I had arrived at Cala Jóncols by boat, weighing anchor in the shallow waters of the bay and stepping ashore the secluded beach like a latter day, far luckier and drier Robinsoe Crusoe.
The charismatic chiringuito beach restaurant with its nautical décor, provided the venue for a wonderful lunch of suquet de peiz followed by what just might be the best cakes I have ever eaten – coca de crema y piñoñes. Resisting the overwhelming urge to bite into my third cake, I wandered back out onto the beach where the train to Roses was waiting. I climbed aboard and the wheels of the Roses Express crunched along the shore before taking the narrow, unmade track that led from the beach to the coastal road and leaving a small dust cloud in its wake.
Climbing to the headland above Cap de Creus, the train trundled along at a gentle pace allowing the panorama of secluded bays framed by the spidery branches of pine trees and fronted by the translucent blue of the Mediterranean to open up. Music accompanied our journey as we dipped and climbed along the coastal road, sometimes so close to the vegetation that branches of scented bloom pushed their way through the open sides to take a peek at the travellers inside.
It’s not every day that you can step onto a train on the beach, but the Roses Express is no ordinary train. In fact it’s two open carriages pulled by a tractor and, far from only being able to go where rails are laid, the Roses Express can cover terrain that some 4X4 drivers would shun.
Operating out of Roses and Cadaqués in the scenically stunning north east corner of Costa Brava, the trains travel daily, taking in points of interest along the way and visiting beautiful spots like Portlligat where Salvador Dali´s house is, the picturesque resort of Cadaqués and the beauty of Cap de Creus. The Roses and Cadaqués Express trains are a wonderful day out for the family which combines the pleasures of sightseeing with a fun outing for children and are well worth tearing yourself away from the beaches of Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar to experience, if for no other reason than to be able to say that you caught a train on a beach.
The trip from Jóncols to Roses on the Roses Express covers a distance of 30 kilometres and costs 16 euros for adults, 11 euros for children.
Photo copyright: Andy Montgomery
Posted : Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 at 11:00
Andy Montgomery is a travel writer and blogger currently living amongst banana plantations in the north of Tenerife. If she’s not sipping mojitos in a Cuban bar or clinging to some vertigo-inducing outcrop by her fingernails, she’s working on her Buzztrips travel website.