Gooooo. My brain feels like...um...uh...goo. I have to catch a train to Sevilla in 45 minutes, and my brain feels like G.D. goo. This has inevitably happened on any trip that I have taken where my plans haven't been "set in stone." While the opportunity for spontaneity and (oh yes) ADVENTURE are great, there are these types of moments where the night before was a wee too long, and the train the next morning had to be scheduled a wee bit early. In these situations you need to make a decision: hit the snooze button and sleep two more hours - heck the town/city you're in has to have some hidden charms. Or, you get your butt in gear, forgo the shower, pray you've packed everything, and get yourself to the that train, ferry, or airplane.
On this particular morning my friends and I had already booked first class tickets on AVE - Alta Velocidad Espanola the high speed train from Madrid to Sevilla, and we were running low on travel days before we had to fly back to Dublin - we were going to be getting on that train. A mini mental breakdown, some cobblestone streets, and a helpful cabdriver later, we had arrived at Atocha train station (one of the two main train stations in Madrid) with a solid 8 minutes to spare...just enough time to take a snap shot of Ali in from of some trains:
Now let me tell you: the extra effort was most definitely worth it. This was hands dow my numero uno first class train experience. Yes, it is only one of two first class train experiences, but lady has seen olde tyme movies, I know what it is all about. This extra HIGH Molly rating isn't due solely on my relief in actually catching the train, it is for the overall experience:
1. Roomy & Comfortable seats
2. Relatively quiet cars
3. Yummy adult beverages - my appreciation for Bailey's on the rocks grows
4. Only a 2 1/2 hour trip sans the aggravation of driving, and dealing with a rental car.
Beyond all of this, the scenery along the way is extremely pleasant, and both train stations are easily accessible via public transportation, because of their central location. The extra price we paid could have definitely been avoided had we booked in advance, and were willing to spend a little extra time getting to Sevilla. However, we had no problems booking the tickets just a day before our trip in a tourist office just around the corner from our 'youth hostel'. I would caution that we were traveling in November, which isn't a peek travel month in Spain. If you are more schedule inclined, then I would take a gander at this website: www.refne.com (the Spanish national railway company website) or www.raileurope.com. This will give you rates and timetables for the Madrid to Sevilla train.