Digging back in the history of the Soller valley the oranges are key. Blight and problems arrived like a pandemic and the effects were cruel. Poverty and the migration to France and beyond arrived for a generation of young men. ERTE wasn’t in the governments gift at that time and solutions were looked for to the Church and local Squires. Yes, this all part of our history, but it just proves we are living in a time which will become the history of tomorrow. The glowing future seeds are really sprouting in the Soller Valley and the Saturday market conversations were very optimistic.
My first coffee, sitting on a cold wall, was with a local estate agent. She had just returned from a very positive viewing with a client who had been introduced to the house of his dreams. This was another success for the week together with two houses proceeding to sales via a video viewing. All the clients were from Europe and one was in the private plane brigade. Big money is not resting in the lockdown and when we wake up from this nightmare many houses will have been bought and sold. None of her current clients were from the UK or Sweden but from Holland, Denmark Austria and Germany. This is a tiny snapshot of moneyed life in the Soller Valley right now. All influenced by either Brexit or Covid.
The Covid influences are all very interesting because they all tell the same tale. These are people who see no reason to delay anything they can afford to do now. Life is much too short and who knows what tomorrow might bring, is the philosophy. This is the beginning of the post Covid hedonism which is being predicted. The experts talk of lots of money around to spend on fun when the time arrives. Others who have enjoyed the on-line experience too much are not so sure they have much left in the bank. Money or not fun will be the name of the game. Celebration of life is the mantra of the rest of 2021.
SOS is the phrase we are living with in Soller and the rest of the island. SOS banners have gone up on hotels and restaurants everywhere. This initiative is to urge on the tourist recovery while working with all the rules of the pandemic. New programmes and ideas are going to be uncovered this next week and then we will understand the part we have to play. At present the manifesto is full of great words and big ideas. We just need to be told what we have to do.
Carnival, Shrove Tuesday, Lent and half term for some. This is the outline of the week and pancakes are occupying the minds of the super chefs of Soller. Carnival celebrations happened in the schools, with a couple of streets decorated to keep the vibe going into the weekend. Any early half termers will have the beach and sea to themselves.
The Soller Train had to make an application to the government this week. It is largely a tourist train but it does have an element of social liability. So if it wants to close for an extended period the Government has to be asked to approve the decision. This week the Soller Train asked to start their season in June 2021, assuming all goes well with the tourist plans. Permission was granted which is not surprising but another problem for the shopkeepers of Soller. The train brings in many, even local Mallorca residents to enjoy our wonderful town. They shop and eat while they are with us and we miss them.
The train company are not sitting on their hands while they cannot operate. They are busy doing repairs and renewals to all parts of the track. The Ferrocarril also operate the Soller Tram which is operating a reduced schedule right now. Mornings only from Monday to Friday with an extended service at weekends.
Soller is still open for business for those wanting a journey along the blossom roads to the Soller Tunnel. Our shops are open and Take Aways are filling a need for the take away coffee and snack. Many friends arrive with picnics and enjoy the quiet Puerto Soller in these unique times. Free parking in the port and a great time to visit. This weekend we even had a visit of a couple of Dolphins to amuse us...