Cyclists are always seen sitting at cafés in the village. | P.LOZANO

In the Soller world we have a covered market near the centre of town. This is open daily and sells a selection of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and general groceries. The Café in the middle is a meeting place and many local people use this as the centre of their shopping world. On Saturday mornings a full market is held in Soller and on Thursday mornings the Puerto Soller does the same. On Sunday mornings the huge market action switches to Santa Maria (a twenty minute drive from Soller). This market pulls in people from a large area surrounding it including the Soller Valley. In face we often see more of our neighbours there than at any of the other weekly markets. Locally this is the Sunday hub for Sollerics and part of the reason Santa Maria is on their map.

Many Soller wedding receptions are held in Santa Maria as it has venues large enough for the traditional ‘invite everyone’ wedding. This town is significant in our world and the reason some local businesses have chosen to expand or transfer there. When Son Bleda (on the road to Deya) changed hands in Soller last year many were disappointed. This was a favourite restaurant with popular restauranteurs. The fact they had transferred all their businesses to Santa Maria and opened a fine restaurant was very exciting news.

People sitting on a terrace in Santa Maria.
People sitting on a terrace in Santa Maria.

Nan’s Day Out this week was on a mission to find ‘Cabra Blanca’ in Santa Maria as so many in the Soller Valley wanted to know all about it. Santa Maria is on the main train line from Palma with a frequent service. This, for my little group, meant a journey by car to Son Sardina and then the Metro into Palma. Easy change (two minutes) to hop on to the train and then the middle of island by train was our pleasure. Santa Maria station runs parallel to the main road and is therefore a very easy walking distance to the centre.

Santa Maria has two centres and many visitors only find one, on the main road. This is where cyclists stop in their hundreds every day and local people meet in all the bars and cafes. It was here I found a coffee for 1.50 euros when we were having coffee price discussions galore in Soller. The main street is a busy thoroughfare and has the history of the old monastery in its midst. The side and back streets are full of new build apartments. This was a designated housing area in recent years and streets of apartments built round a ‘ramblas’ were the design of the day.

We found ‘Cabra Blanca’ just slightly right of the main road behind the old well
We found ‘Cabra Blanca’ just slightly right of the main road behind the old well.

This is where we found ‘Cabra Blanca’ just slightly right of the main road behind the old well. It wasn’t open that day but now I can answer questions on where it is and how to get there.We crossed the main road and headed of for centre two where the Sunday morning market is held. This is a huge area with the Church at one end and a children’s playground at the other. This is the place to meet for those who live in Santa Maria. As so many live in apartments the outside areas are very important. Children play, teenagers meet up and everyone else makes their appearance most days. To see and be seen is crucial in small town life. Also important for those who want to work from one of the cafes with their computer. This place has many of the Internet nomads who live amongst us. The internet connection is of vital importance here.

The side street walks of April 2022 are a far cry from the heat of summer. The Sunday Market of Santa Maria, in the season, is extremely busy from 8 am onwards then the locals get out of the sun. Local visitors and tourists on the market routes arrive to fill the space until 2 pm. They are more willing to walk the streets in the heat of the day. We wandered back to the station, passing the new build theatre and the many businesses flourishing in this place. Santa Maria is much more than it appears from the main road. Life goes on for many here and expands as every new group arrives to fill the apartments. The proximity to Palma by train has helped the expansion.

To get the return train we had to cross the railway line. This was such a ‘railway children’ concept but still exists as the infrastructure hasn’t quite caught up. We found the White Goat and got to know a little more of this busy Sunday Market town. This was a simple ‘Nan’s Day Out’ of wanderings and chatting and just delightful