Hello, blogging world! Yes, I sound like a Blogspot noob from the ’90s. I kind of still am. It has been a while since my last post, more than a year even. The past year has been devoted to my thesis. I did joggle blogging and my manuscript but I’m no multitasker, so this blog had to be swept sideways. Then after I finished my PhD (yeah, you can call me doctor now but I’m broke so I’m still not feeling it!), I procrastinated and forgot about this online space where I used to have fun filling with my travel photos and insights. Then, my fans, that means more than 1 (so 3 to be exact) tried to persuade me to continue and since I am having downtime from unemployment, I’d like to revive this page. So here’s a feature on Montserrat, a pilgrimage site and famous day excursion destination from Barcelona to start things off:
I’ve been to Montserrat three times already and I don’t mind coming back multiple times not only because it’s a beautiful natural mystery but also, it’s where I had my first date with my now girlfriend, a Barcelona local who already considers this place as like, her backyard. Every time her relatives/friends visit the city, they always want to go to this place as if there aren’t plenty of things to see in Barcelona. But you can’t blame them, it’s indeed a gem which stands out among the mountains and hills of this region because of its unique rock formations.
It’s also not super expensive to get there. Today, it’s still around 22 euros train-cable car tandem (roundtrip) which is a sweet sweet ride. You just have to be smart though with the schedules if you hate the crowds so maybe taking the earlier trains would be better. But yeah, it’s hard to avoid them these days because of over-tourism. It only takes an hour though so it’s not such a pain although the queues can get kilometric (good luck in summer!)
You can find there a monastery, a church, and a handful of buildings carved on one of the small plateaus. The church hosts the religious figure of the Our Lady of Montserrat which is venerated by Catholics. It has been said that it grants wishes and if it comes true, you are obliged to come back. I didn’t ask for the consequence. I’m just trusting the mercy of the divine. It’s probably harmless. I wished for this blog to sell and yet… I’m kidding, I have bigger priorities.
Then from the monastery complex, you can ride a funicular to move closer to the peak. From there, plenty of hiking trails await with stunning views of the mountain. I really loved the trails; some are smooth while some are rough but really, it’s just amateur climbing. Unless of course, you want to get to the top of boulders, in which case you need equipment but in general, it’s doable for people like us who don’t have much trekking experience. The views atop are also breathtaking so it’s all going to be worth it.
Overall, I love the experience and I highly recommend them if you have time to spare on your trip to Barcelona. Especially for religious people who at the same time want to have an adventure. I honestly don’t mind coming back, wish granted or not. It’s a true wonder of nature.