Wednesday, August 23, 2006

London to Madrid

Well, it’s been a varied day today; flying to Madrid tonight meant I had an excuse to only work a half-day, but it was a fairly productive half-day. A planning meeting resulted in a number of useful decisions and I even got all of my actions either done or timetabled by lunchtime.

Had a pleasant lunch with Crouch-End Johnny in the City (with a truly scrumptious dessert at Patisserie Valerie!) then headed home for some last-minute chores before setting off. Because of all the recent security restrictions we decided to leave as soon as we were ready to go and in the end it paid off; between heavy traffic on the way out of London and a half-hour line for the security check we only had about twenty minutes in the lounge before they were boarding our flight.

Lower flight costs and lower margins are clearly affecting British Airways; now you don’t even get a hot baguette onboard – we had to make-do with a fairly basic sandwich, but the crew were happy to let me have second helpings once they’d finished the service.

We arrived at the new terminal in Madrid and it’s huge. The old terminal feels like a long corridor – you always seem to have to walk miles no matter where you need to get to. The new terminal is much the same, except that it’s on several levels, kind of in the vein of Westminster tube station; it’s a huge shell of a building where you can look up from the vast expanse of marble floor and see escalators and flying walkways weaving in and out of each other above you. The ceiling is almost a sine wave of wooden slats that goes on for miles, supported by steel columns sprouting from the top of the central concrete supports. It has something of a cathedral feel to it.

The hotel is a refurbished old-style Spanish hotel but, according to the floor plan on the door, we have one of the biggest rooms and it is more than adequate (with the exception of the wardrobe which is tiny and inadequate for two people!

Anyway, off to work now. Could be a long day.

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