The schools empty at 2pm and there is a rush into the square from all six corners. It is like a film set of ‘enter stage right’ or ‘enter from the side’. I often think that of the square as those emerging from each corner have a reason for being there. For some it is the leisurely coffee and a read of todays news. For others they are paying their taxes at the Tax Office on the ground floor of the Town Hall. Many are having meetings in local bars with estate agents and others are having interviews with potential staff. The girls with their wonderful prams and delightful babies, use the centre as their mother and baby club and chatter an hour or so away in-between feeds. Soller main square is far more than a location it is the heart of the community.
The heart of Puerto Soller is split between the Santa Catalina end with its fishermen's village and fishing fleet and known as 'Right Bank' by some of our French friends. The 'Left Bank' is the Repic end of the Beach where you cross the bridge over the torrent to get to that location. Lots of local names for the beach barrios which tend to indicate how long you have actually been associated with the area. People get very excited about detail in the Soller Valley. All we are glad of is that there are hearts and centres all over the place which friends have their allegiances to. We all love the visitors here, but we also hang on to our local meeting places and traditions too.
The move in the Valley now is towards the Soller Fira and Firó which takes place from May 11 to 15. The beach battle and the grand finale happens on Monday 15. Weeks before, there is great excitement about getting your hands on the t-shirt for the year. This year the shirt is very simple with a line drawing of the event on a cream background. They are on sale in the Soller Market place, in front of the Church on Saturday mornings, until they run out. After that they appear on eBay at a very different cost. The stall signing people up for the wristbands is also very busy. Participants on the final day of the Firo pay 10 euros which enables them to use the transport and other facilities. The observers and audience need a wristband too for the final event. There is no charge for this, but you must have one if you want to be in Soller square for the final mayhem.
This weekend we have all the events which venerate the citrus fruit of the Soller Valley. Our favourite colours are orange and yellow and street decorations will appear. The dressing of the fountain is always a work of art, and we look forward to seeing the art direction of 2023.
The Soller trains and trams are running at their full timetable capacity at present. This doesn't consider those which are run for private hire and filming. There is a constant stream of trams running up and down the track. Thousands are using Soller's vintage transport system every day.
Full steam ahead for a great season in the Soller Valley this year…
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