It has been a truly intriguing experience to watch as our vision for the farmhouse’s spaces came alive. The first floor revealed her new identity the moment we laid the Gaudi floors. Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus. Many buildings throughout the Barcelona area are a testament to his exceptional and outstanding creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The moment we saw these tiles, we knew that they had to become part of the Albergue experience.
Then came the circular staircase, designed by Geof and hand made by a local steel man. The wood on the treads are Acacia, also cut and crafted by Geof. It was a happy day when we were able to walk up the stairs to the second floor without having to go back and around outside!
You can see the seating that we have purchased from a Dutch furniture company – all solid pieces that once placed will not move. At this point we have seating for 16 in the cafe. The commercial kitchen will be placed at the top of the picture – gas stove, deli counter, panini refrigerator station and of course – a European coffee machine. We will be offering our overnight walkers a hot meal and breakfast, and will be serving sandwiches, soups, snacks, pastries, coffee, cold drinks, wine and beer throughout the day.
We have just welcomed our wood burning stove into the fold. Her job will be to keep the main floor warm as well as function as a hot surface for soup, water, and warm dishes. Her oven will be a great back-up for when our hot services are in demand. A computer station will be set up in the corner near the stove for those who wish to make contact with the outside world.
There are two red & white washrooms with showers off to the right of the cafe, and a utility room, that runs the length of the kitchen, for our back-up refrigerator, washing machine and storage.
The multipurpose room has been designed to play a number of roles such as overflow dining and sleeping. It also will function as a community gathering room as well as a silent space for meditation and yoga. Our walkers will tell us what purpose it will best serve – and we will oblige!
The second floor has two full bathrooms and showers for men and women. We have been committed to using local materials. Our bathroom steel work was crafted by our neighbour and all of the tiles, granite and porcelain are from our local area.
I can’t wait until I experience the walls ringing with the voices of pilgrims on their journey.