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Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Dining room of the Elipsos "Joan Miro" Trenhotel
OCCIDENTIAL EXPRESS--My wife and I recently invited our adult sons to travel to Europe simply because it was an opportunity to catch up with each other.  We visited Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Brussels and traveled by train through each country.  From Madrid to Barcelona we took a bullet train and from Barcelona to Paris we hopped aboard the Elipsos Trenhotel.
The Elipsos isn’t a bullet train.  Either is it fabled Orient Express, but it is also not so time consuming or bank balance draining.  In fact, its slower pace is part of the charm.  For our budget and time frame, the Elipsos was just fine.  We  booked sleeping compartment for us and the men shared quarters.

We left aboard the Elipsos “Joan Miro” in early evening and arrived just after dawn in Paris.  We traveled through Spain’s Girona and Figueres before crossing the border into France.  We stopped briefly in Orleans before Paris.
Our sons found new friends at the train bar before we all sat down for a quality meal from a real restaurant.  The white table cloth service and the meal were first class. 

The whisky, wine, meal, and coffee that night made it one of the highlights of the trip.   One parents will never forget.  We toasted our oldest son's birthday
 on the “Occidental Express” and promised to return for a reunion with spouses.

Our second sitting late into the evening soon gave way to bed time.  It was then the fine wine made it easier to fall asleep in time to the constant clacking of the metal wheels on metal rails. Again, part of the charm.

The “Francisco de Goya” is an Elipsos Trenhotels with daily trips from Madrid to Paris.

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