Over yonder at the Archer Pelican, Phil set up a question about where his readers would like to live. I got to thinking, and gol durn it, I think I have my answer! Let me tell you about my new favorite place to live. I promise y'all will each want to come visit. I'll make sure I have a barn or something to hook you up with.
Location, location, location
Caldes de Montbui is just 35 kilometers north about of Barcelona, my favorite city ever, which in itself is a huge selling point. You have mountains to the north and are within spitting distance of seaside resort areas. Caldes de Montbui also takes advantage of the fact that it sits on top of hot springs. VERY HOT. 74˚ C, in fact. Right out of the ground. Or at least out of the main square's Font del Lleó, first constructed in 1581.
Not surprisingly, the town* was established because of the thermae. The HOT, mineral-laden waters were said to cure arthritis, fractures (!) and other aches and pains. The Romans built baths at least as early as the first century A.D. and remains are peppered throughout the city.
The waters get you there. The balnearios keep you. Modern or Modernist, you're still going to get top notch treatments and pampering. And at REALLY reasonable prices, to boot. I've been to Caldes just once, in 2004*. If I'd have known about the town when I lived in Barcelona, I'd have been broke....but relaaaaaxed.
I think I could build a garden there. Shall I? Wonder what the birds are like... OOOH! I bet you have to have a water COOLER rather than a water heater!
*Only 15k people live there, by the way..1% of the Barcelona city size, if I did that math right
**I had a mud-wrap and got some water treatments with my two girlfriends Marta and Ilse, who accompanied me. I went first. Neither of the other two girls could bear the idea that a sub-20 year old boy would be rubbing mud all over their body, breasts included (!!). I figured I could deal with it.