Nocturnal Nightmare – A Spanish Sleeper Car – Barcelona to Seville, Spain

Nocturnal Nightmare – A Spanish Sleeper Car
Barcelona to Seville, Spain

Getting to Seville from Barcelona by train is a long trip – about 7 hours. So, to save time and the cost of a hostel bed, I had the brilliant idea of riding in a sleeper car. Thus the nocturnal nightmare began.

The loathsome top bunk
The loathsome top bunk
First, the room is about the size of two refrigerators, with four beds in it. OK, I have slept in worse, like a tiny cabin on a ship. However, I never shared that cabin with three crazy old ladies.

The first to arrive was a Swiss lady, whom we shall refer to as Nuts, who luckily spoke Spanish and English, and served as translator for the saga that quickly ensued.

She explained her serious fear of heights. She was not going to sleep on the other top bunk. I had the other one, and at the time I could only hope another young, able-bodied, ladder-climbing person would arrive.

In walked old lady number two, whom we shall call Big.

Why? Because she was simply enormous. From a jumbled conversation, I understood she has a home in Barcelona and one in Seville.

Nuts explained to Big about the bed, and we all waited for lady three to arrive. Please god, let it be another college-aged backpacker!

Alas, no such luck.

We shall call this woman Old, because she was quite simply ancient. Wrinkled, hunched, and maybe 100 pounds dripping wet, her little husband helped her into the room. It looked like the only things holding her up were his arm and her extra-thick pantyhose.

No way was she climbing a ladder into bed.

So, Nuts was about to go sleep in the hall or something, when Big took it upon herself to hoist up to the bunk.

What a production. It was like watching a whale beach herself. Belly rolls rolled, double and triple chins jiggled and a series of grunts filled the small cabin.

Add a skirt and jolting train cabin into the mix, and I was in serious shock and awe.

Old looked afraid she would be a cushion for Big’s seemingly inevitable fall, and Nuts just stood there staring apprehensively.

Miracle of miracles, Big made it without any harm. She could no longer move, so I helped her put away her things, and the other two settled into their beds.

I went to the bathroom to change and brush my teeth, and when I returned everything was dark and it was a shaking sauna.

As if that weren’t enough, Big was, inevitably, a serious snorer. Not just loud, but with a frightening wet noise, half way between a raspberry and drowning sputter – it was disturbing.

I ended up spending most of the night in the hall. On the way back, I booked a regular seat and slept like a baby.