The ancient inn
ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A DREAM
There exists an old photograph of our father, Pere de Can Constans. He is beside the rack train track which goes up to Núria, together with some of the first guests.
The house, the railway, Torreneules in the background, all of them make up an imposing and at the same time a lonely landscape.
Nevertheless, our father's dream began with this picture.
Fifty years ago Queralbs, as father said, was the end of the world, and country holidays were no more than a dream, something as yet unknown. The roads leading to the city were endless rough tracks, our house was isolated and the shortest way to the village was by a narrow track. For a long time the most modern means of transport used by our father, with which we brought all heavy items up, was a good-natured donkey called Platera, who carried all our provisions on her back: cases of food and drink and the baggage of the first holidaymakers to make their way, somewhat bewildered, to our house.
Father was a dreamer by nature, but also very stubborn. He hoped and trusted that the farmhouse would become a guest house. It seemed an impossible adventure but the years proved him right.
Our mother Magda was always beside him with her strength and wisdom, with him all the way, sharing a project which few people believed in.
Guests gradually began to trickle in, whole families especially.
As children – in the end there were six of us – we shared many moments with these early guests. They were happy years, looking after the cattle, playing in the fields, picking blackberries, feeding the chickens or helping our parents with their chores on the land or in the house.
I remember the long conversations with guests, almost friends, in mother's kitchen, talking for hours. Mother had a special gift for getting to know people and getting on with them. She was a special person, generous and hospitable, patient with everybody: so filled with love that everybody loved her in return.
Father, smiling, cheerful, always laughing and joking with guests, always asking questions and wanting to learn new things. The dining room was often a meeting place for lots of people who seemed like one big family.
His dream goes on with his children, who have continued along the trail he blazed for us.