What with autumn on its way and the clouds meeting for display, I earnestly sought out a new experience this week. My intuition told me to follow a path over to a small mountain town, above the coastline of Sitges and Garraf, called Sant Pere de Ribes.
That morning I took the bus from Placa Catalunya in Barcelona and a quick 50 minutes later, descended upon a very pretty landing strip in the centre of Sant Pere de Ribes.
Mapless and gutless, I made my way through the still streets and eventually found myself wedged between a very large stone church and a quaint little square. It was the principal square of Mercè. Dotted with old buildings and a white faced fountain, too old to mention, the square held a very understated charm. I took an iced coffee from a cool 70’s looking bar, Cabaler, and continued on with my day.
My intuition then took me south, where I discovered heaps of flourishing vine yards, a well kept wooden playground, a well dressed castle and a grand looking house. Masia Sumidors was one of many in and around the town and is famous for hosting overnight guests and serving up outlandish town-side views.
After a little sit down, I continued north of the town where things got a little more interesting. The potted plants of lavender, birds dining one at a time on the window ledges, gardens chiming with delicate metals and light looking by-passers lacing their way through the tiny lanes, was a little overwhelming.
The old part of the town took on cute little shops, white stone cottages arched around one corner and fragrances that were too many to count. When I arrived at the top of the town, just below the rolling forests of the Garraf national park, a small restaurant beckoned me in. Cabure, as they called it, was nothing more than winning. With its colourful lamps and tables outdoors and sought after cuisine, I allowed myself to eat from their daily menu.
From there I picked up one of the Grande Randonnée (GR) walking routes and followed it back down towards the bus stop. I couldn’t help but recognise a sweet sadness for my return back to the city. But yet again, the journey was so fast, so easy, so effective and so awesome, that I’m sure I’ll find myself lured back to the charming town of Sant Pere de Ribes again.
I would certainly recommend it.
Anneka and Teresa