I get that Ferrari aren't really in the position to run a car around Fiorano tomorrow. One look at the above photo (taken earlier today) is proof of that. But I don't get why they had to cancel the entire launch. Scrap the shakedown, but give the media a chance to ogle the car and grill the men and women involved in its conception.You might think it odd to write a travel blog about not actually going anywhere, but sometimes you don't need a destination to have a journey. And not in a self-help book voyage of inner discoveries way.
Sometimes you pack a bag, spend a night in the airport hotel
, make it through security, and find out in the departures lounge that the event you're going to has been cancelled.That's what happened to me this morning. Woke up, went to the North Terminal, and suffered the typically dehumanising experience that is going through airport security. I pootled around duty free, covered myself in a cologne I've fallen in love with but can't afford, and went to check on my gate. While waiting for the information to come up on the board, I had a quick flick through Twitter.Which is when I discovered that the Ferrari launch had been cancelled.But you can't trust a tweet when it comes to something official like that, can you? I mean, Ferrari surely would have emailed the accredited media to let them know their services were no longer required, right? And I'd not had any emails.Safe being better than sorry, I rang Maranello to check on the situation. The launch was definitely off.And so began the adventure of not actually going anywhere. I got escorted out of Gatwick Airport via all sorts of secret hallways usually closed to the public, and was taken to the passport control. Immigration asked where I'd been, and laughed when I replied 'departures'. Then they took me to the customs hall, where for some reason they made me go through the 'goods to declare' channel. But then no one talked to or searched me, so god only knows what all that was about.The oddest part of the entire escapade came when I got a phonecall from the receptionist at the Hotel Domus, where I'd booked to stay. Far better informed than I, he explained that the launch was off and asked if I wanted to
cancel my booking.Ferrari did eventually send a cancellation email, which arrived about an hour after I would have made it to Maranello.
I'm not being paid to write any of this, and I didn't get a free stay. In fact, my one night in the Gatwick Airport Yotel
- to be ready for the Ferrari launch that didn't happen - cost me sixty-two of your finest English pounds.So rest assured that this fulsome praise comes from the heart, and not from any commercial interest. Although if the Yotel folk decide they want to give me free accommodation in their New York branch during the US Grand Prix in New Jersey, I wouldn't say no. Just putting it out there...
First things first - the images I've used here come from the Yotel website, as the room was too dark for me to be able to take pictures. And too small - I couldn't get a decent shot of the bed cubby, even standing in the bathroom.It wasn't too dark to read a book, just generally low lit. If you were in the mood for getting romantic, there wouldn't be any need to dim the lights. But the small space means you'd have to be quite creative and/or flexible.The cramped quarters were annoying when I was trying to sort out my suitcase, but no so small that they caused any real difficulties.And now on to the positives. While not a double, the bed was spacious for a single. There was a flat-screen TV built into the wall at the end of the bed, and it came with all the Freeview channels your heart could desire.The shower was mega. The bigger rooms get monsoon showers, but whatever they put in the standard cabin was fine by me. Loads of hot water, decent water pressure. What more do you want, except a giant fluffy towel? Well, you get one of those too. I was impressed by the quality of the towel for the price - you wouldn't believe how many flannels with pretensions get passed off as towels.And the best bit? The lack of a window meant that I went to sleep in total darkness. As a result, I slept like a log and woke up feeling refreshed for the first time in god only knows how long. Other positives include the clever use of space and the ability to ignore all human life by using a credit card check-in kiosk. Space-saving misanthropy FTW!