The glory of the rain in September
By Shirley Roberts
With apologies to the visitors who did not expect rain in the Soller Valley we are so happy to be wet. A little trickle in our mountains while Palma got its deluge on Friday and then the full Monty from Saturday night. Thunder, lightning and torrential rain stopped the overnight walk to Lluc Monastery which had been meticulously planned for weeks. In the end the rain and high wind forecast made the cancellation of the walk a no brainer. Meanwhile back in Soller people were doing a rain dance in the square. They were so wet that a little bit more made no difference and they just embraced the feeling.
Of course right now as I look out of the window from my computer the bucolic scene is glorious. Everything looks fresh and clean and the sun is shining again just as if it had never stopped. The weather is such a talking point here and one of the reasons that the UK Sollerics feel so at home. So many minutes can be used talking about how hot, cold, wet or windy it is and the precautions that need to be taken. All this seems so little when we consider the extreme weather that we have all been sharing on our TV screens. Our day of rain and a bit of wind just fade into insignificance.
The Sunday visitors escaping the weather brought many to the Repic Beach of Soller in between the showers. America seemed to be visiting big time and I had one conversation with honeymooners from Pennsylvania who I shared a coffee with. We bonded over my dog as they were looking forward to collecting a puppy schnauzer when they returned home. Then there was the group of 30 Real Estate Agents from California that happened by during the same hour. You really never know who you are going to meet on an intermittently wet day in the Port of Soller.
Behind the scenes in Soller many things are changing particularly in the Hotel sector. New establishments have come on stream this year and are delighting everyone with their 2017 facelifts. The one that has particularly caught my eye is the work going on at the El Guia Hotel – just next to Soller station. This place has been a hotel for almost 100 years and if walls could speak it could tell much of the history of our City. After 92 years in the hands of the same family it changed hands in May 2017. Experienced hoteliers who own Los Geranios and the Soller Beach Hotel in the Port of Soller have added El Guia to their group.
An immediate refurbishment programme was put into place and now all 15 rooms have wonderful new beds, air conditioning, wifi and state of the art bathrooms. All this was going on while the hotel continued to function and the restaurant opened, as usual six days a week. Older Sollerics remember this place more for the very local restaurant Ca’s Tentinada on the ground floor under the Chef Jaime Ordinas. They are delighted to know that nothing has changed and the traditional Majorcan cuisine is still lovingly served every day except Thursday. El Guia has an enviable position in its location and is now getting ready for the next generation who discover this place.
In the Port of Soller the same can be said of the restaurant Las Palmeras situated in the centre of the Port near the Hotel Esplendido. This family run restaurant is in all our memory banks and we can go back at least 50 years with the family. They sold out this year and retired on to relax in the Soller Valley in a well deserved retirement. All eyes are on this prime seafront location and the gossip describes all manner of beautifulness that is supposed to being built there. I met the new owner’s representative this week who laughed at some of the fanciful notions doing the rounds. All she would say is that the winter of planning permission and works is just beginning and it will be some time before the true identity of the new establishment becomes apparent. So watch this space…
End of season and the counting of the money begins. This is the time when businesses work out what they have made and how much can be ploughed into refurbishments of their buildings. The builders are poised with diaries in hand. It’s all go round here once the building works are allowed again and the tourist season slides gently into winter.