Montserrat For A Day
As a day trip from Barcelona, we pre-planned our visit to the monastery of Montserrat. It would be great to head out of Barcelona into the mountains. The views from Montserrat are well worth a day trip!
It was an easy R5 train from Espanya station. We watched the scenery fly by until the mountains came in sight. At one point we were sure we could see the monastery high up in the hills. We were excited about the views from Montserrat we would get that day.
The R5 train dropped us right at the spot we needed to get to the top. There are two ways to get up to the first level at the monastery. We debated taking a cable car or rack rail car ride up the mountain, but finally settled on the rack rail car. I don’t have a fear of heights. But I was not sure that being crowded into a small cable car would really give us the sights we would choose that route for.
We bought the combined ticket that would give us use of the two smaller funiculars to explore more of the mountain. One track went up to the summit and the other went down to a walking path and mountainside statues. I was absolutely sure that I would not be walking up or down the mountain. Nor would I be taking the 3 hour hike to the best observation point. With the ground rules settled we were ready for our visit to Montserrat. “Billy Goat” Linda got a good workout as we explored the 3 levels at Montserrat.
Views From Montserrat
We went up first. As the funicular climbed, you could look back to the main level with the monastery.
There we found observation decks and paths that went out in all directions. You could walk back down or walk even higher. The views from Montserrat were worth the funicular trip up to the highest level. But I was not walking higher!
We saw a good number of climbers scaling the peaks.
Our coats off, we enjoyed the sun and the much higher than expected temperature. The mountains were worn down curves in groups, reminiscent of the towers of Sagrada Familia. But not all of the rocks looked like the church, I was sure that one looked like Snoopy! The views from Montserrat on all sides were amazing.
We took the funicular back down to the main level. I was looking forward to level ground – at least for a little while!
On the main level we visited the monastery and cathedral. We did not line up to touch the statue of the Black Madonna. The church was adorned with gilt, art and statues and was filled with religious visitors enjoying this most special place.
The offering area was filled with cove after cove of multi-coloured candles, each one dedicated to a different saint.
With the real restaurants a long walk to the other end, we picked up a snack and the obligatory package of local chocolate made by the monks of the monastery.
Slightly refreshed we found the final funicular to the lower level.
I was immediately daunted by the walk on this level. It started with a long trek up and down rugged steps. We went to see the first couple of statues. It was amazing how well they had made the statues blend into the rock and the settings. However beautiful they were, I called uncle before we reached the original resting place of the Black Madonna.
Had we been religious, such lack if dedication would not be acceptable. But this billy goat was done for the day. There would be no more walking around to get views from Montserrat!
With David pushing me up hills and stairs, we finally made it back to the train station. As we left, we caught one more glimpse of this truly awesome vista. We were ready to relax on our train back to Barcelona. It was a long day trip but certainly a unique experience.
Did you head out to the mountains from Barcelona? Were the views from Montserrat great? Did you touch the Black Madonna?