Thursday, April 12, 2007

Madrid

The capital of Spain, Madrid was our last and final destination in Europe. We took the Francisco de Goya train and arrived weary and dazed about 14 hours after we started.

Our coach was divided into four separate rooms. Each room had two chairs, a bathroom and a shower. Can you believe that? A shower in the middle of the train! Not only that, each coach had 4 showers!!! I was not that adventurous so I did not partake of the shower in the train. Furthermore, our baggages were a little big. To fit in the rooms, we had to put the two samsonites into the bathroom and shower area. Needless to say, I also did not go to the bathroom unless I could accomplish the mission while standing up.

The French train station was not something that I could have imagined. Simply because there were pigeons in the station. And the pigeons were not really shy about trying to get your food. We waited for our train at a cafeteria/café and ogled the multitudes of travelers going to and fro France & Spain. We noticed that unlike the US, there was a military presence in the train and public areas in France. And, the soldiers were carrying real mean looking sub-machine guns.

Though we had just eaten at the cafeteria, I asked that we have the 8PM dining experience. It worked out because we could see the countryside. During the dinner, we were introduced to the lack of customer service in Spain. Apparently, the Spaniards do not hold it as much as the French do. It also did not help that the other waiter who was helpful could not speak English.

When we got back to our rooms, the beds had been prepared for us. It was a very cramped room, but we were adventure traveling. I could not really expect 5 star accommodations in a train!

While lying in our beds, the SO would suddenly ask "What are you doing? Are you shaking the bed?" I replied, "No honey, that was the train."

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