Simple Pleasures in the Tramuntana Mountains

Ferrocarril Sóller - Mallorca

The Balearic Islands are beautiful to visit, but the Ferrocarril Sóller (Sóller Train) beats out all of their famed beaches and oceanfront restaurants by a long shot.

The Sóller Train takes you from the hustle and bustle of Palma, past a few flat suburbs before it journeys over bridges and through tunnels in the Tramuntana Mountain Range to the breathtaking town of Sóller.  And even though the train has been shuttling people between the two places for nearly 100 years, it’s in great condition: impeccably clean with polished wooden seats.

I took in the fresh mountain air and the handsome, rugged landscape  as we chugged along 27 kilometers of winding tracks to Sóller.  Between the views and the train’s charm, I longed for the days when train travel was a coveted mode of transport.  And arriving at the station in Sóller only deepened my nostalgia.  With freshly sand-blasted stone walls, shiny wood benched, and oodles of art, I wondered how I hadn’t found this place sooner.

Restored Sóller Train Station

To my surprise, I learned that this tiny station is home to a splendid art museum, which features work by Pablo Picasso and his friend, the famous Catalan artist Joan Miró.  While the others from the train caught the tram down to the Port of Sóller, I stuck around.  In any case, how often do we get the chance to see an exhibit of this caliber in such a peaceful environment?  And it was peaceful.   I lingered in the gallery rooms looking at etchings, ceramics and paintings for close to an hour, only coming across eight or nine people.  What a treat!

So the next time you’re in Palma, I recommend heading over to Plaza de España to purchase your tickets for the Ferrocarril Sóller.  Get there early because they sell out quickly.  The Sóller Train and Tram schedules are available at the main information source for Tramuntana.

Joan Miró

*Since all of my photos from Mallorca except for six or seven were somehow corrupted on my old laptop, I had to borrow these images from other websites.  For the source of the first image click here and for the second, click here.

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