Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin – Tuesday 18th March 2013

The story broke this week of the new association of the Towns and in Soller’s case City of the Tramuntana.  The developing story is to do with the UNESCO bandwagon which is finally getting underway.  The Sierra de Tramuntana was awarded  the UNESCO prize over two years ago and it has to be said that since then events have happened very slowly.  At last some action we thought when the beautiful pictures of the region went up at the Airport two weeks ago.  Local residents were delighted that visitors will learn about the area and its special status the minute they land in Palma Airport.  This was exactly the sort of publicity that we had been waiting for.  The next visual we had begged for was the signage in all the areas covered by UNESCO so that visitors would learn of the special status as they drove in to the towns and villages.  ‘Give us a sign’ was on every-bodies lips as the walking season started.  Let’s celebrate this glorious prize we have been given and let visitors know why it is such a special area.  Someone out there listened and signs started appearing and then so did the outcry.

The sign in the hamlet of Biniaraix is the one that has raised the most temperatures  It is considered too big, too cheap and completely out of character with the beauty of the area.  ‘A Blot on the Landscape’ and enough to make the residents up in arms and protesting to the powers that be.   The Facebook entries on have shown the depth of feeling there is about this and allowed the other areas to have their say.  The sign in Fornalutx is considered ‘tacky’ the one at the entry to Soller has been called ‘boring and non de script’.  In fact there is no-one we can find with a good word to say for the signs except that they are better than nothing.  Lets hope the newly formed Association of the Tramuntana which is being called bizarrely the ‘Commonwealth of the Tramuntana ‘can do something about this.

 To create a ‘commonwealth’ of towns and villages of the UNESCO brand is very interesting especially as the population of Escorca (one of the towns in the group) only has few residents and a lot of goats.  The Soller Mayor is the President and he is joined by the Mayors of Fornalutx, Escorca and Estellencs.  Andratx is currently considering its options as to whether it wants to join this ‘Commonwealth’.  The UNESCO status is extremely important and if worked at professionally will bring great rewards to the area.  Let’s hope that this new relationship between the interested towns and the City of Soller bring some great co-operative work in time for the start of this season – this must be what they all want – surely.

Last week there was a photographic opportunity in Soller which was very sweet to watch.  The local Football Club of Soller has a huge children’s league supported by the Federation of Majorcan Football Clubs.  They are have formal training for all age groups twice a week plus home and away matches at the weekend.  The commitment of the Soller families to this club is huge as it takes over their lives as they ferry their soccer mad children to all the games.  Every year there is a Team Photograph taken and all the children are required to turn up dressed in their kit ready for the picture.  Last Monday I took my granddaughter there (one of three girls out of hundreds of boys in the team) to join her group for the photograph.  The little boys from 4 years old in their football kits were so sweet to watch and it seemed as though the whole of Soller had a family member represented there.  The club is a central point of the City of Soller and has to be the most picturesque football club in the world surrounded by the mountains of the Tramuntana.

From football to the Son Angelats Sports Centre where the excitement of the week was the installation of Solar Panels to heat the swimming pool.  This centre is developing very fast and the take up for sports and events is now achieving the ambitions for the centre.  You may have seen the swimming club that another of my grandchildren attend on IB3 this week.  The television cameras were there reporting on all the sporting opportunities available these days to the people of the City of Soller and the rest of the Hidden Valley.  The Nordic Walkers arrived on Saturday to give everyone in Soller an opportunity to try this sport here.  After the free introduction they intend to have Nordic Walking twice a week  – on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.  As we prepare for the clocks to go forward and Spring to officially start the Nordic Walkers will be leading even more opportunities for the Sollerics and visitors to be fit and healthy is this beautiful place.  No excuses now …

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