Last week saw much political discussion and decision making in Soller. The ruling party in our town fought the last election on the subject of parking. No-one disputes this area has a problem with car parking. We are victims of our own success as visitors’ flock here in summer and winter for all the right reasons. Winter walks and summer swims are what we do best. Then, of course, there is the shopping in our town centre. So what to do with the cars is the question? For the past 15 years plans have been drawn and re drawn and all ideas hit the obstacle of the expense. This year the Town Hall can spend some money so parking has become very relevant.
In chats with local politicians at the weekend I learnt that the money for the huge project has to be spent by December 2021. This is for a finished project which hasn’t even gone out to tender yet. No December wind down for our politicos they have a huge job to do to reach the goal.
This project will change the centre of our town and make access to the centre much easier, so we are told. Visualise, if you can, the large bus stop alongside the medical centre in town. The current large car park there will become a three storey car park from ground level. No digging under to make any space for cars under the existing level. From the car park there will be a lane taking you, by foot, to the Gran Via. This street will become pedestrianized under the new plans. Time taken to walk from car park to the centre will be halved.
I make no observations on this except to say that some of those who oppose this should have used their vote in the last local elections. The ruling party got in by a whisper, if there was ever an election where every vote counted it was this one.
On Saturday I joined a socially distanced crowd in St Bartholomew’s Church for the St Cecilia concert. Every year at this time we celebrate the patron saint of music with performances. This year was very special as the music lovers of Soller haven’t been able to gather in this way for the past nine months. Every musician was local and every instrument was played. The local groups of Aires de Sollerics and the Xeremiers gave us their enthusiastic all. This was a spectacular evening and gave us all joy and hope the future might be different.
This is the last week of the ‘Mushroom Menus’ in the Valley. So many have made a trip or even an overnight stop with us to enjoy this autumn food. As this fiesta ends the countdown begins to Christmas and a December of us much fun as possible within the rules. Children are the focus for most of the events coming our way. The children of our Valley had a particularly hard early lock down which was tough for all families and catastrophic for others. It is right that celebrations for this period should be child focused in my personal opinion.
The exodus is beginning as on Saturday night in the square we said farewell until 2021 to some friends returning to to Ireland, Germany and the UK for the Christmas and new year period. The impression that people can’t travel is still wrong as our borders are open and it is possible for those with residency in those countries to return. It may not be as easy to travel as direct flights are limited but there is always a way for the determined.
A long weekend is coming up of Bank Holidays and this is our first test of all the protocols. The times I have been on a plane bound for London for this December bridge weekend are memories now. This was the time to go with grandchildren to have a taste of London Christmas before returning home here. This is not going to happen for our team this year and a new 2020 routine will have to be established. If the weather continues it will be days of mountain walks and strolls by the sea.