As a family, we do enjoy a city break a couple of times a year. I’m not particularly capable in any modern foreign languages though the wife and children are. Tricia is fluent in French and German and can get by in Italian and Spanish. Son, James, is doing a degree in French and English Literature at Cardiff and daughter, Ruby, is gifted too at languages.
Why I love travel
I don’t go on city breaks, then, to show off linguistic prowess, but because foreign travel is thoroughly enjoyable. And Instagram is made for showing off cities.
In the past five years, we’ve had mini breaks in Paris (twice – driving there both times); Rome; Bruges, Berlin, London and now Madrid.
Okay, Alan Whicker has no need to worry about travel rivalry, but I consider myself, for a man from Brexit Britain, to be fairly urbane in travel taste.
The running joke on my Facebook profile is that wherever I lay my Carharrt hat that’s my home and inevitably after day one, I begin googling property prices and start seeing myself living in Montmartre or whatever place I’m currently visiting.
I’m like that.
Madrid is our current city break and, again, it’s impressed us greatly.
The bar was set fairly low though after our 20th wedding anniversary drive to Bruges, where son James haemorrhaged after a tonsillectomy and the trip to Amsterdam was aborted after his stay in A and E.
We didn’t drive to Madrid obviously but took a flight to Madrid from Luton and arrived to an amazing apartment complex. Again, after Paris last Christmas, where AirBnB rage ensued – avoid that company who are shit – it was a welcome change.
Spain is incredibly affordable too in terms of eating out and travel – anywhere on the Metro for just over a Euro – and like Belgium, it is an incredibly friendly country. The city of Madrid surprised me too as it’s somewhere that had never crossed my mind, at least, to visit.
It’s less congested and cleaner than either London or Paris. It has blue skies that make Norfolk, where we live currently, look like Manchester. Friendly people too, just like East Anglia …
However, in a remarkable change of events, I’ve not been on Rightmove as we are already committed to a longer city break. We intend leaving Norfolk, if and when the family home sells, to a new city: Edinburgh.
I long for a change of scenery, politically. I’m not sure how much longer I can tolerate Tory and Brexit Norfolk or England!
Myopia you see, xenophobia and social injustice, is not my thang.
I think I need the SNP, to remain in Europe and leave the country that elects right wing populists behind.
Madrid, you’re wonderful, but our next home will be in Scotland.
And that’s a promise.