Touristic train Sóller – a journey into Mallorca’s past
Secluded from the capital in the Tramuntana Mountains was the village Sóller traditionally only accessible by the sea.
In order to reach the market located 23 kilometres away in Palma de Mallorca, traders had to force their heavy loaded mules over winding and steep trails through the mountains. This route took them almost 4 hours. In 1907 Jeroni Estades i Llabrés, a visionary of Sóller, started with the construction of one of the first railways of Spain. He connected Sóller with the capital over an electric railroad and reduced the journey time to 1 hour.
The inauguration was celebrated on the 16th of April 1912, exactly the same day the sinking of Titanic entered the maritime history books.
But the train lasted and endured over the troubled centuries and pleases nowadays tourists who visit the island. The train converted to one of the most important economic institution and a touristic sight on international level.
His wooden waggons, which are carefully taken care of, and his old fashioned rattle, let the visitor travel back in time into in the early 20th century, when the train was constructed.
Board the train in the centre of Palma de Mallorca. After a short trip through the city the way leads to the inland of the island. By the sight of the Majorcan countryside many visitors are amazed that the island has far more to offer than just sun and beaches.
Holm oaks, almond and olive trees as well as carobs, many of them fenced by old stone walls, accompany the traveller on the first part of the journey.
The second part leads directly into the Tramuntana Mountains, which inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 2011.
On the foot of the Alfàbia Mountains we are approaching Bunyola, the first village on our journey. From its centennial train station the train climbs up the mountains, through tunnels, bridges and viaducts. One of the most famous ones is Els cinc ponts.
The crooked road allows marvellous photos of the train and the impressive Serra de Tramuntana.
Leaving the last tunnel we reach the valle de Sóller settled in the midst of lush meadows of orange trees. During the harvest time one can taste the best citrus fruits of the island.
Sollér has a lot to offer:
- Church of Sant Bartomeu from the 18th century
- Banc de Sóller
- Mansión Can Prunera
- As well as permanent exhibitions of Picasso and Miró
Gastronomically Sóller stands out for its delicious sweets: the garrovetes del papa, angel hair puff pastry made with either meat paste out of paprika, apricots or chocolate or… there are no limits to products or flavours. Before heading down to the capital one should stop and rest in one of the restaurants with a sea view and taste one of the various fish dishes that have been caught freshly in the morning by local fisher men.
Web Tren de Soller: http://www.trendesoller.com/es/cms.php/tren
Vídeo del Tren de Sòller: