As the cafes and restaurants close for the 15-day lockdown their place is taken by the hordes of builders. In Soller itself one road opens off the square and another closes for cobble stone renovation. This system gets rid of pavements and makes the surface level using small bricks, slightly bigger than cobble stones. The purpose is to expand the road for the cars and give a flat walkway for pedestrians. This is a great boon for the elderly and hopefully will eliminate some of the winter slips and broken bones.
These road builders join the hundreds of others working on renovation projects in Soller’s streets. Feeding this army of workmen and women is what all the cafes of Soller do in the winter months. All that is now closed so the queues will form at the bakeries instead, especially those doing a great trade in Argentinean empanadas. These are the ‘must have’ snacks and everyone has their favourite bakers. Forn de Barri in L’horta is the king this week as their Ecuadorian influences shine through. The cakes, pastries and sour dough bread is also high on the list of ‘must haves’. Sollerics are very resistant to bakery chains, local is definitely best in this town.
The fifteen-day plan of this lockdown is being worked on by all. Many more are staying at home as their places of work have closed or insisted on staff working from home. This lockdown appeals to a different part of the brain because we have been there before and know what to expect. We know we have to organise our day and get ourselves moving and exercised.
The hours of sitting in front of the computer last time did our posture and weight no good at all.
Children are back at school taking with them their blankets and rugs. It has been so cold to sit in a classroom with windows and doors wide open. In spite of all this they were so glad to be back to see their friends and have structure in their lives once again.
Little things are important this week. The guessing game has started as to who has acquired the old Café Soller Restaurant site in the middle of the Square? A local Estate Agent put the ‘acquired’ sign up and we have all been trying to find out ever since. This is such an important place as it sits on the entrance to the Lluna, our shopping street. The place to see and be seen and watch the world go by. In the winter this was a favourite place because it was one of the few places with effective winter heating. The majority of Soller cafes are built for the summer but this one managed to be a year round success.
Down in the Puerto Soller one of the projects talked of for at least ten years might be happening. The announcement that a site at the top of Carre de Cingle was to be put out to the highest bidder was greeted with a cluck and a sigh. Yes, it is true, they have heard it all before. This time it is part of the local ruling parties manifesto and one they don’t have to pay for. There is every chance this will happen for those very reasons.
This is the site planned for an underground car park for 300 cars. The trees will all go and the top of the car park be used for good community purposes. The deal is that the developer will do all the work and then run the site and pocket the parking fees. Everyone is a winner according to the blue print. This all hits the Town Hall meeting this week where no doubt a likely developer has already submitted his plans. Parking in the Soller Valley is a serious hot potato as summer months are impossible. Restaurants are sick of taking bookings for many who cannot actually park when they get here for their table reservation. The business people of the Puerto Soller will be right behind this project and will hope it can be finished in time for this season.
The workers of the world rejoice is all we want to say here. Most people having a tough time financially would love to be involved in an essential project. We are hoping that more and more will come off the planning boards in the next few months.