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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous at |

    A word of caution from a train weary traveler. On a recent trip to Spain and France, our group thought taking a train from Spain to Paris would be cooler than a short plane ride so we could see the countryside on our way for about the same money. We boarded about 8:30 AM from coastal Spain and settled in for what should have been 6 hour trip (I think.) En route one of the overhead rails broke on an adjacent line which required us to share the rails with Southbound cars like you might on a highway when the road is one lane with lines of traffic stopped one way so rows of cars coming from the opposite direction can use the lane safely. Short version–we had about 14 hours of start, go a bit, stop, wait, start repeat. No problem, we all had electronics and each other and even some delightful fellow travelers. Big problem came when we had to change trains and the FOOD AND LIQUOR was left on the other dining/bar car. Once the boxed food was handed out to children and pitiful looking adults like me, the Dommer party emerged. At one stop I saw people getting off the train and hitting the vending machines, rushing back on when the horn sounded signalling that the train waits for no snacker and to get back on immediately or get left behind. We were not going to eat from the machines FOR THE FIRST 8 HOURS, but I eventually gathered change from everyone and hit a machine–pretzls and Snicker bars seemed like a complete meal. Passed out most of the packages on my way back to my seat, but must admit I saved a couple of Snicker bars for ME. I kinda hope I never see another Snicker bar in my life as I nursed a couple for four hours. Arrived Paris 2 AM and rail had buncha taxis waiting. My best memory is a young couple with precious son about 6 years old who told me all about graduating from kindergarten and then taught me some new dance moves. I showed him mine, and we laughed. When I asked parental units where they were staying (they were world travelers as she was an airline employee), they said they would Hotel Tonite when we arrived for the best deal closest to rail. Genius and plucky with small child.

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