I would like to start by giving information about Train travel in Spain. One of the things I truly enjoy and take advantage of when traveling within Spain, Italy, France and the UK is their train service. They have Speed trains that can travel at over 300 km. One of the best ones is in Spain. You can purchase tickets and check timetables at their website RENFE. There is an English version and of course a Spanish version. Spain's speed train is called the AVE. Purchasing tickets on-line is very safe and efficient. You can pick the class - First class or Economy and can even pick the carriage and your own seats on-line. Then print your e-ticket before leaving your country to board the train in Barcelona or Madrid.
The train trip from Barcelona to Madrid is 3 hrs. Their midpoint is Zaragoza, only 1 1/2 hrs by AVE Speed Train from Barcelona or Madrid. I highly suggest buying a ticket in First Class as it comes with a full meal served with stainless steel cutlery. The food is served by their own Train Attendants similar to the Flight Attendants. Riding in First Class is also more civilized, seats are spacious and very clean. There is even a movie shown! Economy is not bad but you have to purchase your own food in the Train Cafe, it is usually crowded and noisy.
This is one of the pilgrimage sights in Spain. The story is that Mother Mary miraculously appeared standing on top of a Pillar along the Ebro River to a helpless St James, to give him encouragement and to strengthen his faith to convert the locals to Catholicism in Spain. Our Lady of the Pilar with it's rose scented Pillar is now displayed in this huge Basilica. Devotees kiss a portion of the Pillar. The pillar truly smell like roses! The body of St James is now buried in the Santiago De Compostela in Compostela, Spain which is one of the Ancient Pilgrimage sights after Jerusalem and Rome.
|One of the Altars in the Basilica Del Pilar|
Facade of the Basilica of Nuestra Senora Del Pilar
|Stone Bridge is the oldest bridge that is still preserved over the Ebro River. Gothic in style.|