I don’t understand why we are always in a rush. Sometimes it’s our own fault, like when we come back late from an excursion and only have twenty minutes to pack and get to the bus. But other times, I feel they schedule our desafíos too close to our initial arrival challenge.

Today was a great example of that. We started off in Seville—amazing city, by the way—and we had to solve the riddle. It was noon when we finished that challenge and we had to be in Madrid in about four hours. The drive is about five and a half hours, so there was no way we were going to make it. I got really frustrated because I didn’t know what our task would be, and I didn’t want to have to finish up in the dark. By this time I was fuming, so I went outside to take a break.

About five minutes later a woman came outside and told me to simply take the AVE. I told her “ha ha, very funny. I’m sure a bird is going to get us there faster.” She said it wasn’t a bird; it was a high-speed train. I know the trains back home are pretty fast, but they make frequent stops. The woman told me to come to her office and look up the schedules and fares. I was hesitant, because I wasn’t sure if this train could get us there in time, but I didn’t have much of a choice since I didn’t want to be late.

The website was pretty cool. It gave me some great information about the AVE trains. These are high speed trains, and they go in excess of 150 mph. The site said the trip from Seville to Cordoba would “only” go about 155 mph because there were a lot of steep curves, but the speed would increase from 155 to 185 from Cordoba to Madrid. How awesome is that? The total trip time was three hours and fifteen minutes. Three hours and fifteen minute  of 150–185 mph sounded like motion sickness waiting to happen!

ave-train-station

The discount tab was another cool feature of the website. There was a special fare for students and people under twenty-five. Sis didn’t make the cut, so she had to pay full price, which actually wasn’t that expensive. There was a train leaving in about half an hour, so we had to buy and print our tickets and rush out of the office. The bottom of the ticket said the gates close two minutes before departure, so that left us twenty-eight minutes to jump in a taxi to get there. Sis told the driver to step on it, and he really did. We were flying around the streets of Seville. Did I mention that Seville is amazing?

ave-train-in-motion

Activities:

  1. AVE is an acronym and means Alta Velocidad Española. Guess the meaning for these acronyms in Spanish:
    Mexico D.F.
    Barcelona F.C.
    E.E.U.U.
    J.J.O.O.
  2. Go to Google Maps and find the cities of Córdoba and Sevilla. Then, describe the train route between both cities.
  3. Go to the website http://www.renfe.com/ and find the price of a round trip ticket between Sevilla and Córdoba. Does it seem expensive or inexpensive?