In Madrid today, the differences started the minute I tried to catch a taxi. There was a queue, as you’d expect. Except, well, it wasn’t actually a queue: it was a starting grid from which desperate travellers would hurl themselves forwards trying to grab a cab. There was no order or reason to it. You just threw yourself at a cab, accompanies by good-natured horn blowing from the cabbies, and hoped that one would take pity on you.
Of course, being British, I watched this in horror for about 10 minutes before realising that I had to join in if I wanted to get to my hotel. Initially, my chosen cabbie rejected me, but after it became clear that he wasn’t getting a better offer, he begrudging let me into the hallowed portals of his cab.
I don’t want to talk about the journey. The sight of a fat man in leather, riding a motorbike at 150 kilometres per hour, while fondling his exposed privates is not something I ever want to think about again.
The hotel, though, is fab. Stylish with good-sized rooms and WiFi throughout. Perfect, really. Oh, and the view. The view is stunning. But you already knew that, didn’t you? It’s at the top of this post.