I’m up early at our yoga retreat castle in Spain. I teach yoga and meditation classes here, but I also cook. We have two groups for breakfast. The first, four uniformed people heading out just past dawn to race motorcycles, includes three men and a woman. She sort of looks like Kristen Stewart, if Kristen Stewart lived in Catalonia and wore motorcycle leathers. Later a young couple enters the dining room. I have ready for them a plate of fruits – kiwi, clementines, strawberries – plus warm, buttered bread just out of the oven, orange marmalade, oatmeal with chia seeds, apples and canela, and a selection of Russian teas. They say “ooh” and sit happily, chatting and laughing sweetly, easing into their day for over an hour. Oh, young love! I ask them what they have planned for the day.
“Nothing. Just here for the peace and quiet.”
“Well, I think you’re in the right place for that,” I reply. Huge smiles.
After cleaning the kitchen, I’m free to march through the vineyards and go find some peace and quiet myself. Alba, a very nice local yoga teacher, has been recommending places for me to see. Torres de Fals, a 5.5 kilometer walk from our Anima Mundi yoga center castle, is on the list. She jokes that since Anima Mundi is “in the middle of nowhere” if I get lost there will only be cows to ask for directions. I see this guy on my sunny walk, staring me down. If he knows the way to Torres de Fals, he ain’t telling.
Today is the kind of day that if it had a thermostat to adjust the temperature to my liking, I wouldn’t touch it at all. There’s a sweet breeze and the sun warms me perfect. Recent rains have turned the fields into a lush, contented green. The 5.5 kilometers feature a few hills as well. A great day for a good workout.
I make a wrong turn because I see Torres de Fals in the distance and follow the road directly toward it. Big mistake, I’m on the wrong side of the river. No one on this stretch of road to ask directions, not even cattle. I turn back to find the correct route. This will add another 2.0 to that 5.5.
Eventually, despite my less than bad navigation skills, I find Torres de Fals. This place has been here since 996! The castle served as the passageway – the “key” – on the road from Barcelona to Cardona. It owns two defense towers, the church of Sant Vicente and the rectory, standing separate from the village by a ravine way down below on the river. Talk about a strong defensive position!
I walk around taking photos. I see only six other people on the entire grounds and then a young boy about seven years old talks at me in Spanish from a window. I think he’s saying something about how surprised he is someone like me was able to find the place.
If a huge slab of rock falls on your house, why not make a roof out of it?
Cold place to sleep in the winter, but probably quite refreshing on a summer afternoon. Needs a bed, however, or at least a futon would be nice.
Try attacking up there. Good luck! No one gets through to Cardona unless we say so!
Heading back, the route takes me past El Moli de Boixeda. I’ve only been there for lunch. It’s a blue collar kind of place. Flannel shirts, dust on the pants and boots. Bottle of wine opened on every table, but you’re only charged for the amount you drink out of it. This walk will be over seven miles today. With all the walking I’ve been doing in Spain I tell myself a light, worker’s lunch every once in a while won’t hurt me.
L’Entrant a Escollir – Caldo. A nice soup to start with for an easy, light springtime lunch 🙂
Primer plat – Torrada d’Escalivida amb Anxovies I Olives d’Arago.
Segon plat – Galta de Porc Estofada. The chef was especially proud of this course. He described it to me by pinching his cheeks. He gave me a knife with it but no need, the meat was so tender just a fork lifted it off the bone.
Crep de Nata amb Xocolata Calenta. Nice ending! Everything – all food, wine and coffee – 11.05 Euro. Muchas gracias!
Almost back, I see my buddy. Is it just my imagination, but are the horns getting bigger and a little sharper every time we meet? Dude, don’t look at me like that. For lunch I had pork, yes, but no beef.
It is very peaceful out here at the Anima Mundi yoga retreat castle in the Spanish countryside. Amazing history, tremendous food, warm fresh air and sweet exercise. Not bad sunsets, either…but don’t expect much help from the livestock.
Love and peace,