Stepping out of the car upon arriving at La Sala de Camós, a small hotel in a refurbished Medieval building near the town of Banyoles, one is struck by the complete darkness, and the silence, apart from the murmur of a trickling stream some ways away. The stone building and vivid green scenery will have to wait until morning for detailed exploration. We could be standing in the darkness at any age in history, here in the quiet darkness, though the 12th century “sala,” (a fortified house developed in times that were still uncertain, yet less warlike than previously) and 18th century rectory next door give us some historical indicators.
Indoors, we return to the 21st century, with electricity and heating, though there is still a rustic charm to the littel room where a three course dinner is served. A wood fire crackles in the grate, and a comfortable sofa near to the table is endlessly tempting, especially as the walls are lined with books to be enjoyed by firelight.
After dinner, warm and satisfied, it is time to cross a small courtyard to the comfortable rooms, fully fitted with all modern conveniences, and enjoy the uncomplicated sleep that results from fresh air and good food. Dawn will reveal the contented squareness of the rectory towers, warming in the early morning sun just outside the window.
Outdoors in the morning all is lush and green, accompanied by the chirping of birds and crickets. The sala is nestled into the hillside, away from the outside world, the timeless brown stone in perfect harmony with the green fields, and only the unexpected blue of a swimming pool signals that we’re still in a world of easy comfort.
All in all, it is a delightful and authentic place to escape the bustle of Barcelona and the hustle of the tourist route.
La Sala de Camós is located within easy driving distance of Barcelona, Figueres (which houses the world-famous Dalí Museum) and the French border. For more information, visit www.lasaladecamos.com