I still get a thrill when in a European train station. There is a proximity to possibility that you cannot get at an airport. The trains, heavy and powerful, move right next to you. Metal wheels grind and squeal against the tracks. You can look at a single departure board and choose a location. And within minutes, buy a ticket and get on a train.
When you arrive — Paris, London, Nice, Budapest, Rome, Madrid — you leave the train and emerge onto the platform in a clot of humans who begin to break off into groups and individuals to go to their own lives’ destinations.
There are new smells and languages in the station. People dress differently. The stores have unfamiliar names.
You pass through the station doors and there you are, suddenly and thrillingly, in the center of a new city.