I’ve never really taken advantage of stopovers before, since I usually have the problem of not having enough time at my destination rather than having extra time to include a second location! However, this time I actually booked two stopovers, one being a “true” stopover in London for two days and the other technically being a connection of 23 hours in Madrid on my way home. I went into this trip thinking that these stopovers would be more hassle than they were worth while my husband was looking forward to the stopovers just as much as the main destination!
- Booking Award Flights to Morocco
- Battle of the Business Class Flights
- Stopovers: Take ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?
- Morocco in a Nutshell
- The Best Aspects of my Hotel Stays
- A Suggested Two-Week Itinerary for Morocco
- Dar Seffarine: My New Favorite Hotel
- Giving Madrid a Second Chance
So what’s the verdict? Well, London was a win and Madrid was a miss. Frankly, I found the 23-hour connection to be less than enjoyable, since most of that time ended up being used for immigration, buses to/from the airport, checking in/out of the hotel, returning to the airport with enough time to check in, and then personal needs like sleeping and showering. All in all, I’d estimate my usable time in Madrid at only about 8 hours since we had a flight delay that also cut into the connection. We tried to make the most of it – but won’t be going out of our way to schedule 23-hour connections in the future.
London, on the other hand, was fantastic. Recovering from jetlag in a city that’s easy to get around was much simpler than if I had tried to dive right into Morocco half-exhausted. It gave me the opportunity to see London all decked out for Christmas and do some holiday window-shopping without being stuck in the cold for a full week.
Plus, with 50 hours inbetween flights, there’s actually enough time to do a few things, even if it does leave you wanting more. Some favorites from this time around were the Tower of London and the Borough Market. Less of a hit was the Tate Modern, sorry to all you art fans!
But mostly, London was a way to kick back and enjoy the start of my travels at one of my favorite pubs.
Neither my first visit to London or this one was long enough to satisfy me, so I can guarantee I’ll be back. Next time I’ll stay the whole week – after all, I was inspired by the Borough Market to rent a flat and do my own cooking with all those fresh foods. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even turn into a regular at the Dog and Duck.
What’s your opinion on stopovers? Take ‘em or leave ‘em?