The power of the Soller Train
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 13th October 2015
Photographs by Rachel Fox
I took a day off this week and focused all my attention on a happy little six year old.  My granddaughter goes to a local school in the Port of Soller and they had a day’s holiday to attach to the bank holiday weekend.  This gave me the opportunity to get away from the computer screen and get on the train with her.  This was an eye opener into the tourism world which is so vital to the Soller Valley .  Our master plan was the journey and recording of the number of tunnels we went through.  A note book and fully sharpened pencil were in evidence as the journey began. She has just begun to learn ‘joined up writing’ at school so each word and sentence had to be carefully constructed.
Our fellow passengers were an absolute delight because they were so enthusiastic about the train and the journey.  We were the only ‘locals’ travelling in our compartment and the rest were German, English and Swedish visitors.  They marvelled at the trains ability to climb the mountain and the design that allowed you to see Soller first from the left of the train and then from the right.  The many tunnels and the clickerty clack of the train took all travellers back to a bygone age of travel.   Some people had bought the special day trip package which entitled them to entrance to the Can Prunera Museum of Modern Art in Soller, Es Baluard Museum in Palma and a return train and tram journey.  The price for this busy day is 30€. Then there is another combination price trip for train, tram and boat trip to Sa Colobra.  All the information about the special offers is available at the stations of Palma and Soller.
The train arrived at the the Placa Espanya in Palma and our day trip took us to the local park of the Stations.  This park is the lungs and heartbeat of the city centre and contains space for everything including some imaginative play equipment for kids.  I sat in the sun as children played and made new friends from the melting pot that central Palma is.  The change of landscape and sheer numbers of people that a 50 minute train ride brings you to is amazing.  The Soller Valley seems busy to us and in comparison Palma feels like central London .  All relative I know and underlines how very much we have changed places now and are used to our Solleric rhythm of life.
Autumn has arrived and the pickers are out with their baskets.  Our local pickers know their mushrooms and scour the earth at the right time of the day for the delicacies.  The mushroom is revered in the Soller Valley and local restaurants have special menus which they present with great delight at this time of year.  It all kicks off this Thursday when six of the Soller Valley ’s finest chefs join forces to outdo one another with their mushroom creations.  Es Canyis Restaurant on the Repic Beach is hosting the ‘Mushroom Bake Off’ on Thursday 15th and reservations for the event are a must.  This special treat is 65€ per person for a six course mushroom menu including wine.
Halloween is getting a little publicity around these parts this week. The memorable Halloween parties held in Cas Fiols in Biniaraix where actors and set designers Drew Donovan and Tommy Carter worked their magic are moving the goalposts this year… Cas Fiols is a beautiful large house in magnificent ground in the heart of Biniaraix. In the past outhouses were transformed into a very scary haunted house, great fun was had by all and it became the Halloween party venue of the area.  This year the Isla Theatre Group is getting involved and the Haunted House will be on multiple floors and the mayhem is even scarier.  Two nights of Halloween for this new wave experience reserve Friday 30th and Saturday 31st October for spookiness in the Soller Valley .  More information on or 670 273455.
The Port of Soller is not to be outdone and they are planning a Halloween Fiesta for Saturday 31stOctober starting at the Camp de Football.  A ghostly parade of children in costumes will wend their way through the streets of the fishing area of Santa Catalina before being met by the kindness of the ladies from the Third Age Centre.  Food, drink and party will then be enjoyed by young and old alike.  Halloween is a relatively new experience here but Sollerics love to dress up and parade and this is another great opportunity to do just that.  See you there – I hope…

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