Any umbrellas? | Rachel Fox


Sollerics love a good party and have learnt to adapt in Covid times. In total lockdown there was no better place to party than the balconies of Soller especially in the L’ Horta district. Balcony music and lines stretched across the street passing the beers. This is a community which will adapt as long as no-one kills the vibe.

This weekend the party started with the Umbrella Sculpture in Soller Square. All we needed was Rihanna sing the Umbrella song and it would have been difficult not to dance. Friday had live music and umbrellas in the square and on Saturday the Swing music arrived. The Soller market was entertained by Monkey Doo taking its trad jazz to all corners of the city centre.

La Traviata on the beach.

The party then moved to the Repic Beach of the Port of Soller for the evening. The restaurants were packed for a ringside seat of La Traviata. Huge screen on the beach and great sound system brought the opera to the shore. Hundreds of people thronged to the Port of Soller for the occasion and we must have come close to the maximum numbers allowed in the area.

People are so ready to be out and about, meeting their friends and, in some cases, enjoying their holidays. As the arias were rising from the beach there were many worried folks checking their phones for the travel news.

This was the night that all the complication of the UK quarantine plans for arrivals from Spain hit the decks. Everybody has a story about how this decision affects them and their plans. Very complicated and no crystal ball to see how it will resolve.

This weekend has been big on family parties for 1st Communions. Usually these gathering take place in May and are the excuse for families to have extravagant parties in restaurants or in the gardens of their homes. Covid put a stop to all of them and they didn’t happen during Lockdown.

Quiet morning in the Valley.

Last Sunday every major restaurant seemed to be hosting the girls and boys in white and vast family gatherings. Their concession to Covid was they were all being held outdoors in the gardens or patios of restaurants. The usual bouncy castle for the younger ones was not much in evidence and there were many masks around. Life must go on and this is a very important milestone in family life in Soller.

We are now entering a week of vast uncertainty. Just as hotels and restaurants were getting back into the swing of working life the bombshell happened. The debate in the Soller Valley is divided, on one hand they know that the infections here are currently very low and the Balearics are prepared for an influx of visitors. The other view is that with the Peninsular closed to tourists more and more visitors will come to the Balearics and we become vulnerable to extra infections. The final decisions on this are of course a negotiation between Spain, the Balearics and the UK. Everyone has a view and know that financially we have to find a way to make this work. This week it will become clearer with the airlines setting Friday as the date they have to make decisions about the August bookings.

Everyday there is a worrying announcement about something. Tourists, hotels, restaurants and normal family life in the Soller Valley. Everything impacts each other and it is not surprising we feel we are wading through treacle. Tonight in Soller a new opening bucks the trend of all the gloom and we have been invited to party. A major restaurant group in Palma ‘Tast’ is opening its first, out of Palma, restaurant in the heart of Soller. Vermouth, Beer and Tapas is the sales pitch and high tables to lean against. The formula looks great but the timing has to be questioned. I am sure they have a success story on their hands but whether it will be this summer or not remains to be seen.

So many changes in our world, some of which, we have no control over. Everyone has a mantra and advice on what to do when the world appears to be in free fall. The Reggae in the Port of Soller on Wednesday evening might just tell us ‘don’t worry, be happy’. I think I’ll absorb that this week…