Atocha RENFE Station and AVE friom Madrid to Barcelona
Our major activity on Day 2 was getting ourselves from Madrid to Barcelona. This required many first time rail experiences; first time on Madrid’s Metro, first time activating a EuroRail Pass, and first time on a train traveling 300 km/hr.
Madrid’s Atocha Train Station is a satisfyingly grand building. Such buildings augment the significance of transport. There is a lush green garden stocked with ferns, trees, and a horde of turtles. We extended our tour of gardens by visiting the Botanic gardens close to the train as we waited forojr time to board.
My first experience with Madrid’s high speed train, the AVE, had me wishing we had such a train in the United States. I want one of these connecting San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We booked Preferente (1st) class tickets, but Turista (2nd) class seats didn’t appear to be too much different from ours. You get the equivalent of an airplane meal in Preferente and free beer/wine.
The AVE satisfyingly has a speedometer that shows the train gradually accelerating ~300 km/hr.