Imagine being in a house made in the 1800’s. Imagine it has a river and mountains full of lush trees. When you are in the living room you see an armoire full of medicine books from the time that belonged to the owner and a little wood horse, and a bird cage, and a sewing machine. Imagine coffee was planted all around it… and cocoa and oranges, and you can pick them with your hands if you walk around. It has a water system provided by the river itself, and gardens all around it. The aroma of coffee fills the air, for close by there is someone grinding the fresh grains and from that flour they are making coffee for you. Now imagine that house is in the middle of one royal city in a beautiful island with perfect blue skies and clear blue seas.
I was there yesterday.
Imagine a castle built in the 1900’s at the top of a mountain that overlooks the ocean and a royal city. Imagine it has an interior garden, many rooms and living rooms, and balconies and topiary gardens all around it. Imagine it as if you were able to travel back in time and see the house in a livable condition with kitchen ware, tables, books, rugs, dresses in the closets, shoes at the end of the bed, a set dinner table… everything. But not just common everything’s, the plates are imported from France and have 18k gold, the roof of the kitchen is an art piece made of wood by hand by one artist, the dress is an authentic antique hand embroidered with silver… special, regal, authentic antique everything’s.
I was there yesterday too.
The experience was amazing, the pictures in Flickr are better story tellers than me and there you can see some of things I saw in La Hacienda Buena Vista, a property that belongs now to El Fideicomiso de Conservación where once a year you can experience the process of coffee production as it was in the early 1900’s in Puerto Rico, one gourmet coffee venue. We took the Festival del Café Tour (The Coffee Festival Tour) with half an hour duration, which included an unusual experience through the forest trail to see the coffee plantation.
But first in the morning we went to El Castillo Serralles in Ponce, now belonging to the city’s municipality, the castle once belonged to the first family that started producing rum in Puerto Rico, the Serralles are the owners of the Don Q rum. It was turned into a museum many years ago and is open to the public for tours where you can experience the beauty of this architectural marvel (the house was one of the first in the island to have electricity facilities and has, for example, one of the first electric elevators) as well as be educated on the rum production process, how it was in the 1900’s and how it has changed through time.
It was a beautiful Sunday. Back to reality.