In normal years tomorrow would have seen the first of the Easter parades. These are not of the Easter bonnet, happy variety.
These are the daily parades of the penitents, some with their feet in chains, around the streets of Soller.
Every day, a different route, finishing with a trek up to the Three Crosses Memorial. The different fraternities have their uniforms and their affiliations and the parades are spectacular.
This will be the second year of no parades. This year the faithful can attend Church to a 50% capacity of the building. This is a great relief to many as last year this was not possible.
Easter expectations of ‘families’ home for the holidays’ have largely been dashed.
No travel to different regions within Spain and just the odd sight of the mass of German people who have been allowed to travel. Another strange old decision which we can make little sense of.
The weather keeps on giving its blessings to us and the hikes and walks are happening with a vengeance.
As Easter weekend creeps up a little rain is forecast and that is almost no surprise. We all remember that we usually have rain at Easter, whatever month it falls in. Just tradition in many local’s minds.
The parking wars are escalating as space for 150 cars has been commandeered from the park in the Puerto Soller.
This is the site of the future underground car park, when it is installed. For this summer the very underused car park at the roundabout is being given up and a bit of the park taken over for car parking.
The noise, when it comes on this, is going to be huge. The Puerto Soller people are hugely protective of this park as facilities for the children and their own sports.
Meanwhile up the mountain towards Fornalutx big plans are being unveiled for the Tennis Club and Swimming pool complex. Necessary work is being done and a new cafe installed within the Tennis court area.
Future plans for the site are ambitious and will change the concept from the cheap local concept of the past. This is meeting with mixed opinions as all are suspicious of change.
It may well turn out to be a great improvement and the prices might still be kept low for families who use it as their pool in the summer months. We just have to wait and see.
Last weekend saw the departure of many of our friends. Brexit rules meant they had to leave after 90 days from January 1st 2021.
Most were waiting for the return of direct flights to the UK which haven’t happened. They were having to go back via Madrid to change planes. The stories from this group go on and on and prove how many didn’t fully understand what the Brexit effect would be.
Our beaches are being cleaned ready for the Easter visitors. Normally a great sign that life is beginning to return here. This year local people and some German arrivals will use the beach but, after the Bank holiday weekend, life will return to quiet.
We had two Easter concerts in St Bartholomew church this week. It was great to able to hear live, sacred music again. This church is huge so social distancing is not a problem.
For an hour, on two separate nights, life almost appeared normal. The Soller Valley is the home of all types of live music and I loved every second of the concerts.
The children of the puerto school were able to get on a coach and have an Easter outing up the mountains. So little of this has been done for the last year that they were very excited about their day trip.
The rules were that on the coach they had to wear their masks and talk quietly to each other. No shouting or communal coach singing and all the other fun of the past. The young people were very happy to be walking alongside the Cuber reservoir and having fun.
They did what they were told and all was well. It was the adults in the group who wished it could have been more normal for them.
Happy Easter to all our kind readers, Rachel and I hope to see you in the Soller Valley over the coming days. You are very welcome.