A bar in Soller. | A.B.


What a busy week we have had with great events, good weather and the best March Hotel occupancy figures since 2019. Life is on ‘the up’ in the Soller valley and the decision makers are evaluating and having to be realistic. Currently we are hearing that some restaurants in our world are removing tables and restricting the numbers they can serve. This is because of staff shortages and an inability to recruit. The writing was on the wall a few weeks ago when the bus service was extended to midnight to allow workers from outside the Valley to get home. It is now being said that this decision was taken much too late and has not had the required effect on recruitment. This is a unique situation, and everyone is learning as they go. No manual has been written for this one yet. I am sure that one can get into print at the end of the 2023 season. How to cope with Success would be a good title. Employ staff in time could be a subheading.

The discussions on ‘tipping’ in the Balearics is focusing back on the salaries paid to people in hospitality. Not enough staff, salaries which need topping up by tips, and a move towards gratuities being added to bills paid by credit card. So many decisions and thought processes. Easter is always a learning curve and an indication of how the year is going to be. Now the bosses go back to base and decide how they are going to service this highly anticipated summer season.

The Moors and Christians have their battle on the beaches and in the Placa on Monday May 15. Exactly one month before, on April 15, the flags were hoisted on the Torre Picada. The watchtower looking out to sea, is where the sightings of the marauding hordes would have come from. Mallorca in the time of pirates and pillage was writing the history we commemorate every year. For a month, the flags will appear on buildings, hanging from balconies, pinned to the highest mountains and cliffs by local abseilers. The flags are important and most hang three, to make sure they don’t upset anyone. The Moors, the Christians, the Pagesas and the Balearic Flag is the full group, and any combination is fine.

Before the Fira and Firo of May start, we have the Orange Festival with events and tastings. So many children of Soller are trying to get good flight prices to come home for the occasion. Unfortunately, this early May period benefits from Coronation holidays, and many are on the move. Consequently, the May flight prices are eye watering. I intend to travel myself in May and have never paid so much for a ticket. How spoilt we have all been with those cheap fares of the past.

Colour dominates in Soller discussions this week. We now have blue signage and smaller directional signs. These are considered to be useful and not so obtrusive. If you park within blue lines in our streets and car parks you are in the ORA parking zone. Pay at the meters and observe the rules posted as to when you can use the space. Now the green ones they are different again and cover locals, with permission, the ability to park. A new green zone is just about to be created in Alqueria de la Comte in Soller. The small children’s playground will be dismantled, and its place taken by 15 new parking spaces. You can imagine the feelings about that, but the locals have been lobbying for years for a car park.

Spring life continues and the flowers and the smell of orange blossom enhance our outings. This is simply a wonderful time of year to be in the Soller Valley. Walkers, cyclists, and observers love this time of year. They are happy to leave the real heat to those that love it. For them beautiful days and cool evenings are just perfect.