Posts tagged ‘AVE’

Off to Segovia

Up at 4 PM, showered, shaved and out the door at 5:00. We walked to las Ramblas to catch the metro at Liceu. We arrived at Sans in about 20 minutes and checked in for the train. High speed trains run much like flights. Security and check in and a waiting room until boarding is announced.

The first train for Madrid leaves at 6:00 PM, then one at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:30 and on. There are about 15 trains daily. I noticed lots of business people using the trains so I would guess the airlines are suffering on this route. The distance between Barcelona and Madrid is almost the same  as Montreal and Toronto.  I wonder why  no one is investing in rail travel in Canada given the inevitable rise in fuel costs. The interior or the trains are very comfrotable, and we weren’t in first class.

The Spanish landscape is really varied. From prairie like plains to badland like mesas. I found out later that the plains are from the same origins as the African savanahs. The views kept me awake for the whole trip. We reached speeds of over 300 kph but had no sensation of it. The trip takes approx 2 hrs and we actually arrived in Madrid’s Atocha station a bit early. We were taking cercanias (regional) train up to Segovia and had to find out where they were. The train station is huge and busier than Toronto airport at peak. One thing we noticed about dealing with Spanish tarin emplyees. Our experience’s made us beleive they do not offer any advice beyond the question you ask. For example, we went to a ticket counter for RENFE, asked for a ticket to Segovia and the agent told us the trains left from another staion. Alex informed him of the cercanias that left at 10:00. OH, the regional he says, buy that ticket over there. It’s like when we went to França station in Barcelona to buy an AVE ticket to Segovia. The agent told us the train left from the other station in Madrid but couldn’t tell us how long the connection took. Turns out it’s really simple and probable takes 15 minutes or so.

Anyhow, the trip up to Segovia was great. Once again the countryside kept me glued to the window. It seems like we were climbing up into higher regions because the towns took on distinctly alpine characteristics.

June 9, 2008 at 9:51 am 1 comment

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