30.09.2012 - 30.09.2012
I arrived at Arlanda just before 9 am and got in line to the check-in. It was already a queue even though the check-in hadn’t opened yet. My fellow traveler showed up 15 minutes later and we decided to buy breakfast right away after we had checked in our baggage. Said and done… when we cleared security check we bought something to eat. The flight to Barcelona departed at 11.10 am slightly delayed.
The flight to Barcelona took 3 hours and 35 minutes and during the last hours of the flight we had to listen to two young children that absolutely didn’t want to fly anymore. They sat on the row behind us but on the other side of the aisle, so we were pretty close to them. The children were screaming, nagging and arguing and the parents didn’t seem to care at all that their kids actually bothered everyone else onboard… Oh my God, I almost had a psychiatric breakdown before arriving in Spain. But after some turbulence in the air, a lot of children screaming and beer drinking seniors we finally arrived at El Prat outside Barcelona.
We arrived just before 3 pm and it was nice to stretch the legs. We got to the airport a little early and our transfer was picking us up at 6.30 pm. So we had to kill some time at the airport. We went to buy some food at Caffe Di Fiore and tried to order hamburgers without nachos but with French fries instead. They had a picture displaying the menu (hamburger with nachos) and we pointed at that and asked for French fries instead… the total lack of English knowledge (the man working there) didn’t help the conversation at all. But eventually we got a hamburger each with both nachos and French fries. We though; Well, well, at least we got what we asked for. But you may think that all personal at an international airport shall speak a little English at least… even in Spain. When we bought bottles of water we were met by the same reserved attitude and totally no interest of making conversation in English. But eventually in a candy shop at the airport we were greeted with a nice Hola and a Thank you on our way out.
We waited for two hours inside the airport at the official meeting point as the travel agency had decided for us, before our third Swedish fellow traveler showed up. We got to know each other for a short while before I noticed a short-grown man with grey hair walking towards us with a sign saying Can Jou. I immediately recognized the name and nodded at him. When he had crossed our names of his list we followed him and gathered with the rest of the group. It was a real mix of nationalities in our group… people from Norway, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Great Britain, USA (Texas) and us three girls from Sweden. So a total of 18 persons embarked the transfer bus in Barcelona. At 6.30 pm we finally drove off and we had 2 more hours of traveling ahead of us. We passed high peaked mountains with beautiful monasteries and buildings along the mountain slopes. The sunset had begun far away in the horizon and the dark quickly came upon. Along the way we made a stop at Girona Airport to pick up another two passengers who joined our group.
We eventually arrived at Can Muní (the new place where the horses had been transferred to) that was beautifully situated in the great natural beauty lowland l’Empordà, only 2 km away from the picturesque village Vilopriu. When we had disembarked the transfer bus we were informed that only the riders participating in the Discovery group were staying at Can Muní and the rest of us were staying somewhere else. Oh no! Weren’t we there yet??? Time was 8.30 pm, we were hungry and tired after all that traveling and at least I was losing my temper. The rest of us were driven in two Land Rovers continuing on to our staying for the night. The road to our staying was a winding and steep graveled road so it felt pretty safe being in a 4WD Land Rover. We later found out that the week before had been so rainy that the transfer bus had got stuck in the mud – why they had rented these Land Rovers for us to avoid the same this week.
We were driven to Can Sort, an older traditional Catalan farmer house called “masia”, which had been tastefully renovated and decorated with antique and appropriate furniture. Can Sort is situated upon a hill just outside the village Vilopriu, in between the Pyrenees and Costa Brava and surrounded by woods and tilled land. When my friend and I got our double room we through our baggage inside and rushed to the dinner that was served at 9 pm. A buffet with salad and lasagna was served among others and for dessert we got to choose from either ice cream or cheese cake.
After we all had finished our dinner we gathered to discuss what type of horses we wanted during the week. Most of us chose an active horse but not too active. We also got divided in two groups of eight people since one group of total sixteen riders is way too many for trail riding. Tired but with satisfied hungers we all went to bed to get some sleep, all curious and excited about what horses we would get tomorrow.