The search for the ‘Soul of Soller’ is what incomers eventually look for. At first they are into their own world of relocation and what it means for them as a family. When all the paperwork is done and the builders are underway with the house then the vision becomes a little clearer. Then the ‘what have we done’ starts. Not much has worked how they anticipated and living in someone else’s’ world takes time to adjust. All the shorthand they had in living in their last home has to be relearnt with a Mallorcan twist.
Some are just looking for a change of scene and are not interested in the history or tradition. Others want to understand how everything works so they can decide what bits to join in. Others just go for it and are present at every event and occasion the Soller Calendar offers. The heart and soul of course goes much deeper than any of that and some do not stay here long enough to even embark on this journey.
The winter relocators to Soller are getting ready for their first batch of visitors. They will arrive over Easter to see for themselves what has been talked of by their families for months. They proudly show off their Town and Port and visit their favourite places. They eat in great restaurants and all is well until someone says the fateful words. ‘Every day must be like a holiday to you living in this beautiful place.’ It is then that many decide they won’t bother with visitors ever again!
The relocators are exhausted, they have been working hard so their visitors will have a comfortable bed and a great visit. This comes with an enormous price tag of hard work and a life which has to be lived alongside the holidaymaker. They are not on holiday so can’t fund the excursions and meal treats their guests want. They also have to get up the next morning, take the children to school and get on with their work.
In the meantime they still search for the ‘Soul’ and little by little they see it tantalisingly close. It is usually evident when visitors by and large leave the area to its winter, from about November onwards. Those remaining then are largely the ones that live here year round. The banter with the café owners and shop keepers is very different once they realise you are still here.
The solidarity moments where important causes are given a moments silence outside the Town Hall is another special moment. When local people see you identify with struggles and world issues with them, a little more of the barrier comes down, allowing you in just a little.
Soller continues to be the ‘Island within an Island’ in the mentality of many. Sollerics love the idea of the proximity to Palma and beyond via the airport, but this is their world. Everyone who finds the ‘soul’ feels strongly about their neighbours. They know that it takes a village to raise a child and will help, if they see, or are made aware of, a need.
The historical connection to all things ‘French’ gives them an add on to being Mallorcan. It is not for affectation that French becomes the second language of Soller in the height of the season. So many historic second home owners are French, representing the migration days of the past.
Hitting a wall
Visitors are on the increase now and Soller has its working head on. Occupation rates for hotels and price increases for some restaurants are what we are working on. To come out of a pandemic was unique, then to hit the wall of an unprecedented rise in the cost of living plus the Ukraine war, makes us speechless.
We are all trying very hard to live for the moment and count our blessings. We feel greedy asking for some sunshine to go with this but we are mighty fed up with the weather !
Come and see us soon we are in the middle of the Orange Festival and our restaurants are working hard at that vitamin C to give us all a boost.
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