Sunday, October 23, 2011
On Friday after school, I hopped a train north to the countryside.
Two hours after leaving Barcelona, I stepped off onto a quiet platform at the edge of the village of Bordils. Bordils is located in the province of Girona in Catalunya. I picked this village because I wanted to get out of the bustling city and see the countryside during my favorite time of year. I booked a room for me, myself, and I at a bed and breakfast just outside the old village center.
As soon as I stepped onto the platform in Bordils, and let the train continue past me, the sheer silence and the crisp fresh air made me realize it had been way too long since I had left the city.
I walked for twenty minutes through quiet streets, past this old cemetery at sunset, through the old village center where only one patisserie was open, and along a dirt road to the guesthouse where I would be staying for the next two nights.
The guesthouse, Can Carreras del Mas, dates back to the 19th century. There, I met Laura, the grand-daughter of the original owners. Eight years prior, her parents remodeled this old Catalan farmhouse into a guesthouse.
The eating area with its domed ceiling of bricks was where the animals were originally kept. All the walls were original, over a foot thick of mortar and stones, to keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The kitchen had a fireplace in it, and the common sitting area a woodstove.
The outside garden was where they grew the produce that would make our meals. There were plenty of spaces to rest and relax, and the perfect weather (hoodie-and-down-vest)
to stay outside all day on a brisk October day.
The village of Bordils was centered around this church, complete with gargoyles. I heard its old bell tower chime the hour all weekend long.
On Saturday morning, after filling up on the Catalan sausages, fuet and butifarra negra and blanca, I ventured away from the village for a long walk along country roads. I explored for hours, and was so moved by the sights and smells... I can't tell if it's my love for Autumn, or that I just feel more at home in the country side, or if this place was especially beautiful, but I was so moved by its beauty.
Hot air balloons!
I walked so far that I stumbled upon another small village, this one called Pueblo de Sant Joan.
The train tracks leading to Barcelona:
And heading back towards Bordils:
The way I need to catch up on sleep and sleep for 12 hours every once in awhile, I needed to do the same for my writing. And that I did this weekend, collecting images and sensations for later use...
The church of Bordils:
Don't even think of passing through here, because it's inundable!
I brought a book of John Keats' letters with me by chance (he is one of my favorite poets), and over the weekend, besides reading about his frequent walks through the countryside, I read this line which resonated with me. He wrote this to his brother, Tom, in a letter when he was only 21 years old.
"I fear our continued moving from place to place, will prevent our becoming learned in village affairs; we are mere creatures of Rivers, Lakes & mountains."