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Thursday, February 12, 2004

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Screw cell phones, keep your laptop computer, put your palm pilot where the sun don’t shine; for 21rst century technology I’ll take this high speed train over anything. I take the train back to Madrid today. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to ride on one of the world’s best trains. I think it is so cool how all the Spanish people I have talked to have spoken of this train with so much pride—they should be proud. We Americans should really start looking to the future as far as tranportation goes—and the future leaves Seville every hour for Madrid. The future for me leaves at one o'clock.

The station in Madrid ‘es una maravilla’ as they say. It is a huge atrium full of plants, like a tropical island in the middle of the city. The station here in Seville is completely new. It is a little odd because it isn’t wired into the downtown like most train stations both in Europe and in the U.S. It was probably built to accommodate this high speed line from the capital.

The train is called the ‘Ave’ which means bird in Spanish. ‘Ave’ is the acronym for Alta Velocidad or high speed. As I mentioned before this thing really hauls. This train is so beautiful and modern that it makes me feel like some sort of country bumpkin. I have never been on any of the other European high speed lines. Did I mention that it was only 104 euros round trip?

Speaking of transportation I have noticed that Spanish drivers are very considerate of pedestrians. People are pretty courteous overall I would have to say.

The weather has been great every day that I have been here. It has been warm enough to sit outside here in Seville. I can’t imagine how many more tourists are here in the summer months. It isn’t too crowded this time of year.

Even with the dollar in the toilet this trip has been fairly inexpensive. I’ll list some prices that need to be converted into dollars. 1 Euro = $1.30 (Thanks George W. Bush for turning the dollar into the former Italian Lira)

Coffee .80€
Beer 1.20€
Wine 1.20-2.00€
Tapas 2.50-4.00€
Hotel  58€
Spanish Soccer Hooligan Newspaper (Marca) .90€

That is about all I have spent money on so far. I’ve never been much of a shopper when I travel. I have bought some books in Spanish and that is it.

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