Barcelona to Milan: If You See This Train Rockin’…

24 Square Feet of Love

This leg of our journey began several weeks ago.  The train from Barcelona to Milan was one of the few parts of this trip that Steve was responsible for booking.  Unfortunately, online reservations were not an option, and the booking office was located in the UK.  I woke up at 4AM on a Saturday morning to make the call over Skype, and spoke with a delightful chap from the London office who informed me that this train happens to be one of the most expensive in all of Europe.  Even better, the only available tickets were in the special extreme extra super duper double grande class.

Neither Jenny nor I have taken a long distance train trip before, so we didn’t quite know what to expect; this mystery was compounded by the fact that our ticket was printed in German, our car’s porter spoke only Spanish and Italian, and I’m pretty sure the signage on the train was in Sanskrit.

Once aboard the train, we found our way to our cabin, which wasn’t difficult, as there were only five on our particular car, and luckily the number 4 seems to be fairly universal.  So what does a mega super jumbo special wonder class train ticket get you on the Salvador Dali hotel train? Inside was a surprisingly compact (we’ll say cozy) room with two seats, and a door leading to a bathroom, complete with toilet, shower and sink, plus some important-looking signs no doubt warning of global death and destruction, all in a variety of languages that we do not speak.  Sadly, this bathroom did not include a bidet, so we would have to rely exclusively on our (sometimes questionable) wiping prowess for this portion of the trip.

14 Hours/Small Space

No sooner had we gotten situated in our chairs when our server stopped by to invite us to have a drink as we departed, in a drinking car that we were never able to locate (despite the limited number of directions it could be).  Shortly after, we made our way to the chow wagon (there’s probably a more formal name for it), for our advertised 12-star ultra gourmet meal.  And to be honest, the food was pretty good.  Plus, they had menus in English, and the server begrudgingly spoke to us in our native tongue, so we knew that we weren’t eating endangered species or poisonous plants (although Jenny did manage to get one of the more heartless dishes modernly available, foie gras).

After figuring out that our meal was included and that the check we were waiting on would never arrive, we returned to our cabin to find that our seats were now bunk beds (TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE).  Fighting over the top bunk ensued, with Jenny winning out after a vicious right hook.  She would later ask if I would share the bottom bunk.  I thought she just wanted to cuddle, but apparently the top bunk was very bouncy.  Whatever, I’ll take what I can get.

Morning arrived, and we had not yet reached our destination, but we had reached food time.  Eating breakfast while passing through the Alps is a pretty cool way to spend the morning.  With enough time to shower and get packed before arriving in Milan, train travel had proven itself to be a pretty badass way to get places.  Screw flying, I’m buying a train to get around.

Just Passing Through

Next up: Milan, The Most Magical Place on Earth