An orange or a carton in the Soller Valley?

By Shirley Roberts
Published in the Majorca Daily Bulletin
on Tuesday 27th June 2017

Photographs by Rachel Fox

A backstreet Soller bar was my gossip venue this week and a request for an orange juice.   Six oranges were cut in front of me, squeezed then strained through a sieve. A little ice and a beautiful drink of the Soller orange.  This was labour intensive and fiddly and only prepared on request.  A jug of squeezed oranges doesn’t last too long before being past its best. You really know the quality of the establishment when that service in the norm.  In the same week I was invited to one of our fine restaurants, my friends were on the Gin and I was the orange juice driving friend.  This time a supermarket carton of sweetened orange juice was in my glass at an exorbitant price. It was one of those moments where life imitates art considering the gardens of this lovely place were full of trees laden with oranges.
Moving on from oranges we were in the end of term productions for the Soller Valley this week.  The schools broke up until September and they all had end of term events and some prizegivings. This is a worrying time for many parents especially incoming families who are confronted with the fact that their little one might have to stay down a year. This is a fact of life here that if progress, for whatever reason, hasn’t been enough, some children benefit by retaking the year and not going into the next stage with their friends. This is such an alien concept to the UK parents that it becomes a very big problem to them. So end of term reports and decisions often take the whole of the summer to get over and come to terms with.

The Soller Valley is on the Northwest coast of Majorca and is known for its spectacular sunsets.  The bars of Sa Foradada and other locations that hug the coast between Valldemossa and the Port of Soller is taking this to the next dimension.  Chill out zones, sunset parties with live music and superb cocktails are the order of the day.  Sunset Weddings are a big feature of this year and we all enjoy the light show that the Gods give us every day. Local Sollerics make arrangements to meet on the beaches and bring their own picnics and drinks to celebrate this nightly phenomenon. The Sunset Party is the ‘in gathering’ of 2017 and the groups are all meticulous about gathering up their debris and taking their rubbish away with them.
Rubbish collection and the cleaning of the beaches has occupied our local papers this week.  The big cleaning machine broke and was too expensive to repair.  Local cleaners did what they could by hand but the complaints came in thick and fast particularly from those who were paying a fortune for beach beds and umbrellas.  The idea that their feet were treading in cigarette butts and other rubbish was not a good thought. The cavalry has now marched in with a new machine which has been hired for the season. The heat has been diffused and the serial complainers are looking for a new project.
Last Saturday evening the Port of Soller had a magic moment. The Museum of the Sea is sadly not currently open as a museum but the internal patio and courtyard make a wonderful concert venue. The singer Waltrud Mucher and pianist Andreu Riera made this a wonderful occasion and left us singing as their concert finished with a Sound of Music medley. When we arrived for the concert people were taking their place on the viewing platform to watch the sun go down.  This is one of the chill out places for this grand event every day.   They had brought their pizza and wine and were just sitting as the magnificent light show of the day was given free to all.

Leaving the venue, we walked the cobbled streets of the Santa Catalina area of the Port of Soller. A fascinating stretch that took on all the fine dining of the area plus the ‘Third Age’ group having an Al Fresco supper and live music outside their centre.  Down a few more steps into the main Port area where the fishing boats come in and the fine yachts moor overnight.   The Base is the pop up bar of that location that happens there in the summer and it was jumping. A typical Saturday night in the Port of Soller with something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you here soon – you are very welcome.

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