In two of this year's notable high-speed train derailments--Compostella in Spain in July and the New York Metro North crash on Sunday--the train driver survived, but many of the passengers and crew, who were presumably in cars further back from the engine car, did not. Is there any data from any safety board (NTSB or similar in other countries) that suggests any particular train cars are more safe than others in the event of a derailment? [more inside]
I’m currently based in Andalucía, Spain, teaching English for the school year, and am planning to visit neighboring France during Christmas vacation. France fascinates me and will be the first country I visit outside of Spain during my time in Europe, but to be honest: I know nothing. I have approximately 13 days to spend in the country, I would like to see Paris and a few other sites in the northwest, and I will probably enter the country on the Mediterranean coast (from Spain) and leave via the Basque Country (to return to Spain). What should I see? [more inside]
Train ticket frustration, Level Spain: Have any of you encountered the message "tren bloqueado" or "train blocked" when trying to buy tickets from Renfe? What exactly does it mean and will I ever get a deal on these tickets? Is there anywhere that will sell them? [more inside]
Getting from Benicassim to Madrid. [more inside]
What is the cheapest way for me to get from Estapona (Spain) to Gibraltar or Algeciras? The closest train stop would be in Malaga, which is even farther in the wrong direction. I don't have a European driver's license, so it appears that I won't be able to rent a car. Bus? Taxi? Are those going to be outrageously expensive? My Spanish is quite bad; should I even consider hitchhiking?