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Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley by Jack Scott

On Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

With hours to kill before our night flight back to Blighty, we plumped for a day trip to Sóller and its coastal sister, Porto Sóller on the north side of Mallorca. The touristy thing to do is ride the antique tren that runs from Palma railway station so that’s exactly what we did. The vintage rolling stock slowly pulled out of the station, chugging through the burbs and breaking free of Palma’s grim industrial hinterland towards a verdant agro-plain bursting with olive groves and pretty market gardens. Thirty minutes into the journey, we began to ascend towards the lush, pine-smothered mountains, passing through a series of long damp tunnels on route. For no apparent reason (Freudian?) Liam was visibly excited about the tunnels. After a couple of photo opportunity pit stops, we arrived at our destination.

Built in 1912, the railway is quite the engineering feat but I do wonder if it was a bit of a folly back in the day; the end of the line is a sleepy village in the middle of nowhere. Still, it’s doing a roaring trade these days judging by the international crowd shifting uncomfortably on the hard wooden benches. Note to self: next time, take cushions.

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Sóller itself is a picture-postcard hamlet with a handsome main square given entirely over to tourism. A spot of lunch was on the agenda and we sat down at one of the many eateries ringing the piazza. Our set-price tapas plate was a huge disappointment – overpriced, underwhelming and partially inedible. If you ever find yourself milling around Sóller, avoid the Sacova Restaurant. The next leg of our grand tour was by tram to Porto Sóller, a non-descript purpose-built resort set around a stunning bay in the shape of a Celtic bracelet. The sandy beach was packed with marinated sun-worshippers. Parasols and sunbeds, like much of the clientele, had seen better days. As the sun gave up the ghost, we hopped on an air-conditioned bus back to Palma (half the journey time and a fraction of the price) sated, slightly sozzled and steeled for the Sleazyjet scrum.

About - In 2010, Jack started an irreverent narrative about his new life in Turkey and Perking the Pansies became one of the most popular English language blogs on that side of Aegean. As the blog developed a head of steam, a growing worldwide audience clamoured for a book. Jack duly obliged and his hilarious (well, he thinks so) memoir, Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey hit the streets at Christmas 2011. The book became a critically acclaimed, award winning best seller and its success has opened out a whole new career for Jack as an author. Jack and Liam decided to end their Anatolian affair and paddle back to Britain on the evening tide. They washed up in Norwich, a little gem in eastern England. Jack's now on a Turkey roll. He's released the best of the blog as a two part e-book, Turkey, the Raw Guide and Turkey, Surviving the Expats. The uncensored director's cut includes previously unpublished material together with solid advice about the extra-ordinary land that Jack called home for four years. Jack likes to be functional as well as decorative.

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