Showing posts with label Spain train travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spain train travel. Show all posts

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TP Thursday: The Train in Spain

We have limited options for train travel in the Pacific Northwest so we savor the experience when we are in Europe. In November, we traveled in Spain by train:


We first hopped aboard in Osuna, the town I’ve written about in earlier posts – Land of the Olives.  We loved its small station, opened in 1874. The agent who manned the ticket window also had the only desk job. Prior to each  train’s arrival, though, he’d put on his uniform’s cap and head to the station’s platform to manually adjusted the large levers that set the tracks in the correct position.

DSCF1696 From that history-laden platform, we caught a regional, regionales, train - similar to this one - that delivered us to Malaga. Two tickets cost 22.40-euro, or about $31US.  We purchased them the day we traveled.

After spending a week on the Costa del Sol, we returned to Malaga’s station to catch a long-distance train that would take us north through central Spain, hurtling us as speeds reaching 300 kilometers an hour through Andalusia and its neighboring Castilla-La Mancha region to Madrid.

DSCF1908In stark contrast to Osuna, Malaga’s train station is an enormous – think international airport size – modern facility.

DSCF1911The trains are equally as modern . . .and large; very large. Renfe is the national train service that runs most of Spain’s trains.

We walked past the engine pictured above to get to our car, half way down the length of the train. Note how far behind me the train stretches back to this engine.

The cost of our two AVE (the high speed train) tickets, which we purchased before leaving home and printed out on our computer (Malaga to Barcelona), was 316-euro, or $433US.

We would  have paid less to fly; it would certainly have been faster, but for us, the trip is as much about the journey as the destination and had we flown we would have missed scenes such as these:


One of Spain’s “White Towns” – loved the castle on the hill to the left.


Spectacular vistas stretched for miles in every direction. . .

DSCF1933At Madrid’s Atocha Station we connected with the train that would  take us to our final destination, Barcelona, on the northeast coast.

Again we had a slide show of Catalonian towns through the power lines that often line the tracks. 


Trains are a ticket to adventure for us. Got any suggestions for our next train trip?

Today is Travel Photo Thursday so be sure to visit, Budget Travelers Sandbox for more photos and destination temptations.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Estamos en Espana!

Yes, this blog post is being written in Madrid - we have arrived in Spain.  Seems those serene, silent days at sea have been replaced with the magic of Madrid.  The travel gods have been good to us this trip - better than the techno gods. 

I lost the ability to enter the blog our last day at sea and the wi-fi connection in our Madrid apartment doesn't recognize our little computer . . .or vice versa.  I have plenty of ship stories yet to tell so will intermix them with tales of Spain - now that we have found Starbucks and Internet access again!

Just to start our Spanish tales, I will begin with:

Running the Red Light

You see had our taxi driver in Barcelona not run the last red light we hit between the port and the train station we would have missed our train to Madrid.  And we are not the type to go racing through train stations (it isn't a pretty thing like in the movies) but there we were loaded with bags, juggling and stumbling our way through security checks, down escalators, past tickets booths and thanks to the driver running the light we made the train with a minute to spare.  One minute after we reached our seats, the train whistle blew.

There was a problem again at the port we learned causing our departure to be delayed from the ship (those silly Spanish are cutting their noses off to spite their faces with the slow-downs they are having) anyway we had allowed ourselves two hours between getting off the ship and getting to the nearby train station.

Actual time:  Got in taxi at 10:38 still beside the ship (we waited in line nearly an hour for a taxi) at 10:45 I announced from the backseat that we would miss our 11 a.m. train.  That seemed to spark the driver - he raced through the last red light; we paid as he drove, and at 10:48 we clumsily threw ourselves into the train car. At 10:59 the whistle blew and at 11 the train started.

Not the way we like to travel. . .but here we are in Madrid.  More soon about this wonderful town.


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