Monday, February 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by raindog.
Went to Madrid last week and had a great couple of days. It's a really cool city - I think Barcelona has the edge because of the Gaudi buildings and its location, but Madrid had some fantastic buildings, great Plazas and lots of good restaurants and bars.

The map on the right was drawn by a friend of a friend who lived in Madrid for 6 months - it was fun trying to find the places on it, even though we weren't that successful.

We went there on the Elipsos "trainhotel", which runs overnight from Paris to Madrid and was really good. You get a nice evening meal, with wine, a private compartment with its own shower and bathroom, and breakfast in the morning. All you have to do is roll up to the train in Paris around 7pm, get on, and then you get off again at 8am in Madrid.

Considering I loathe train travel in the UK, I seem to do a lot of it everywhere else in the world. The Elipsos wasn't quite as plush as the Canadian train I took a couple of years ago - the compartments were probably better, but the dining car and service wasn't up to the Canadian's exceptional standards, and there was no "lounge car" to go and sit instead of in your cabin. Either of them beat getting crammed into a bloody aeroplane though.

So, next trip we're thinking ferry to Bilbao, train over to Barcelona, and return in some equally time consuming and interesting air balloon or on the back of a camel or something.

Saturday, February 03, 2007



So, what did people used to do when they were bored before they could play with their mobile phones?

I'm not a mad phone user, but I was on a fairly tedious training course this week (well, the course was OK, it was some of the other people on it who couldn't follow simple instructions that slowed it down and made it tedious) and I started texting people when I got bored - I think everyone in my address book got a text from me this week, probably much to their surprise and amusement.

I'm sure people who were bored before mobile phones did something more constructive with their bored time...or maybe not, maybe they just picked their noses and wrote shopping lists.