It almost sounds like an amusement park attraction (it might be – I haven’t been in one since over 25 years I think); it’s also a beautiful book. However, in our world, it is real… When you drive out of Cretas in the direction of Lledo, you will find yourself in Golden Valley (locally called Valletes) and there, in between a few vineyards, there’s this beautiful little wooden arrow that used to say “Mas del Encanto” (unfortunately, the rain washed away the artwork). If you follow the road up, up and a bit more up, there on top of the hill lies the House of Charm… on top of Magic Mountain.
To make a long story short: we’re totally in love with our new house. Ah no, it’s not finished yet – but almost: the guest rooms are as good as done (we just need to get the mattresses and bed linnen out of their plastic packaging), the ground floor (which will be reserved for guests) just needs a bit of paint here and there, handles on the doors, and tiles on the balconies; and of course having the sliding door to the first floor would keep the dogs in, and other animals (birds mostly, and the occasional chicken) out. Apart from that, we’re all set for the summer; we’ve got a working kitchen, a big living room and the biggest storage room / walk in closet a girl could ever dream of.
But best of all is the master bedroom. At night, we get to fall asleep looking at the stars – and in the morning, we get woken up by the most beautiful sunrises. Even last week’s storm looked impressive from up here – and when we got a few days of cloudy weather, we could usually still see the sun shining down on another hill further away.
Yes, life is good on magic mountain.
In the mean time, we’re also getting ready to open up our bed & breakfast for “beta testing season” – people coming by this summer will have finished guest rooms to sleep in, but we’ll be experimenting with different formulas for breakfast, dinner, activities, extras,…
Now that our guest rooms are as good as ready, it’s time to think about the landscaping. The area around the house looks like any construction site would look after 15 months of trucks and cars driving around it – the difference is that here and there, we still have almond trees sticking out of the barren land. We have already put the chickens to work for some fertilising (and to eat the remains of our big party); next we have to decide on where to put paths (gravel or flagstones?), what to grow (grass to sit on, or nice smelling flowers and herbs?), where to allow cars (very convenient to drive up to the house, but it kills the beautiful green stuff) and much, much more.
We still have one and a half months to make it work – and we know now that if we really set our minds to it, we can do it. The decision-making part if the most difficult stage; once we’re behind that, it’s a matter of working hard and getting creative. We definitely can’t wait to show you all the results…