The snow came as promised and gave a good covering on the top of the mountains that surround us. The panoramic views were spectacular and the photographers came out in droves. The tradition of the area follows a time honoured route when it snows. First the mountain roads are closed until the snow ploughs assess the situation and make the roads passable. Then the game is on when the police say its alright to proceed with caution on those routes. Hundreds of cars come to Soller and go up the mountain following the American Road via Fornalutx. Their aim is to find a snow field, build a snowman for the obligatory photo and then pile the snow on the bonnet of the car. They then drive down the mountain with snow covered car to prove to the rest of us that they have walked the walk and brought the proof with them. On Sunday lunchtime I must have passed at least twenty snow covered cars when I was travelling in the opposite direction in Soller. Every time it snows it is the same routine and it makes us all smile.
This is a bit like the surfers who have an antennae for waves and just turn up in wet suits with surf boards when the conditions are right. Surfing is as rare as snow in these parts so people have to take their opportunities where they can.
The chatter of the week in Soller is all to do with bakeries. Bread is collected up to three times a day by local people from their favourite bakery. Bread is big business here and even the supermarkets have their own ovens that churn out baguettes all day long. We all have our favourite bakeries and the Soller tooth is very sweet. Cakes and pastries with a French influence are consumed daily and excessively at weekends and family gatherings. Every season has its specialities and coming into the season of Christmas there is a lot of almonds in everything. The chatter of Soller right now is anticipating the arrival of a new bakery in the City. The location is near the Post Office and the kitchens and ovens are at premises in L’Horta. This building once housed the Karate Club of Soller and now it has given itself up to bread and all things delicious especially Empanada’s. The Argentinian Bakery is soon to open its doors and many of us with Argentinian neighbours have tasted their deep fried Empanadas and small pies and pronounced them delicious!
The timing of this opening is very interesting as one of the branches of the traditional Frau Bakery in the Lluna has just shut up shop to convert their premises into a Hotel. Maybe this was the key that unlocked this door and gave our Argentinian friends the motivation to open now. Another new winter opening for Soller which underlines how this is just not a seasonal place but one where people live, shop and work year round.
Sunday was Advent Sunday and the traditional time for people to get out the Betlems for the Entrada and set them up in time honoured fashion. The Nativity scenes of Soller are best seen as you walk the dark streets and look at the illuminated Nativity scenes in the entrance halls. On Wednesday this week the Christmas lights will be switched on at 7 pm and then the season will begin. The piped music of carols and Christmas songs will resonate in Soller Square every evening – whether you like it or not.
The Super Moon accompanied me as I walked home from the Pro Musica Chorus Christmas Concert on Sunday. There was a ‘Swing’ theme to the concert and the choir were accompanied by both piano and percussion which gave them a totally new sound. Over 400 people turned out on a cold Sunday night to support the Choir of Soller – a remarkable result for this very popular talented crew.
The moon was big, as had been promised but the cloud formation round it was spectacular. Nature has treated us well this week with the snow fields and the super moon. The forecast now is for a spell of normal December weather which should mean sunny days and cold nights. All good for the increased visitors we have here for the two Bank Holidays this week. Hope you enjoy Constitution Day and the feast of the Immaculate Conception which are our early December treats.