My 5: The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid.

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1. The Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, July 2013. I’ve never really been that bothered about Spanish football. But if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to pick a team, Real Madrid would be the first to go into the NO WAY pile. I could point to the fact that I don’t like their kit much, or voice my disdain for their miserable fans, who routinely boo club legends during games at the slightest provocation. But the real reason I don’t like Real Madrid is Cristiano Ronaldo, a hideous individual for reasons I surely don’t have to go into. In any case I didn’t let any of that stop me from taking a tour of The Bernabeu, one of Spain’s most impressive and historical football stadiums.

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My 5: Madrid.


1. Plaza Mayor, July 2013. I’ll never forget my trip to Madrid. I had just separated from my wife and the choppy waters leading to Divorce Island loomed ahead. Escaping to Spain’s vibrant capital for a short break was exactly what I’d needed. Happily, I found the city in high spirits, particularly on this vast square awash with mime artists and circus performers. For ten minutes or so I could empty my mind and drink in the uncomplicated frivolity. 

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