Do you like trains? There are fans all over the world and as the king of transport was at one time the train, the truth is that many countries have, conserve or have developed rail routes that are a real ride. For example, him Larrún train.
It's a french train But it is very close to the border with Spain, so if you are in Navarra, maybe you can cross it and get to know it. If not, here you have information about this cogwheel train.
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Larrún and his train
In Western pyrenees is a summit called Larrún, "good ducks" in Basque and La Rhune in French. Have Meters 905 above sea level and as I said above it is on the border between France and Spain, in basque territory.
On the French side, La Rhune has been a great tourist destination since the beginning of the XNUMXth century and the area has been populated for thousands of years, as the burial mounds and dolmens attest. They say that Empress Eugenia, wife of Napoleon III, also helped the popularity of the place thanks to her trips and excursions to the mountains.
The truth is that the little train we see now is the only one of its kind that remains in this part of France, but before there were more kilometers of tracks and other trains that linked different parts of the country. The Larrún train is a rack railway, that is to say, in addition to the two rails that are common in a railway line, it has another rail, a toothed rail that is between the other two rails and that is the one that sets in motion and drags the convoy of wagons.
The Larrún train it has very picturesque wooden wagons so it's also a collectible train that has taken you to the top of the peak since 1924.
A ride on the Larrún train
Empress Eugenia reaches the top of Larrún in 1859 and today there is a monolith that remembers that day. At the beginning of the 1912th century, people began to talk about the need to build a train, and in 1919 the works had already begun but were suspended with the outbreak of the First World War. In XNUMX, after the war, the works restarted with vigor.
In April 1924 the first section was inaugurated and in June the summit was reached. By 1930 the mountain was forested more and in times of the Second War a radar was installed and there were soldiers guarding the border. Decades later At the end of the XNUMXth century, it is already clear that Larrún and its train are a tourist magnet in the area.
To use the train, you must first get to the town of Sara, 10 kilometers from San Juan de Luz. It is a beautiful town, located just 15 kilometers from the coast, authentically Basque, with low, white houses dating from the XNUMXth century with the Pyrenees as a background. A beauty.
The top of Larrún can be reached by train or on foot and you can combine both means of transport in the excursion. That is, you walk up and down by train or you go up by train and walk down. Anyway, if you choose to go up on foot, you can buy train tickets. Of course, a walk of between two and a half and three hours awaits you and the descent a little less. It is a walk without shade and with slippery terrain if it rains. To keep in mind.
Speaking of mobility it is true that it is an old train in a mountainous area so for people who have a motor disability it can be somewhat uncomfortable. The staff, however, is very helpful so you can come over and ask a question. In the case of parking for people with disabilities, there are six places, but more is being considered. The train fare is also cheaper, although not for companions unless you have the card that specifies that the disabled person cannot be alone.
To get on the train there are two steps of one foot each. If the person uses a wheelchair, it is necessary to fold it up and sit on the car benches during the journey. At the departure station there is a bathroom wide enough that it can be used and at the top the bathrooms are narrower and not as comfortable. The access to the Udako restaurant, one of the three up there, has a ramp but if you want to go to the orientation table it is çi or yes by stairs and there are 60 steps.
What are the schedules of the cogwheel train? For the moment it must be said that until March 17, 2019 the train is closed, but once a function does it 40 minutes each. The low season it is between 17/3 and 7/7 and 1/9 to 3/11. It starts going up at 9:30 am and the first descent is at 10:40 am. It goes up for the last time at 4 pm and goes down for the last time at 5:20 pm.
La high season it is between 8/7 and 31/8 and then it starts working a little earlier. Some schedules are even added if there are many people. The journey is 35 minutes but the complete excursion takes about two hours. You can bring your own food or eat upstairs, in one of the restaurant bars at the departure station or at the top. There are three downstairs, Le Pullman, Les 3 fontaines and Borda, a regional products store.
At the top of Larrún there are three more sites: Larrungo Kailoa, Larrungain and Udako etxea. How and where are tickets bought? Well you can buy them in advance online until the day of the tour and you only have to present them, without queuing at the ticket office. You can too book by phone and the tickets are sent by email or collected at the box office from the next day; and finally you can buy at the same box office.
An adult pays 19 euros, a child from four to twelve years old pays 12 euros and there is a family rate (two adults and two children), for 57 euros. These values are for round trips. If it is one way, it goes down to 16, 9 and 4 euros respectively. Remember that if you walk up, the tickets to get off the train can only be bought at the top. The annual pass costs 52 and 32 euros. Payments can be made in cash or credit card.
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