A prelude to the Parador: On our second visit to Spain (years ago), our hotel receptionist suggested that she reserve our next night at our chosen Parador Cordova. This would give us more time to visit Montserrat. We did.
The drive up to “Monastir de Montserrat ” was a precipitous and undulating roadway (improved now).
These rock mountains had a majestic beauty of their own!
Over 4,000 feet high, this was Catalonia’s holiest place. Surrounded by chapels, hermits caves and centered by the monastery, it was founded in the 11th century. As we walked into the Basiica, the Monks were singing the “Salve Regina”….. beautiful….
Now, on to our Parador.
There are many wonderful hotels in Spain…..those that appeal the most are the” Paradors” where you can see and feel the history therein.
The Government opened the first in 1928…..beginning with empty castles and monasteries. My second reason is that the restaurants showcase the reginal cuisine and wine.
And, for those 40 plus years , or older, there are discounts that deepen as you age!
Cardona, with the mountains behind and the village below, is self contained. A lovely bar and a formal restaurant are across the fortified 9th Century enclosure which includes 11th Century Church.
The original building was from the 12th Century hence the city in front is modern….houses needed for farmers, workers in the prosperous salt mines and vendors of other trades and industries.
A beautiful entrance to an old castle. Actually was originally built for horses and carriages.
Mountain areas tend to have bad weather…and what to do when you can’t go outside???
Head for the bar!
And if the bar is too noisy, head for the sitting room…
Now we get to the bottom of Cordona’s success and longevity.
This Rock Salt Mine is behind the Parador and we would not have noticed it if our bedroom had faced another direction. Very steep from centuries of digging.
If you need some exercise, ask the Concierge for a map to do some climbing…and update your insurance.
When checking out the Concierge congratulated me on my recent birthday as he extended my passport. “Congratulations” he said, “you’ve reached the age of discounts —-25% off everything.”
A serendipitous surprise!!