From the first page of the E5D chapter on Madrid:
In no other land will you feel, so much, that you have stepped through a time-machine into the past. There are plains in Spain where you needn't shut your eyes to imagine that Don Quixote and Sancho Panza are riding on the scrubby, bare land that stretches into the distance, unmarred by billboards or electric power lines.
Naturally, this quaintness has its penalty: the economic backwardness of Spain and the poverty of its people. The amazingly low prices of this nation . . . are not the product of progress, but of decline. While we are the lucky beneficiaries of those prices, it is nonetheless the fervent wish of this book that the Spanish people will have a better future, and that Spain, in the years to come, won't be so darn easy to visit on $5 a day.