Monday 11th May 2015.
It’s the first Monday after the second Sunday in May and to the people of Soller that can mean only one thing. It’s Fiesta time. A chance to celebrate the victory of the Sollerics over the invading Turks that took place on 11th May 1561.
But that was to come later in the day. At 9.00 am all was peaceful and quiet. Clear blue sky and the sea looking calm.
I intended to have an easy day strolling around the bay and pointing out to Jean some of the changes that have occurred since her last visit.
The promenade is now closed to traffic and the tram runs down the centre of what was once the road.
This has allowed many of the restaurants to place tables outside and it is an ideal place to eat now that it is free of traffic fumes.
At the far end of the bay we climbed up to the church and sat on the bench to gaze down on the marina.
In the marina everything has changed. The fishing fleet has almost disappeared, I counted only three vessels. Some nets were laid out in the sun to dry and it reminded me of my first visit in 1995 when the first picture that I took in Puerto Soller was of some fishing nets.
The main part of the harbour is now filled with yachts, some of them very luxurious.
My focus was on a large sailing ship. La Grace. This is a Czech training and charter ship and is a replica of the historic brig from the 18th century. She was built between 2008 – 2010 in Egypt. La Grace was inspired by the ship of the first Czech privateer Augustine Herman who with his La Grace sailed in the Mediterranean and Caribbean where he sometimes attacked merchant ships.
There are now many more bars and restaurants which was handy as it was now 11 o’clock and time for a cafe con leche.
We were back at the hotel by 1.00 pm and after lunch I had time to relax by the pool. I was awoken from my siesta by the sound of gunfire. Fiesta was about to start.
This year I was determined to stay on the side-lines and not get too involved. I sat with my back to the wall, earplugs firmly in place and with a pint close to hand I watched it all pass by. But I had to get up and take photos of a few of my friends.
Regular visitors know the score and the rule is – you do not wear your best clothes, you are likely to get smeared with black greasepaint. And you do not, ever wear a hat. It will probably be snatched off your head, placed over the end of a blunderbuss and blasted into the air.
You can just see the remains of a hat in the top right hand corner of this image.
As I did not take many pictures or get too involved in the fiesta this year I have added some images from previous years.