Why I love Soller

Written for the Mallorca Bulletin on Valentines Day 2024

By Shirley Roberts

I love Soller because it strikes my soul and the primeval need to belong.  I loved London, and still do.  I am fortunate to have had choice in where I have lived and found acceptance.  I was not fleeing persecution, or making an economic choice, when the removal van came to collect me.  It took me from Northwest London and deposited me in Northwest Mallorca because I wanted to try out the move.

I began to find an increasing bit of my ‘Soul of Soller,’ when we bought a small holiday apartment on the Repic Beach in the Port.  Extended holidays with family, friends, nieces, nephews, God children and grandchildren soon turned into the place we all wanted to be.  Memories of summers on the sand and the routines of life in this timeless place cast their own spell.

I was part of a three generational move caused by my husband’s ill health retirement, the sale of my London business and the desire of adult children for a different outdoor life for their children.  This could have all gone so horribly wrong, but it didn’t.  All the adults involved made their own mind up along the way as to whether they loved Soller.

Let’s deal with that word ‘love’. We are told ‘we all give and receive love in 5 different ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. These ‘love languages’ can be used to define all sorts of relationships.  For me I am using them to define mine with Soller.

I love Soller because my family are living here

I love Soller because it is beautiful, and one of the most attractive villages in Spain

I love Soller because I have found a great ‘tribe’ of people who care.

I love Soller because there is much kindness and helpfulness in day-to-day interactions.

I love Soller because quality time can be spent in so many beautiful ways.  To walk, to swim, to talk, to sit amongst such beauty is balm for the soul.

I love Soller because physical touch is important. To be greeted by a hug and a kiss on both cheeks in common place.  People are tactile and this is just normal.

I love Soller for its diversity.  Coming from London I am well used to a multicultural society. In Soller the mix is also interesting and contains the influences of its past history in Cuba, Porto Rico, South America, and many European countries.

I love Soller because of the choice of the three worlds on our doorstep.  Soller, The Port, The Valley, are all part of our life experience. 

I live halfway between Soller and the Port, in L’horta. Turn left for the sea, turn right for the town, go straight ahead for the Valley.

The Soller Valley is a huge orange growing area plus vast acres given over to olives and almonds.  The flowers are beautiful, and nature gives her abundance every day in sunshine for the soul. The people of the past prepared this land to save water and cultivate when the harshness of the sun beats down in summer.

To be a Valley means you need mountains or at the very least hills to surround you.  We have mountains in abundance and all they offer from walks and explorations, to picnics in the beauty. The Tramuntana is the backdrop to my life and makes me look up every morning.  The setting sun or the rising of a full moon above them, never fails to delight.

Over twenty years have passed, and I have learnt about this place.  I understand much, but know I still have more to learn.  My Soller friends are happy I live similar lives to them.

I was often found at the school gates collecting children.  I will meet them when we watch the local fiestas. I will admire the new-born in their beautiful prams, whether I know the parents or not. I will spend hours in chilly sports halls supporting a granddaughters basketball team. I will attend the football matches of another granddaughter and watch the amateur dramatics of another.  All these commitments have taken me all over the island and make me one of the local people who also do this every week.

Soller is my place, a state of mind and home for me.  Life is good in my hometown…

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