I left Berlin at 10:30 am on Saturday morning. Two days, seven trains and one amazing World Cup game later, I am now in Madrid. It has been a whirlwind week of international sport and travel, and I’ve loved every second of it…except maybe the sardine-packed trains after the US vs. Italy game in K-town.
Since leaving Berlin, I’ve taken a German ICE train, some regional trains in Germany and Spain, the sweltering Paris metro, and a French TGV night train with no sleeper car. All part of this crazy adventure I continue to have. The buzz of summer sport and heat makes traveling a bit more tiring, but also more exciting too, as World Cup fever keeps growing.
I’m happy to have about a week now to rest without any major distance train trips, although I must say the night trains and marathon travel days do help keep costs down on accommodations and save time too. If you are traveling by train in Europe this summer, just be prepared for the unexpected too — this morning our night train from Paris, France to Irun, Spain decided to discontinue service at the second to last stop. The train crew announced that we would have to get off and take a bus to the scheduled final destination, Irun, where many of us had connecting trains to catch. What a way to wake up after a night scrunched in a train seat! Thankfully there was a short and cheap regional train we could easily take, and a nice multi-lingual passenger who helped tell us all about it (since the French train crew did nothing except wake us up and tell us to get off the train!)
It’s all part of the fun of summer train travel in Europe…I’m sure there will be more unexpected bumps to come, but plenty more fun and laughs too…oh, and good football to watch, of course! I’m off to watch the Spain vs. Tunisia match here in Madrid, should be a good time.