Steven Mitchell flew from Edinburgh Airport to Madrid on a Ryanair flight with his mum Sandra, enjoying a pleasant brunch and touring the Bernabeu stadium, the home of Real Madrid
A son flew his mum to Madrid for a tapas brunch and then had her home by the end of the day.
Steven Mitchell is an enthusiastic extreme day tripper, having previously whizzed over to Geneva, Switzerland for a day out. As a Christmas present he decided to buy his mum Sandra a trip to the Spanish capital so she could give a super-speedy holiday a try.
“Neither of us had been to Madrid before, and so when I saw the flights it was a no-brainer. It is a classic Spanish city. Just for the day! I bought her the flight as her Christmas present rather than candles and chocolates,” Steven told the Mirror.
Mum, a mediation manager for children, and son, a tiler, headed to Edinburgh Airport in time for a 6am Ryanair flight which touched down in Madrid at 9.30am. The first thing the 63-year-old and 38-year-old did was jump on the metro and head to the city centre for tapas and coffee at the Mercado de San Miguel.
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“We then got a couple tickets and used the hop on/off bus and toured the city, listening to commentary on board. We jumped off as it was getting warm so grabbed a cold beer in the afternoon watching the entertainers in Plaza Mayor,” Steven continued.
“It was T-shirt weather in February, yes please 18 degrees! We wandered the wee streets then grabbed the hop-on bus up to the Bernabeu stadium, home of Real Madrid. They were playing that evening so it was a great atmosphere around the place.”
After taking a look around the enormous stadium the duo went to a nearby pizza restaurant for dinner and watched as throngs of fans poured into the sports ground.
“Then we grabbed the metro to the airport, zipped through security, rested our feet, had a coffee and then flew home,” Steven said. They boarded a 9.30pm easyJet flight and were back in Edinburgh by 11.30pm, making it home for bed by 12.15am.
Over the course of the day they clocked up 25,000 steps exploring the city, which is close to 10 miles. The return flights cost £54 each.
“It was an absolutely brilliant day out. I saw loads, enjoyed some warm weather and spent quality time with mum. Even though it’s just a day because you’re flying it really feels like you have been away on a break. Totally recommend it to everyone,” Steven said.
Extreme day tripping is exactly what it says on the tin. Intrepid mini-breakers head to the airport or train station at the crack of dawn armed with a typically bargain ticket and travel as far as possible away from their homes. After a quick look around a museum, lunch or cocktail on the beach at the other end, they race back in time to make their return journey, ending up in their own bed before 24 hours has elapsed.
Among the enthusiastic partakers of the extreme day trip is one man who is currently trying to fit in 100 breaks abroad in a single calendar year. He is joined in curating the page by Michael Cracknell, who has seen the group’s follower count rocket up from 4,000 to 109,000 in recent months after a post about one traveller’s £30 trip to Ibiza went viral.
While the trips may be cheap and a great way to see the world, not everyone is a fan. Cait Hewitt, policy director at Aviation Environment Federation, has criticised day tripping, arguing it relies on a very polluting form of transport amid a climate crisis.
“The argument that ‘the plane’s going anyway so it doesn’t make any difference if I fill an empty seat’ really doesn’t stack up. Airlines operate on thin profit margins so will be keeping a close eye on which routes are the most popular and how to adjust their schedules in future only to run profitable services,” Cait explained.