Thursday, May 14, 2015

Soller





The trip to Soller was probably one of the most beautiful trips i took in Mallorca. We heard of the possibility of going by an historical train to the another beach in the island and we said to ourselves let's try it. So very early in the morning we took the bus from CanPastilla to Palma and found the train station for the Ferrocarril de Sóller (Railway of Soller). Of course Palma has a huge central railway station with modern tracks and train which can get you very fast wherever you wish on the island. But this nice, small station breaths of history. The ticket is very expensive but it is worth all the money. This is a historical train station and a historical train which looks like it did in 1911when the construction started. It was build from profits from the sells of citrus fruit collected from the island.That's why it is called the Orange Express, even if when I first saw it I though it is called like this because of the color of the wood. It is a all made of wood and it is an electrical train, with wooden walls and benches and when you step on it you feel transported back into the past.


Historical train station

 Ready to go

The train links the town of Palma to the northern town of Soller. It passes through the whole island and through 13 tunnels under the mountain range of Serra de Tramuntana. One of the tunnels is so long that it takes 20-30 minutes to pass through it.We bough the ticket and embarked the train and finally we heard the beautiful whistle of the locomotive and the train started. It goes slowly through the streets of Palma and goes out into the fields. We go on and on through golden fields, mountain peaks empty or green full trees ad bushes, orchards full of olive trees and citrus trees; lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges. Sometimes the branches of the trees are so low that you can touch the fruits through the open window.

Golden fields
Mountains and houses
Mountain peaks
Lemons

A pleasant summer air enters the window and the train runs on and on. Fantastic landscapes go buy: High mountains, low valley, silver olive trees. Everything is green and full of fruits. Small villages appear and the trains stops, we see solitary houses lost in the fields or the mountains. The houses are white and reflects the hot sun of the day, with colored shutters that are almost always closed. There are flower, trees and vegetable gardens in almost all the courtyards. Here and there you can see clothes drying in the sun or animals. There is a beautiful smell of citrus fruits, trees and the sea breeze, which is everywhere around the island.

Houses along the way
Houses along the way

We enter tunnel after tunnel and then finally you enter the longer one of them. We travel in the dark and cold air for more then 20 minutes. Suddenly the train comes out of the tunnel and into the bright world outside and the it stop in the last station before Soller. There is no village here. It stops on the top of a mountain in order for the passengers to admire the Soller city which lies down in the valley. The city spreads in front of us in the valley, a mixture of red roofs, white houses shinning in the sun, in the middle of a sea of green and protested by the mountains. And in the middle of it like a pearl in an oyster is the Cathedral of the city. We all go down the train and make pictures, admire the view and rest after the trip.



 View of Soller
Stopping to make pictures
View of Soller

Then in ten minutes the whistle is heard again and we climb back. Very fast we enter the city and stop into the historical Soller railway station Ferrocarril de Sóller. Even from the train station we can see the towers of the Cathedral inviting us.

Welcome to Soller
Stepping down of the train

View of Cathedral from the train station
Train station in Soller

However we decide to first visit the gulf of Soller, Port de Soller by the sea. So directly from the station we go to the Tranvía de Sóller, an historical tram, also all from wood which connects the city of Soller to Port de Sóller, 3 km away. We enter the tram and sit on the wooden benches. It has no windows and you can admire the view around you. Very fast we are in the gulf of Soller. The tram goes slowly around the long beach and you can admire the blue water, the small boats and the beautiful view peacefully. At the end station we step down and we walk around the amazing beach.

Tram station from Soller
Port de Soller beach
Beach
The tram going to the last station

The gulf is very small and beautiful. The water is calm and blue and clear, there are almost no waves. The are palm trees along the beach and small restaurants or shops with refreshments. Around there are hotels and beautiful white houses with green shudders. The whole village of port de Soller is concentrated along the narrow road along the beach. it is a very quiet and peaceful location for a vacation. We make pictures and eat something in the bars on the beach. Everything is invaded by the wonderful Spanish sun. Its rays sparkle on the water and makes the small boats and ships look even whiter then they are. it's like a picture from a fairy tale book. People are on the beach, sunbathing or swimming, shops with souvenirs are opened. The wooden tram passes by here and there adding to the the pleasant atmosphere.

Main street in Port de Soller
 Port
 Palm trees on the beach

Hotels
The beach and gulf
 Beach

After we enjoy the gulf to our taste we climb back in the tram and return to the city of Soller. Now it is the time to explore it. The tram leaves us in the main square of the city, Plaça Constitució, near the Cathedral. We step down and admire the beautiful Saint Bartholomew Church. It looks to me like a small sister to the Palma Cathedral. It is made of the same sand colored stones, it has beautiful towers and base-reliefs, statues and stone decorations. And up, above the front entrance there is a delicate rose-window, similar with the one in Palma.

Tram leaves us in Soller


St. Bartholomew Church

Rose window

The other two imposing buildings around the church are the town hall and the bank of Soller. The square is also full of small restaurants, bars and coffee shops, tall trees and flowers. The majority of the restaurants are offering the famous sea food Spanish paella. The large street is paved with cobble stones and the tram passes through it.

 Restaurants in the square
Restaurants and shops in the square
Town hall

There is an open food market there along the street and i am stunned by the richness of the products offered. There are stand which offer honey and honey made products, there are traditional sausages and hams, full baskets of dried fruits, figs and sweets, pastries and the most varied and beautiful olives, from the greenest to most black one, spices and pickles. The rest of the town is from from narrow streets and beautiful white houses with green shudders to protect from the hot sun.

Market place
Olives
Dried fruits

We go back to the train station and we embark. We go back the same beautiful long trip and enjoy one more time the mountains and the fields and the beautiful orchards full of citrus trees. Then soon the first buildings of Palma appear and we knew our trip has ended.

Returning to Palma

It was wonderful but we are not sad, we still have a few more days of enjoying vacation in CanPastilla.




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