IMG 0919 visits cities that are ahead of Manchester as tourists attraction sites to measure and see changes in the cities and the effect of tourism on local people as a result.  Milan, Lisbon and Madrid were visited recently.  Madrid is chosen to elaborate on as Madrid regularly visited in the past and at present and one can notice the differences more than the other two cities. 

Milan the fashion city and it is more sophisticated than other Italian cities and the Milanese think so, and they consider themselves more as European than Italians. Milan is very popular for a city break and popular destination for fashion lovers and wealthy people from Japan, Middleton Eastern countries, Korea and Russia in particular.




Only In Milan, a homeless person has a place like this to sleep in.











They visit Milan to full their wardrobes with the latest in fashionable garments, shoes, handbags and accessories and to enjoy Milan and the surrounding districts. 


Only In Milan

  • IMG_0189
  • IMG_0190
  • IMG_0196
  • IMG_0197
  • IMG_0198
  • IMG_0199
  • IMG_0200
  • IMG_0201
  • IMG_0202

Lisbon is becoming a more popular holiday destination for the visitors, as a city break and it is catching with art and fashion and developing a style. Lisbon is the mother of all sardines and the sardine industries.  Sardines diet is the main diet for the locals and the main item in the menus of the restaurants, cafes and bars. Lisbon has the most colourful and work of art outlets with different companies selling sardines.  

One of The Sardines Shops In Lisbon

  • IMG_5613
  • IMG_5615
  • IMG_5616
  • IMG_5618

The look of these outlets more like art shops than fish shops.


Lisbon pavements are another work of art each sidewalk is a piece of a mosaic that has a unique design which took a long time to produce and needs specially trained teams. In some area when you walk on the pavement, you think you are walking into a gallery of mosaic art dotted over the city. 


A ritual spot on Lisbon seafront

  • IMG_5510 (1)
  • IMG_5511
  • IMG_5512
  • IMG_5513
  • IMG_5514


Mosaic Art display one Lisbon Pavements

  • IMG_5628
  • IMG_5504
  • IMG_5522
  • IMG_5528
  • IMG_5582
  • IMG_5501
  • IMG_5638
  • IMG_5639
  • IMG_5642
  • IMG_5644
  • IMG_5646
  • IMG_5654
  • IMG_5655
  • IMG_5696
  • IMG_5703


Madrid is the place that visited several times every year to spend a few weeks each time and where the difference is more obvious than the other two cities. Each time one visite Madrid notice the changes. The Madrilenians are very nice, friendly and warm welcoming people. They are trustworthy and they trust others. Madrid is the only city or place on earth we have seen a  taxi driver stop the meter when missed a turning, which leads to follow a longer route. That witnessed and happened not once but twice!!!  not even seen it happening in Manchester.

When in Madrid one loves the menu del dia and have it nearly every day instead of the usual sandwich lunch in Manchester also love the siesta that follows the meal, which one certainly needs after the menu del dia.

There are things that one doesn’t like to see it happening in Madrid, which are  part  of tourism and what one calls side effects of tourism, which is incited and surviving  on tourism and hope Manchester will never catch it, these are :

The pickpocketing and street stealing: Madrid visitors targeted and preyed on by organised gangsters. Many tourists spend the night in a police station, on Calle de Leganitos, specialises in dealing with Madrid visitors subjected to pickpocketing or street stealing and valuables stolen from them.  Usually, after the initial enquiries about what to do when the nightmare happened. Visitors will be instructed to go to the police station on Calle de Leganitos where they find free phones to report the stolen bank cards to their banks. Then they have to spend hours waiting for their turn to report the incident and describe what has been taken in details, how much cash stolen, in which currencies and if they have noticed anyone suspicious or seen who has done to characterise. In the police station, they have albums of photos if one can recognise them. At the end of the reporting, the person(s) who had the incident sign and have a copy of the police report which is good for the insurance if you have it but usually nothing else follows,  as the stolen never return. We have witnessed a pickpocket reporting, and after seeing the gang who have done, it was actively hunting their prey the following day and reported them to the police. No action could be done as the three of them were underage and can not be prosecuted. Although these underaged groups may be controlled by adults which one can see them communicating with, still no action can be taken against the adults unless they do it themselves !!!! 

