We hear so much about Europe's problems. Traveling here, I see its successes. Spain, with one of the most miserable economies in Europe, is now laced together by bullet trains so good that you hardly need to fly. Here's a quick peek at the ride from Madrid to Barcelona -- nonstop with speeds ranging from 250 to 300 kilometers per hour (around 180 mph). It's so nice to zip from downtown to downtown without having to deal with airports in 2.5 hours. And my train ticket included subway rides on either end, which made it even better. On the plain in Spain, the AVE train puts you in the fast lane. (You may want to turn up the volume for this video -- I'm whispering so I don't disturb slumbering passengers.)
This is Day 11 of my 100 Days in Europe series. As I research my guidebooks and make new TV shows, I'm reporting on my experiences and lessons learned in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Romania, and beyond. Find more at blog.ricksteves.com.