It's always good to arrive in Salamanca, Spain at least a day ahead - before classes start, that is.
Navigating the Barajas Airport can be as wearing as the flight. It's about 8 hours from NYC, 30 hours from Asia, 4 hours from Greece and Turkey, for example. That doesn't count the travel time two and from airports. Yes, I'm tired!
Oh, the a long arrival walk in the wee hours -- seems like dizzying miles, from the airplane to Customs. (Who designed Madrid's Barajas airport anyway? Geez, it's artistic in a Picasso sort of way, but it's not pedestrian friendly at all.) If you are looking for a formal bus station, beware. A bus leaves for Salamanca from the Airport but the innocuous looking depot is blocks back behind the taxi stand -- at the end of the airport. And don't trek back there without having your ticket first -- it's required. The ticket office is on the lower level of the airport. The bus to Salamanca leaves every two hours or so and you may miss it if you have to go back to buy a ticket. By the way, seats are assigned on the busses in Spain so don't try to sit anywhere you want. Oh. You'll likely fall asleep on the 2 hr. 45 min. ride.
The best thing is to stay alert when it comes to your money. A couple of students complained that minor cash rip off scams occurred -- when they paid for items at the airport, the cashiers would give them two cent coins back, instead of the EU dollar coins.
The next view is the 2 EU coin. The game continued as another student was given change for 2 EU instead of 20 EU. Whether 2 cents or 20 EU, make sure you understand what the cash looks like and count carefully when you get your change.
Look out for cab drivers. Unless you check -- the old give you change for a fiver, when you gave them twenty trick may surprise you after it's too late.