Life goes on in the Soller Valley
By Shirley Roberts
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
on Tuesday 15th November 2016
Photographs by Rachel Fox
In such a momentous week there was comfort in daily life just going on in Soller. Just two weeks ago we tried to have a debate here amongst the many Americans who live or are visiting us currently. We were intending to record this live on Boat Radio for our thousands of international listeners. Despite our best efforts we just could not find a Republican voice to give our debate balance. The Soller Valley Americans were not admitting to being anything other than Democrats through and through. The debate did not happen and our bit of radio history was never made on this subject.
Meanwhile in our little slice of the world the builders have moved in with a vengeance. With just one hotel left to close for the season on the Repic Beach the workmen are gathering around the Marbell Hotel. This iconic building has stood in its place for years welcoming generations of summer visitors. A change of ownership has just happened and a full refurbishment with the intention of revealing a new four-star hotel at the start of next season.
Walk further round the centre of our perfect horse shoe bay and the same thing is happening with the Eden Hotel. Another of the firm family favourites of this area is looking for more stars and doing all the required work to get four. This work is not without its critics who say that soon the Port of Soller will not have any reasonably priced hotels left and the the upgraded resort will have changed for ever.
Soller and the Port is emptying fast with its business people getting on planes and heading for their holidays. Many of them need to be back for the pre Christmas rush so now is the moment to make tracks. Celebration end of year dinners are also the flavour of the week with many of Soller’s estate agents celebrating a fantastic year. There are a lot of reasons to be cheerful in the Soller Valley right now unless you are the Soller Railway.
The Ferrocarril is pretty fed up as the Government transport gurus gave them a winter closure ultimatum. The Soller train has stopped now until February for major work to be done on the tunnels and tracks. Those in charge told the company that they had to provide a bus replacement for the trains for the duration of the closure. The Ferrocarril objected to this because there is already a frequent bus service to and from Palma. Not good enough was the reply – you must provide another four services a day. They complied with the order and the buses are making the required trips but statistics are being kept and if people don’t use it the company will be back at the government offices telling them they want it to stop.
Our Rachel – the wonderful photographer for this page opened her new business on Friday and we had a great party augmented by flashing Christmas lights. Rachel comes from a highly academic family and it is no secret that her mum was astounded when Rachel announced she was opening a laundry in Soller. Rachel Fox – the entrepreneur saw a gap in the market for service washes and laundry and just went for it. The fact that the place is already the social hub of the Valley with her wonderful photographs hanging in the place just gives you a flavour of what she has in mind. Think Art Gallery, information exchange, gossip, coffee and washing and you are on the way to understanding what she is doing. Her mum put doubts aside as she had the honour of cutting the ribbon on the new venture. The rest of us enjoyed the canapés and cava and wished her all the luck in the world.
So even as the world gets used to this week’s changes so do we. New hotels emerging, Rachel’s business opening, property deals completing and more new people arriving in the Soller Valley. The focus is now on having fun in the run up to being busy again here at Christmas and New Year. The Isla Theatre Group of Soller are already in rehearsals for Dickens Christmas Carol and the dates are already booked in the Auditorium from 15th to 18th December 2016. English theatre for Christmas is such a treat and the Soller Valley brings its talented cast to Palma to share with everyone. Many reasons to be cheerful if you know where to look.