When we finish a long tour and before we begin another we like to find a place where we can feel at home and just totally chill out. We have such chill out places in Ireland, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal. Now we have found such a place high in the hills above the Mediterranean, not far from Barcelona and right smack in the heart of the famous wine district near Vilafranca del Penedes.
The monastery of Montserrat is also nearby if you’re interested (we’re not, at least not today when it’s full of busloads of tourists from the cruise ships) plus a smattering of charming medieval villages with the standard Romanesque churches. When our gracious host Rainer asked at breakfast this morning (served at the very civilized hours of from 9 to 11 but we lingered until nearly 11:30) if we would like some tips on what to go and see today, where to have a typically large Spanish Sunday lunch for example, we probably surprised him with our nonchalant “we actually don’t plan to leave the property today.” We are in true chill mode and loving it. Right now, if you could transport yourself to this lovely place you would find Jim typing away at updating this blog and preparing trip plans for later in this season and into 2012 under a Mulberry huge tree in the pleasant garden of this lovely old farmhouse.
The farmhouse, sprawling and ancient, was restored by Rainer and his wife Ariane, who originally come from northern Germany, over a period of several years. After leaving the corporate life behind, they’re now celebrating their 7th year and from a brief look at their guest book, have earned many friends and repeat guests since. Their two sons are learning their native German plus Catalan, Spanish and English. We’re always so envious of young people who grow up with other languages as second nature. Why can’t we do this in America?
Besides a lovely pool with panoramic views there’s a huge, comfy guest lounge with fireplace and best of all, a wine cellar with many bottles to choose from area vineyards. There’s a list where guests can write down their selections, pay later, all on the honor system. Our column is growing longer.
We had a reservation for two nights but called ahead and asked to stay three, just for more chill time. In order to get here from our last stop we had to drive six and a half hours. It was tiring but now that we’re settled in, we’re quite satisfied with that decision. The views from our private terrace at the spacious apartment we chose (it was not easy, Rainer showed us three other rooms each one with its own special charms) are spectacular, especially in the evening when the sun is slowly setting and casting its orange glow over the vineyards and villages below. We sat up late and watched the twilight turn to a starry night, drinking wine and reading by candlelight. Does it get any better than this? Wait until tonight, when we do it all over again.
Tomorrow we may go out and explore a bit. Or, maybe not. After a breakfast of homemade bread, delicious natural joghurt and peaches and melon from a trusted local source, if you were to fly on over to Spain, you might just find Jim with his laptop under the Mulberry tree and Jenean puttering about at the apartment, or laying by the pool with her Kindle. That’s what tour guides do when they’re on chill time.
Arianella de Can Coral B&B