This is one busy City and what you see is not necessarily what you get. The sun is shining and sub tropical temperatures this week created the Foeng effect. I am not making this up it is the description of weather when the temperature rises to unbearable limits, in our case 36’2 degrees Celsius at 3 am and combines with a low humidity reading of just 18%. This was a record in itself and made for a very strange night. This is the phenomenon known as Foeng weather. It really sounds as though we live on a different Planet to the rest of Majorca. It was decidedly peculiar and uncomfortable and sent to us courtesy of the Sirocco winds that visit often from Africa.

The wind might play with our minds and make us even more eccentric but that’s what our visitors from the Cruise ship Seabourn Quest liked about our town. This is a ‘first’ in the history of the Port de Soller to be a cruise ship destination for the day! The “Seabourn Quest” made its first stop in Soller on a cruise taking 450 passengers around the Mediterranean. The ship anchored just outside the mouth of the harbour as its size made it impossible to moor at Soller’s docks. The passengers were ferried in by barges into the heart of the Port where they had the choice of the tram or taxis to take them into town. We were all delighted that Soller had been chosen for a glimpse of the ‘real’ Majorca for the cruise passengers – they were very welcome.

Sources at the General Directorate of Ports and Airports explained that the arrival of the Seabourn Quest was a response to the initiative undertaken by the government “to promote the interest of regional ports ” to be ports of call for luxury cruises. Among them is the Port of Soller. The word on the street is that there is another scheduled stop in Soller booked for three weeks time. This is fantastic news for our town and has lifted the spirits in this uncertain year.

We understand that the “Seabourn Quest” is a luxury cruise ship that belongs to The Yachts of Seabourn company. The ship was built in the Italian Mariotti shipyards in 2009 registered in the Bahamas. Has a gross weight of 32,000 tons and travels at a cruising speed of 19 knots. The boat has a length of 198 meters and a sleeve of 26’5. It has a crew of 335 people who serve a maximum of 450 passengers. Very grand and very welcome…

Soller has a series of underground tunnels and roads known to very few. This was a strategic military base in its time and its secrets and lies were kept hidden. Every so often a story comes out like the one that said that Soller was going to become an International Port with daily passenger sailings to Barcelona and Marseille. The hidden tunnels were going to be used as the road link to the main Soller tunnel and that was why the extraordinary tunnel linking Soller and the Port had been built. It is all supposed to be part of a ‘master plan’. I told you we live in Planet Soller ,the imagination is very vivid in the Hidden Valley. This weeks story concerns the opening of one of these secret tunnels in the Santa Catalina area of the harbour. Work is about to start on the creation of an ‘Auditorium of the Sea’ – the bowl shaped tunnel will be dug out and made into an arena alongside the sea. The concept of wonderful music being played from such a location is thrilling. The Mayor of Soller made this announcement this week so there is a chance it will happen and enhance our stunning port.

More good news came from the Son Angelats industrial estate on the road between town and port.
This was an area that housed the Navy and Military personnel in its day and has now been changed to a state of the art silicone valley. At least that is the hope of the announcement this week as more parcels of land are being released for business use. Many businesses in Soller want to relocate there as the transport links are much easier that trying to conduct business from the cobbled streets of town. It is the Hi Tech businesses that are being courted though, maybe a new Yahoo or Facebook is waiting to be launched from Planet Soller. This week nothing would surprise me.

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