We have just left a very important week in Soller. The train and tram resumed service last Thursday and life looks almost normal in our world. With the exception of the people, the infrastructure looks ready to go. I was in town when the first train for months, rolled in from Palma. About twenty people on board who cannot imagine what the journey is usually like. Hundreds take the train and arrive to enjoy our world on every train – in normal times. This time, a few bemused people, arrived with their cameras and skin untouched by the sun. They were mostly from Germany and staying on the other side of the island. Soller was very glad to see them for we are all conscious of the truth that Soller will not exist without tourists.
In the Town Hall meetings were held with all the local restaurants. The plan was formed to reintroduce the Orange Festival which should have taken place in March 2020. This is a two-week opportunity to enjoy ‘orange and citrus’ menus at all our restaurants. The train and tram offer discounts and many join us from all over the island. It is a great opportunity to visit fine restaurants at a fraction of the normal price. This all kicks off from Friday 3rd July 2020 and more information will be published as the week goes on.
The majority of restaurants in Soller and the Puerto will be open by the beginning of July. There are still a few that cannot contemplate opening without knowing for sure that the rest of the season will be good. There are so many financial implications of opening without knowing how many people will actually arrive in the Soller Valley in 2020.
A new look Soller Valley is emerging based on the lives of people who live here. On the beach the weekday mornings are empty. Family life is busy at home and the preparation of the beach stuff and picnic does not start till around 4 pm. By 5 pm the beach begins to have a few clusters of people. Saturday can be similar and then Sunday it all changes. Family groups appears with deckchairs and breakfast from around 9 am. They swim and chat and then at 1.30 pm it is as if someone has blown a whistle. Chairs and picnics packed away while locals scurry of for the Sunday afternoon family lunch. This used to be in local restaurants but these days is more likely at home in gardens. The English speaking, Sunday afternoon beach huggers, take over the sand from then on.
In Soller City centre all the action happens in the morning while shops and banks are open. From around 2 pm it becomes a ghost town. This picks up around 6pm when children come out to play, bringing their parents with them. The evening then fades into non event and by 9pm the square is as deserted as winter.
I am sure I am describing what is happening all over Majorca. We are just so used to our numbers being boosted at this time of year that this is a very strange feeling. We all watch the news and listen to all the hints that visitors will be coming our way in July. Then in the next breath we hear that Easyjet have cancelled some flights for July and August. No-one knows what to think and we are now bored with the conversations.
So its back to the local residents and what they can do to make a difference right now. So many people have contributed money and physical help to the Food Banks. Many who have fixed incomes, such as pensions, have resolved to eat out at least once a week to help boost the local economy. The pension, for most, does not stretch very far but is is huge wealth compared to those who literally have no income at all. ‘Spend for Spain’ is the phrase being used now to describe this.
Live music boosted our spirits in the Puerto Soller last Saturday as Blues I Altres Herbes took to the stage. We are so fortunate to have the climate where we can eat outdoors and listen to the music. The beginning of more great outdoor nights in our status as the ‘Live Music Centre of Majorca’. Come and see us soon – many hotels are now opening offering great deals for Residents. You are very welcome.