The calm after the storm in Soller. | Marcus Alderson


March has roared in like a lion and left snow, rain, wind, high seas, and weather in its wake. The children had three days holiday from school for Balearic Day and occasional holidays. The snow came right on cue and gave them a unique weather opportunity. Of course, many mountain roads around Soller were closed but local intrepid children knew their back routes to the places above Fornalutx where the snow was plentiful for a while. Instructions were issued thick and fast about ‘living with snow’. We were told to eat sensibly, avoid alcohol, don’t drive, and stay home. A barrage of information that we enjoyed. It was so random and made us laugh. Someone had a fine job on a snowy day to issue instructions to the public. I think ‘tongue in cheek’ was the order of the day.

Despite the weather the final preparations were in place for the opening of many restaurants, bars, and hotels on Balearic Day – 1 March. It is now becoming clearer the establishments who sold on their Traspaso at the end of last season. The local Tennis and Padel club have had major changes too and a rival establishment is the consequence of the angst. We are a small town which loves its gossip, so we have had plenty to cluck about over the past days. Gossip says that one popular location in our mountain village had over 50 people interested in acquiring an available café bar. I think we can safely say that the Soller Valley is now a business hotspot.

Meanwhile conversations about the bigger picture take place. The busier we become as more interior hotels come on stream we move further and further away from those who scream ‘Diversity’. These are the friends who say that for every tourist establishment which starts a ‘non tourist’ business needs to open. Hot sauce, art, private tuition classes, gin production, citrus products and soap making are all examples of new businesses which are not directly tourism orientated. This is all in the town which used to have so many factories at the turn of the century. The next big building is being sort for a ‘remote working hub’ on a sizeable scale. So many of the internet nomads would prefer to work from a purpose-built space. Great examples are to be found in Palma and the scouts are looking here too, we await the outcome.

One of the new thoughts is about the ‘music’. There are recording studios in ‘them their hills.’ Singers come here to develop their latest albums and collaborate with other song writers. One large centre was being discussed last week which would enlarge this state of creativity. So many ideas all needing the permission of the Town Hall and the funds to do the work. For every ten, one usually makes it. Always interesting when the latest 2023 entrepreneurs show us their ideas and talents. So much inventiveness in the village houses of Soller, we are a hotbed of creativity.

March is now with us and the knowledge that by the end of the month the clocks will go forward. The darker evenings will begin to lift and early evening walks and drinks with friends will be back on our radar. Just a few more weeks where TV will occupy us for longer than we want. The encouragement for the third age friends to do the cholesterol walks come back into its own at this time of year. The outline of this plan is to walk from Soller to the port, then to the Santa Catalina end of the zone. Until you build up the stamina you are allowed to get the tram back. Then each week you increase your steps so that you walk from town to port and then walk the return trip. This is the spring and summer project in the early morning or late evening when it’s not too hot. Many of us are on this regime from April to November. A daily routine and a hello to our fellow walkers doing what the Dr tells us…