Meeting Your Trip in MONFORTE 2014
On this page, you will find information about meeting your trip in MONFORTE de LEMOS.
We suggest that you print these pages out, and bring a copy with you to your trip.
When and Where:
We will meet at our Monforte hotel. Our usual hotels are the “Riosol” and the “Conde de Lemos,” both across the street from the station. Check your hotel list to see which you are lodged at.
We will assemble upon arrival of the evening train from Barcelona (circa 8p) if you are arriving in the evening, generally at the Riosol’s bar if we are staying there, sometimes at the station café, if we are at the Conde de Lemos. This sounds vague, but believe us, we will be easy to spot. If you arrive by overnight train in the morning, look in the lobby of the Conde de Lemos hotel, and in the Riosol’s café (hint if you are on the night train from Madrid: the station café opens before the hotel's café does).
Travelling to Monforte from Madrid
From the Airport (called Barajas) to Chamartin Train Station
There is an every-half-hour shuttle train, theoretically free if you show your main line rail ticket. Trip time to Chamartin is 8 minutes.
If you have time at Chamartin before your train towards Monforte, you may leave your luggage in a locker (outside the front of the station, in a separate office), and go off to explore the luggage storage facilty temporarily closes in times of terror alert). The area around the station is not of particular interest: seeing anything you want to see will involve another subway trip.
Train from Madrid to Monforte
There are several daylight trains to Monforte, each requiring a change of train. There is also an overnight “Hotel Train” (no connection required). The train you have selected will be marked on your ticket.
If you arranged your trip through us, we have presumably sent you your necessary travel documents. These should include one of the following three things, assuming you asked for your ticket from us:
- A railpass with accompanying instructions, which you will use for the trip from Madrid to Monforte. OR
- A train ticket (including seat reservation), issued in the US, and thus written in English. OR
- A train ticket (including seat reservation) issued in Europe, and thus written in Spanish.
If you have a railpass, you also need a reservation, or reservations, which block(s) a particular seat or bed for you on board each train you are taking.
Your train can be located by consulting the “Largo Recorrido” (long distance) “salida” (departure) board. If you have a reservation, locate your train by its number, since your stop is not the final one. Your reservation will also show a precise car (“coche”) and seat or bed number (“plaza”). You can locate the correct car by looking at the car numbers next to the car doors along the platform. Your reservation will also tell you how far you are travelling on this first train, and where to change trains, if applicable.
Day trains offer bar / restaurant service. Trains with restaurant facilities will serve lunch starting at around 1:30p, since the Spanish consider 3p to be the peak of the lunch hour.
Changing Trains in Palencia / Leon / Orense; Getting Off in Monforte
Your reservation should tell you the arrival time of your train in Palencia, Leon or Orense (the possible connection points). The reservation on the connecting train will tell you the departure time of that one. If you are going via Palencia or Leon, you have plenty of time to find your connecting train. If via Orense, things are tighter, and you should move quickly if your train from Madrid is delayed.
The Monforte station, when you get there, is a big one, and you will have plenty of time to figure out that you are there, and get off. If you are on the overnight train, your cabin attendant will wake you 30 minutes before you arrive, which happens around 5a if you are coming from Madrid (yuck).
Exit the station by the only exit, and you will see our hotels, Riosol on the left, Conde de Lemos on the right.
In an Emergency...
If for any reason you cannot adhere to this plan (you miss your train in Madrid, or whatever), call your trip Coordinator (number listed on your hotel list). If you can’t raise him on his cell phone, try the hotel, or our Paris office (dialing from Spain: 0033 1 42 36 02 34). Otherwise your Coordinator will be pretty panicked when he doesn’t see you in Monforte. More prosaically, he may presume that you have canceled your trip, and send your bike back to Paris.
If you miss the tight connection in Orense, you are stuck (the last bus will have also departed). Your choices are...
- Spend the night in Orense (we suggest going to the hotel on your itinerary, and checking in a day early), and continue to Monforte by morning train to do the (beautiful) bike ride. Leave your luggage in Orense, obviously. Or...
- Fund a taxi to Monforte, probably around 80€ for the 50-minute drive.
Monforte is a mid-sized town in the interior of Galicia. A slow, sleepy, somewhat rundown place, with beautiful architecture (if you are looking for it), in an attractive setting.
Madrid is the nearest intercontinental airport, Vigo, Santiago or A Coruña are the nearest airports.