Friday, August 24, 2007

Queen Victoria's Railroad in Spain

Queen Victoria made a lot of railroads - and one of the most picturesque is in Spain. What happened was this: Queen Victoria wanted to see Ronda, but the roads were not safe (banditos and such) So she sent engineers and commissioned a railway to be built from Gibralter to Ronda. It's still in use today, and what is charming (besides the conductors in their red hats) are the stations - all Victorian style with the added touch of Spanish cafés and flowers.
We took the train from Gaucin and went up the mountains to a small town ( Benaoján) where we got out, had lunch, and took a walk. A lovely day!
The train tickets cost 2 euros for a two-way trip. The coach was modern and comfortable. The Gaucin train station is in the valley, and the drive down from Gaucin is spectacular. (Check your brakes before you start down the winding road...)

The views from the train were beautiful - tall mountains, steep gorges, cliffs, plains, and groves of cork oak and olive trees.

The stations are all painted white and ochre - the yellow ochre is famous and is called 'Ronda Yellow'. There is usually a small café tagged on to the station, where you can get a cold drink and relax in the shade.


Seeley deBorn said...

Those black and white photos of a train station are beautiful!

For some reason it just seems like that's how train stations should be photographed.

Gabriele C. said...

Being Queen has a few advantages. :)

Since I'm often dependant on public traffic when traveling, I have found I'd love to have more buses and trains going places.

Sam said...

Hi Seeley - and thanks!
Gabriele - ah, if I were only Queen...
(spoken like a true Leo, I suppose, lol.)

John Nez said...

That's what I always do when confounded by banditos! Simply build a railroad around the problem!


I suppose Queen Victoria must have helped pioneer the british invasion of Spain's sunny coast.

Oopsy Daisy said...

How beautiful! I never thought of Spain as somewhere I would want to visit (only because there were so many other places that I wanted to see) but after seeing your pictures Spain is definately on my "to do" list. Thanks for sharing!

Sam said...

John - I think it was a funny idea too - but apparantly, bandits were a big problem in those days. But the mountains are spectacular - lots of caves and hiding places!
Daisy - you'd love Spain. The north is different than the south, and the coast is all tourist spots - but the mountains are incredible. My husband loves the northern part of Spain best. I like the mountains. And the food is delicious!