taking the train to Spain … will I get there?

“Why are you taking the train?” friends and colleagues asked. “The flight from Paris to Valencia is under two hours.”

“I love train travel,” I replied, “And I’m curious to do this trip, I’ve never train-traveled to Spain before.” Believe it or not, the train is actually more expensive than air travel. But it’s so much more relaxing! The stress of getting to Roissy (Paris Charles de Gaulle airport), arriving at Roissy, standing in long lines like herds of cattle, doing your own ticketing and baggage check-in, going through security and then waiting-waiting-waiting in the departures area … I hate it all. Whereas the train: I hop onto the metro (the number 1 central line) which whisks me directly to Gare de Lyon train station. I get off, head leisurely to the departure hall, find the right track, climb aboard the fast-speed train and settle into my comfortable seat. Easy-peasy. Unless there’s a train strike.

A big strike is planned for Thursday April 6. All transportation, nation-wide, will be disrupted. But smaller disruptions can occur at any time.

It takes 7 hours to train travel from Paris to Barcelona. Time to read, watch a movie, nap, look out the window, study my Spanish lessons, walk to the bar car, eat lunch and look out the window (again) as the passing landscape changes from the drizzly north to the sunny south. A three-hour layover in Barcelona – ample time to stroll the boulevards of that fine city and sip an early evening cocktail in a sidewalk café – before climbing aboard the next train, destination Valencia.

April 8 to 10 is Easter weekend and many people will be heading south. Sunshine. Smiling faces (I do believe that Spaniards are happier than the grumpy French.) Beaches and the Mediterranean.

The purple-flowered Jacaranda tree.

7 thoughts on “taking the train to Spain … will I get there?

    • I don’t think they’ll dare, Don. For the unions to disrupt travel plans over the Easter weekend … that wouldn’t win the hearts and minds of the French. It’s a long 4-day weekend and people really want to get away.

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