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Published: July 14th 2010
Bull fighting ring
this is around the Placa Espanya
The weird rocks of Montserrat
Well, again we decided to go out of the city. It was a much easier experience as we realized that we had to look for the train Cercanias
sign. This time we had to go over to the Placa Espanya (it is pronounced the same way, however it is spelled in Catalan). Allison and I walked all the way from our pension to the plaza. I am not sure if I mentioned it, but it is so worth walking around in Spain, there is so much you miss if you depend on public transportation. There is such amazing architecture that it is well worth walking.
Placa Espanya is well worth visiting. We ended up spending a few minutes there. There are two great towers that stand on either side of a street. At the end of that street is an old “Palace” that is also a museum. There are fountains all the way down, which at night “dance” to the music. It is sort of like the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We were fortunate enough on our return to see the fountain at work. It is a bit crowded, so I
the small windows up and down would be where the arrows would shoot you from if you were unwelcome to the palace.
would be cautious about your bags, but really when you are safe and smart I have found you really don’t have a problem. It is the moment that you get too comfortable that you get into trouble.
We then found our Cercanías
sign and bought our ticket in the trainstation. Many people go for the course of the day. Here is how getting to Montserrat works: you must take a Rodalies
train. When you get there you then need to take a tram up the mountain. I went under the assumption that we could just walk up there, but no….it is HIGH, so you definitely want the train. Had I known that I probably would have bought the package deal that you can get at the trainstation. There is also the possibility of getting a ticket for the funicular
(which I will explain later), but I would not recommend buying that ticket until you get to the Monastery of Montserrat. The entire time you are on your way you start to see the mountains of Montserrat and they are gorgeous.
Once you take the tram up you are at the Monastery of Montserrat. There are two
the palace you can see between the towers that at night have singing fountains. It is now a museum and the entrance to the jewish section of the city. I also believe the Olympic City is behind it.
cafés there, but they are expensive. Again, I did not think ahead to buy a sandwich in Barcelona, but alas, if you go you will be all the wiser! We bought a sandwich, but only ate half (a GREAT idea by the way!!) The area is a place people go to 1. Visit, 2. Have time for prayer and contemplation, 3. Go hiking, because it is surrounded by a national park.
We decided to hike to the highest point in the park, Sant Joan. I knew it would be worth it, and figured the times were a little off when they said 2 hours to hike from the bottom up…they weren’t wrong. It was a hike, and we only had flip-flops. It wasn’t bad though. We would stop every so often and soak in the view as you will see with the pictures. The first 1/3 of the trip was in the sun, and the rest was in and out of the sun. Sometimes you were hiking near the mountains, sometimes in the forests. It was a nice little change, and the breeze was welcome. I definitely needed my bottle FULL of water though as it was HOT!
Totally saw this old man on his bike...he should NOT have been wearing that outfit, but thought Prentis would like this!
After a few hours we finally got to the top and it was breathtaking. The weird rock formations were SO close, especially the one we were on top of . You can see the cities below and all the different roads, but they were so small you could barely tell it was a town. What amazed me were the sparrows that flew without a care in the canyon. To think, they get to see that every day. Made me think of how often we take things for granted that are common place.
After a while we decided to hike down and take the funicular
which was supposed to cut the hike short. Well, by short I mean by half. The hike between Sant Joan and the funicular
was much more taken care of and “touristic” but it was still very nice. The funicular
cost about 5euro, and was a small space, with lots of people, no air, and went practically straight down. I would have preferred hiking. It is good if you don’t like hiking so much, but if you don’t like tight spaces, don’t go in!
We missed the tram ride by minutes (again) so had an
the mountains from afar
hour to kill and decided to walk around the touristic parts of the monastery. It was well worth it. It amazes me how immaculate Catholic buildings can be, but it was still neat to see. The bells would chime and felt like they were in your soul. I have some video if I can ever get around to figuring out how to post it. We even were able to see monks. This one monk was trying to hang a banner up on the balcony and had a hard time! Every time he had one corner the way he wanted it, the other corner would fall down and he would have to save the banner. Poor guy. We then walked in the Cathedral. Mass was in session so we couldn’t walk inside, but we could see through the window and I snagged a few pictures.
The ride home was pretty eventless, but upon exiting the metro we realized the singing fountain! It was awesome, huge, and playing Disney in Spanish…we had to go and see it. This is the start of the Jewish section of the city, and where the Olympic city is located. We didn’t go there, but we
just a little bit closer!
went up to the Palace which serves as an art museum. We were so tired after 3 hours of hiking that we decided to just head home. It was a well worth it day. Would have been nice to get there earlier in the day, but was still wonderful!
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