All aboard the noddy train to Soller!

So the other half – train buff and nerd extraordinaire – is super excited about the little wooden train that travels from Palma to the tiny village of Soller.

Travelling through mountainous scenery this nostaligic narrow gauge service takes about 1.5 hours to get from one to the other.

The wooden train has brass fittings, reversable seating and all the trappings of days gone by.

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Get there early as queues start forming ages before the train is loaded with passengers and you want to get prime position for the amazing views.

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Grabbing window seats we were able to enjoy the breath taking journey as it winds through the mountains.

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The train passes through 13 tunnels as it traverses the Sierra de Alfàbia mountain range which is 2.8 km wide and 496 metres high.

The Sóller railway has been running since 1912 and operates a daily train service along the 27.3 km.

From 1913 it has also run the tram service along the 4.9 kilometres from Sóller and the Port of Sóller.

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Here the pretty Port of Soller bathed in sunlight.

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Then it’s back on the tram to take in the amazing architecture in the tiny village of Soller

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Find out more about the train, times and costs here

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Train journey and end of the Indian road

The next leg of our trip involved a train trip to Varkala, the final stop on our trip. Here’s me not looking too comfortable on our little window ledge / seat / sleeping compartment!

Neil however was delighted to get a full meal for 50p plus the coffee man who hopped on and off the train at each station was very appreciated!!

At long last we arrive at our final destination of our first ever Indian adventure – Varkala, a laid back little resort, strung out along a cliff top, overlooking a long beach and serene ocean.

We stayed at the Seashore Resort on the quieter South Cliff.  what a fantastic end to our trip. In our own air conditioned apartment, looking out towards the sea.

A series of steep steps take you down to a virtually private beach from where you can walk to the main sands.

I’m glad we choose to do the North first, to get the crazy, hectic side done and then take the chance to chill out in the South for the final five days. Doing nothing but swim, eat and sleep!

It’s like two completely different countries, personally I feel that the North holds far more of interest and what I would class as the “real “India (If such a thing exists).

The south is hot, laid back and easy, lovely in its own right but not that different to any other beach resorts around the world.

But the North was a challenge, in every sense of the word an experience.

Half the time I loved it, half the time I hated it, I went from tears of frustration to awe struck amazement within minutes! It was dirty, polluted, bewildering and frustrating. It was the worst poverty I have ever seen.

But also it was incredible, awe inspiring, uplifting, colourful, friendly and amazing. I swore I would never go back. I know I will.