Fast Train. Slow Train. All Night Long!

I Miss Spain Already!  
Spain has been wonderful. I would like to come and visit again. For now we’re heading to Amsterdam. Traveling from Sevilla in Southern Spain to Amsterdam in the Netherlands seemed like it would be a pretty painless trip, what with the terrific train system in Europe and all. Even so, the reality has been that long distance travel, lots of hours to get from one place to another, wears us out over the course of a dozen hours or so. Thankfully, we only have two long trips planned. Flying would have been the easiest and quickest way to get around, but with 90 pounds of camping and bike gear we’re way over the weight limit and opted for the cheaper rail alternative. As it is, we need a soft bed, a hot shower and a quiet room.

Seville-Barcelona-Paris-Amsterdam

GareDuNord

Gare Du Nord Station in Paris.

Yesterday morning we caught the fast train that took us across Spain through the center of the country at 300km per hour. It was a quick view of  castles and cathedrals, oak covered rolling hills reminiscent of the North County, pine forests, and olive and citrus orchards and crop land. Beautiful all the way! The problem with a vacation is- there never seems to be enough time to fully explore. A week and we’ve just barely touched Andalucia. There’s so much more as evidenced by looking through the window.

To Recline is Fine
Barcelona to Paris was an adventure in Super Reclinable Seats! We booked a red eye on a hotel train, but opted for seats that reclined instead of getting the expensive sleeping berth. It was sort of like a moving, noisy and uncomfortable hostel. The train left Barcelona at 8:00pm and twelve hours later we were in Paris, red eyed, needing both a shower and a cup of strong coffee. We got the coffee.

Mmmm! McDonaldsMcDou
With a 7 hour layover in Paris, we had one pressing need- find a hotel in Amsterdam via the internet. We lockered our bags, strolled to McDonalds for the wifi and found our hotel. It’s fun to diss Mickey D’s, but it sure worked for us today. We even split a big Mac and fries.
We also did a walking tour of Montmarte, wandered through the Sacred Heart Cathedral and bought some groceries. Just the ticket to stretch our legs and fill the time. Back on a “fast train to Amsterdam and there’s free wifi and a comfortable seat. Now, if I could just have that shower.

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