Pickpocketing and stealing in Madrid streets and public place spoil the pleasure of being in Madrid and gives Madrid a bad reputation, and it is in the increase, and if nothing is done about it, it will damage Madrid reputation. The longer it is left without a solution the harder it will get to solve as the gangster get richer and more organised. A few years ago a businessman from the middle east on a trip to buy shoes from Italy and England for his shops and we recommended Spain to add to his selection of shoes and to his destination. After his visit to Italy and England, he left for Madrid and at the airport he had his briefcase stolen. He was mad with us to recommend a country full thieves for him ( as he described Spain, which is not true and that is what we mean by bad reputation )  and he booked a flight to England the following day.  No matter how much you explain to people how good the people in a country are, when things like stealing and pickpocketing happens especially on their first day, they will not believe it.


Street sellers: first we saw them in Milan and now they are increasing in number in Madrid, men selling roses, plastic and flying articles etc. approach people in the streets, the restaurants, cafes and bar. Sometimes they start very polite and friendly then persistent and turns to abusive if you don't buy from them as these guys have targets of sales and control by other people as we learned from a Milanese friend.  Then you have groups of coordinated street sellers who sell faked designers handbags, sunglasses and faked designers garments displayed on about 1.5 by 1.5-meter bedding sheets like that have a few strings that when pulled convert the display sheet into a parcel that sellers put on their back to move on to a new location to display their goodies. After another a few minutes or until they have a single to pull the strings and move on.  In Milan, someone told us that the sellers there are under the control of people who provide them with the goods and sometimes the accommodation. They earn from commissions on the sales of items supplied by a warehouse in the city centre that provide them with articles suitable for the time of the day or the weather condition. When there is rain you see them selling umbrellas, then they swoop them to sunglass, day toys, night toys with light, scarves etc. all these goods provided by the warehouse and they settle the count of goods and money on the return. We do not know if Madrid has the same system of selling.      

On this site, we are not in a position to demand, request or even ask about changes  as we do know the circumstances and thinking behind these situations the responsible authority ..... etc but we  highlighting what we noticed and hope to see at least dedicated areas for the sellers then the situation will be more in order, more protection for the sellers, small businesses  and the visitors.

Anyone from Madrid can give or tell what they think of the situation and any visitors who have an opinion about it please give us your feedback.

love people

Street Prostitution: Central Madrid had a pocket of prostitutes hanging around for clients in the back street on one side of the Gran Via.  3 years ago they started to move to the other side of the Gran Via, and the number has increased and so the area coverage moving towards Sol. Every time one visits Madrid see more of Prostitutes holding positions in the street corners, under trees, shop windows up to the police station on Calle de la Montera between Gran Via and Sol. The number has increased to the limit that sometimes you hear them arguing about whose the position belongs to and see them fighting for it.


The majority if not all of the Prostitutes in this area are immigrant from less fortunate countries and not to name the countries here. These Prostitutes are sometimes used and abused by men sometimes from their own countries and others to have the business.  When they succeed to get a client after a few hours waiting they take the client to a nearby the flats/buildings where they stand. A man usually waiting by the door allows the Prostitutes with the client to get to the flat and check the time. The generously of the Spanish people has been abused by a few men to make money out of these ladies willingly or not depend on the circumstances. These girls and women used continuously like just things not people as people should be loved and care for and not used or abused and only things should be used not people.

In Spain, the Prostitution by itself is not directly addressed in the Criminal Code of Spain, but exploitation such as pimping is illegal. But who is going to follow each Prostitute to check if they are working alone or they have a pimp? It is obvious they work with men in the area that provide them with flats guard by men to take the clients to do their business/job then they go to stand again in street soon after they finish with a client. 

One of this site team approach a women group in Madrid when they had a tent in Sol and ask them

1 - if they aware of the prostitution problem in the area and how it is in the increase and moving towards Sol

2 - if they consider that these women are used by men  

3 - If they have done anything about it or they know someone has done anything about it 

They agree that prostitution is in the increase in the area and moving towards Sol and they agreed that these women are used by men but they have not done anything about it or know someone working to correct the situation. They agree that something has to be done to correct this situation and to stop women used and maybe abused by men to generate money out of them. This site agrees with them as one should be friend with and love people and use things not people. Hopes something to be done and quickly to correct this situation as described briefly here to stop these 100s of women be used and may be abused by a few men and to stop Madrid and Spain generosity receiving these women to be violated by a few men to create huge money. If this situation not corrected soon enough it will be very hard to solve as these a few men get richer and richer then they will have the resources to survive, and it will be very hard to get rid of them by anyone, and in fact, this practice maybe imposes and normalize. 


The Guardian wrote the following article this week on the prostitution in Madrid, 
'Prostitution is seen as a leisure activity here': tackling Spain's sex traffickers
The link is
Hope someone will listen to The Guardian more than and deal with the problem



600 Characters left