Which side of the track are you on in Soller? 

Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 9th June 2015
Photographs by RACHEL FOX

Our tram runs through Soller winding its way through people’s gardens till it gets to the sea.  The hundreds of passengers on it each day for the first time make the usual observations.  They love having such a close glimpse into Soller dwellers lives.  They can see into their gardens and often into their kitchen as they make the good old fashioned tram journey. It crosses the main road half way on its journey and the cars all stop to let it pass.  It is a truly unforgettable experience which is why we are the best loved excursion in Majorca and win many awards for our tourism efforts. 

For the resident Solleric the tram track is an altogether different story.  We walk along it as it is the quickest route to get from A to B in certain parts of our City.  I did it myself early on Saturday morning as I was heading to do a little babysitting for my daughter who lives in the L’horta part of Soller.  I walked the tracks as the sun was just rising and paused by the stables.  The horse and cart team was being put through its paces before it got too hot and I stopped on the track, admired the horses and chatted to the riders.  I then balanced my precarious way over the torrent being careful not to look down at the shear drop into the water from either side.  It was then that the sense of the ridiculous took over.  This was health and safety gone mad – what was I doing?  I now know I have lived in Soller so long that the madness of my journey meant nothing – it’s just what we do. 

Soller is experiencing a new incomer’s boom and many are arriving in the next few weeks.  They need to be settled before the new school year starts in September and this means that the removal lorries from Webbs will be a frequent sight.  So many new people with all the dreams for their relocation intact.  Of course for everyone that moves here there is an extended family of theirs being introduced to the area at the same time.  This in turn means that some of them will go on to buy property here too.  The stories are all there of little dynasties being created with young people making the move and then encouraging their parents to join them when they have retired.  All of a sudden little family pockets are springing up in various places around Soller.  I find it fascinating to watch and fortunately get to interview some very interesting people as a result. 

The question is often asked by new residents about which is the wrong side of the track in Soller.  They are looking for the posh bit and need to know they have bought their property in the best side of the place.  This is an impossible question to answer because housing and light industry go along  side by side here and there are very few purely suburban streets.  Anyone who wants a house in a wide street with parking outside the door and no garage, wood yard, tile cutters or other industry within a mile is probably looking in the wrong place.  People who settle here usually understand the parallel universe they have chosen.  If they don’t they are on the move very quickly… 

This utopia has its share of the vicissitudes of life and this past week we have been saddened often. The death of Juan Graves of Deia the guitarist of the Pa amb Oli band was sadly mourned.  The road accidents in the Valley this past weekend were tragic and reminded us that our beautiful scenic routes can be treacherous for those unfamiliar with the terrain.  Life in all its pleasure and pain is to be found here and the beauty of our surroundings does not immunise us from sadness. 

The flowers in the City square on the pavement outside the church was in honour of the celebration of Corpus Christi .  A parade sharing the churches teachings took place and came back to the carpet of flowers to welcome them into the church.  These commemorations are very beautiful to watch even if you don’t share the sentiments and attract crowds of people who are moved by what they see.  The churches calendar ticks by in the City of Soller and so many of the fiestas and celebrations have their origins here.  This is part of the learning curve for new incomers.  They may have no religion at all but choosing to live in the Soller Valley make the cycle of the year influenced by the traditions and calendar of the local church.  We welcome all our new Sollerics and wish them joy and pleasure as they get to know how to live in the Soller Valley .

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