gives just two directions and then suggests another place to stop and ask again.
While he finds that too frustrating, I don't.
After that, I'll be asking directions from where I am.
I did that one night on this trip because it was late, and I had finished a bottle of wine at supper. I wandered around Plaza Mayor without taking note of where I had entered it.
I took the night to wander aimlessly.
The Metro worker said the direction, but to actually get to Sol I had to change.
That is simple. The signage tells me.
Just don't arrange to meet by a poster of a nearly naked girl. I did that with Frank and the next day the poster was gone.
I had bought 10 rides on the Metro when I arrived, and I used them all in one way or another.
Frank helped by giving me directions.
We had to connect to a particular bus to go to Hervas, and to the fast train for Segovia and Avila. That took some guidance. I think I could do it on my own the next time.
One idea is to skip Madrid altogether and have the taxi driver from the airport take me to the fast Segovia train at station Chamartin.
Then I take the bus to the aquaduct. Bus 11.
Details from a trip advisor post:
Bus From Guiomar Train Station
There is a No. 11 bus from the Guiomar Renfe Train Station that goes to the Roman Aqueduct downtown about 15 minutes after the train from Madrid arrives. The bus is coordinated with the arrival of the train. The bus trip takes 20 minutes. The cost of this bus is 1 euro. From Monday to Friday, Bus No. 11 leaves the Roman Aqueduct for the Guiomar Train Station starting at 06:30H. There is a bus every 20 minutes. The last bus leaves at 21:40H.
On Saturday this bus leaves starting at 7:35H and the last bus is at 20:00H.
On Sunday this bus leaves starting at 20:40H and the last bus is at 21:40H. A taxi from the train station to the Roman Aqueduct will cost 8 to 10 euros
So, I think it would be fairly simple to go directly to Segovia. Also, the flights from Boston to Madrid are overnight flights and arrive early in the morning. So, it takes a while before I might check in at a hotel.
This trip I paid for an extra night in order to check in as early as possible. However, I might better have a nice lunch in Segovia while I wait for my room.
Getting around Segovia is very simple. Free maps and suggested walking routes are available, and if lost I could just aim for the Aquaduct and easily get reoriented.
Avilla is also easy, although the signage for finding how to walk the wall was a bit unclear. Frank was annoyed at that. We did not notice the entrance to the walkway which was above the wooden model.
I only took two rides in a taxi the entire trip, from the airport and back. These were zoned so that the cost was 30 Euros with no chance of being metered and long hauled. Don't assume that the drive will punch in your destination by name in a GPS. Have the actual address ready. I would have been well advised to ask him to go to the nearest Plaza, Tirso de Molina. He probably would have known where that was.
I had the address of my hostal in my wallet and just handed it to him. That worked. But even then it would have been helpful for me to say, "Circa Tirso de Molina."