The return train trip towards northern Europe started in Mérida and headed towards Madrid.
The Interrail tickets that Mona had fixed, in that summer of 1972, were bought by someone she knew in Finland. In those days the route between Sundsvall and Waasa in Finland was quite busy. The ferry boat crossed the Bothnia Sea daily and many people just went across for the cheap booze.
As far as Interrail was concerned it worked this way… You could not use the low fees in the country of purchase. Buying the passes in Finland meant that we could travel in Sweden without any extra fees. After completion more precisely after 30 days, the tickets had to be left in in order to receive a refund.
Our goal on this leg was to hit Madrid and meet my father’s cousin Martinho. Martinho was my age had been to Portugal and stayed with us in the Praceta in Carcavelos, just a few years before. I do not recall where we met but he invited us to for dinner which was most appreciated.
We were invited to his flat which was his parent’s home in the heart of Madrid, more precisely at the Calle Velazquez. We stayed there and even though we did not see his mother I do recall sitting at table and being served by a maid at a most ceremonial manner.
Later some of his sisters did turn up but I cannot today recall which ones of the three sisters Fatima, Maria Amélia or Soledad that we met on this occasion. We were invited to stay and curiously Mona considered that the bed she slept on was the most comfortable she had ever experienced. This particular fact was many times mentioned by her and many years after it happened!