The Soller Valley sound of silence is lifted…
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
Tuesday 26th January 2016
Photographs by Rachel Fox
For a few weeks a year the Soller Valley falls silent as the train stops for track repairs and staff holidays and so does the tram. This place is defined by its unique transport options and it is an odd place without them. Last Saturday the tram track repairs were completed and right on schedule the tram resumed its service. The centre of the City of Soller came alive again and all was right with our world. I have to say that we did have a replacement bus service which people enjoyed and treated like their own private taxi, but there is nothing like the Tram.
The Train starts again next Monday 1st February 2016 and the blossom journeys begin. This is the season when locals from all over the island use the Soller train and make a day trip through the blossom fields, up over the mountain and into our world. They are greeted by the fine shops of the Lluna and the Port of Soller and the reopening of many of our fine restaurants. The Soller Valley opens at the beginning of February and with Palma shouts to the world that Mallorca is open and ready for business.
The excitement of this week was focussed on the Repic Beach of the Port of Soller. For over thirty years an eyesore has spoilt the frontline of the beachside. A mini water park was created and was open for one season. The stories of why it closed have got lost in the mists of time but it was after an accident. The slides and swimming pool rusted and became overgrown and thus it remained. The local Hoteliers Association have lobbied for years for its removal and this week they got their wish. The cranes and heavy lifting gear rolled into the Port and the eyesore is no more. A huge space has been revealed and now the chatter is all about what is going to replace it. A new boutique hotel is just being finished on the Repic Beach, this is a conversion of an apartment block. Many people would love to build a new hotel in this new empty space and there are men in suits already looking at the options. Thirty years was a long time to wait for the blot on the landscape to be removed.
Well done to all those who finally achieved it.
We are preparing for the arrival of the cyclists on Saturday 30th January 2016. Hundreds of the most famous riders are descending on Majorca this week and the leg of the race between Deia and Soller happens on Saturday from around 12 noon. The TV cameras, the support vehicles and thousands of spectators are coming our way and they are all very welcome. The cycling holidaymakers are already here and have timed their holidays to be here to witness the greatest cyclists in the world. Cycling continues its growth in the Soller Valley as the hard man climbs are receiving more publicity and encouraging more cyclists to our side of the island. The high adrenaline boys make easy work of the steep climbs and rocky terrain and live to tell the tale.
Carnival is also occupying our brains and creativity this week. The announcement came that the main RUA Carnival procession in the Soller Valley will take place on Saturday 6th February 2016 at 4 pm. This year the location is the seafront of the Port of Soller. Local groups, especially the firemen and the basketball team love to dress as women and get involved. There is far too much leg waxing that goes on for the occasion and they take it very seriously! It is a great occasion and the people of Soller line the route and encourage them all in their fantasy world. You are very welcome to join us for this and the children’s parade. The RUETA for children is happening on Friday 5th February 2016 at 4 pm in Soller City Centre. School and community groups and individual children have a great time at this parade.
The Soller Valley has started its 2016 season that is for sure. The people are here, the activities, the transport links, the shopping, the hotels and the fine places to eat.
The investment of previous years into all these things is working and the UNESCO designation of Soller as the Cultural Centre of the Tramuntana also plays its part.
Do come and see us soon – you are very welcome.