As our City fills with locals, visitors, holiday makers, tourists and strangers take a minute to consider this. The Spanish peninsula and its islands are foreign, in a sense in which France, Italy, Germany and Scandinavia are not. These countries represent near neighbours whom we have often talked with over the garden wall. This is not so with Spain, it is remote, not in distance but in spirit; to travel there is still a foreign adventure. The recent popularity of its Coasts and the infamous areas of Magaluf and Arenal still does not make it anything less than exotic.

Enter Spain, meet the Spanish; in them you meet Africa, Gothia, Islam, Carthage, Greece and behind them all the dark indigenous Iberians, who were there before history began. The startling magnificence of Spain is partly in its shape and colour and more in the wrecked civilisations that stand about it, broken yet undefeated, unexpelled, still indomitably asserting their continued existence in the fabric of country and people. Rome ruled here, as did Africa. The centuries of Moorish influences have left water courses, tamed mountains and buildings everywhere. The fantastic glories of these ancient civilisations have met in Spain and have left us this unique heritage.

As you celebrate with your fellow Sollerics the history and culture of St Bartholomew and its impact on life in Soller since 1267 remember your place. You are yet one more migrant to join the vast tapestry of life that is Spain – an amalgam of races, tribes,creeds and colours. What a powerful thought for a fiesta – enjoy …

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