Blogs from Monistrol de Montserrat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat November 7th 2020

OCTOBER 30, 2019 Since we hadn’t bought coffee for our coffee maker we decided to go for an early morning walk before today’s tour to look for a nice cafe. Cafe Zurich must have been calling us. We sat outside at a little table near Plaza Catalonia watching the city come alive, feeling very European and tres chic all while enjoying great coffees and to die for pastries. A little Switzerland in Spain? You bet. It was later in the morning so we did not suffer the lines of the Coffee Rush. Our waiter brought our Trenza and Muffin Xocolata pastries and coffees to the table. Yes, it took a little time, but nothing to complain about, we were on vacation soaking up the atmosphere, the reason we came here! At 10am we met our van ... read more
Our Lady at the Montserrat Cathedral
Montserrat Cathedral with the serrated mountains behind
Black Madonna

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat October 6th 2018

10/6/18 - Our 2nd day in Barcelona, we met up with our guided tour excursion. Our first stop is up the mountain of Montserrat were we visited the site of Our Lady of Montserrat, better known to the locals as the Black Madonna. This place is so beautiful and peaceful with it's natural scenery, you can feel the sacred ambiance of the surrounding. Mass was being celebrated at the Cathedral during our visit and we were lucky enough to have been part of the gathering from start to finish. We spent a good amount of time outside the basilica enjoying the beautiful landscape surrounding the mountain. After a while we head back down the mountain to our next stop the La Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia is an expiatory temple, that is to say, a place ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat March 23rd 2018

Another beautiful day in Barcelona. Kate arrived this morning (after her overnight bus trip) ready to go on our "Montserrat, Tapas & Wine Tasting" tour. This started in Plaza Catalunya where we met our guide for the day - Xavi, and the rest of our group (including Justin from Chigago!) Then a bus ride to Monistrol (about an hour north west from Barcelona), with interesting commentary along the way (we were told that we were on the 1/2 day tour (10 to 5.30, as opposed to the full day tour 10 to 7.30??)) where we caught the cogwheel train up the mountain to Montserrat. (I chose a tour that included the train, as a friend from work had told me how good it was - she failed to mention that the train goes up the side ... read more
View from the train
Cross San Miguel (with zoom)

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat August 3rd 2017

Hello my fellow travellers! Somewhat exhausted, due to the Brazilian guy barging in in the middle of the night, me and Ante managed to drag ourselves out of bed and down to the street where Laia, true to her word, was waiting for us with her car. It's about an hour or so drive from Sabadell to Montserrat and me and Ante did our best to stay awake to talk to Laia who was also tired since she rarely goes up this early in the morning, so it was a generally pretty tired party heading into the mountains on this morning. Laia was also looking forward to going to Montserrat since she had never actually been there despite being able to see it from her parents house on a good day. The drive up the mountain ... read more
Santa Maria de Montserrat

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat August 6th 2016

With my sister, cousin and friend we rented a car at the airport of Barcelona, where from you more or less have the highway straight to Montserrat. It is an easy drive on around an hour and we arrived around 10 - but this was a horrible time to arrive at the monastery which is super touristy. It was full of big tourist busses with Asians with big cameras, so after having a quick look (the view is very nice up there) we decided to go back a bit to a parking lot we found that only cost 4 euros for the whole day. Here we got a map and a tip for a good hiking route. We started off hitting the small trails in the hot sun, but we had a lot of fun. The ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat July 5th 2016

Today we head out a day trip to the Benedictine Monk retreat at Montserrat which offers you some of the most spectacular mountain views of Catalonia. We took the cable car from the base of the mountain up to the Monastery which is 1350m up at a 45degree angle at a speed of 18km per hour with fantastic view of the valley and the mountain from all sides. Not only is Montserrat Monastery of significant religious importance for the black faced Madonna but the natural beauty of the surroundings is breathtaking. After visiting the Basilica and town we then take another cable car (funicular) to the top of the mountain were we took a walk out to visit one of the 6 small chapel’s all the mountain ridge and to view the unusual rock formations. Before ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat May 24th 2016

Arriving from Tarragona by train, we had decided to base ourselves in Castelldefels. Not, because this is the little town where Lionel Messi lives (somewhere in a big hidden villa) and definitely not, because it is a must see in Spain. The simple reason was that in Europe it was a long spring weekend. So literally everyone was off for a city trip to Barcelona whith skyrocking prices for accomodation and food. Castelldefels is a beach town south of the airport of Barcelona and one can reach Barcelona CBD by metro within 20 minutes. And accomodation is half price compared to Barcelona. So we checked in a little, simple hotel. It was nothing special, but OK considering we only passed time in the room while sleeping. Castelldefels has a surprisingly nice and huge beach. The water ... read more
view from the Monastir de Montserrat
Sri Swami Vishwananda and some devotees (including us) visiting the Basilica de Montserrat
happy in Montserrat

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat July 13th 2014

On the last day I took the ship’s transfer to the airport that included a tour to Montserrat. We left very early, and cleared customs, loaded our luggage on the bus. The trip up to the mountain was lovely, taking about an hour. The village and monastery is very remote. Since it was Sunday, we had to get in and out of the Cathedral before Mass began. There was about an hour to wander freely, have a coffee, take the funicular, but I opted against that after taking a look at it. I’m glad we left early, because when we got back to the bus parking lot it was jam packed with busses, and there were thousands of people parked all along the roadway. You could opt to be dropped back in town at Plaza Catalunya ... read more
Funicular to the mountaintop.
Visitors may queue to touch the Black Madonna
Ornate inside of the Cathedral

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat March 25th 2012

Hola! This week new classes started and while language classes stay the same, my culture classes are now Spanish Modern and Contemporary Art and Hispoamerica Culture through literature art and painting, and we get to go on a field trip tomorrow! Field trips, siestas, beaches and sangria? This just might be paradise! After travelling around the past couple weeks, I decided to take and easy weekend and enjoy Barcelona and take a trip to nearby Montserrat! This is an area built into the mountains with a lot of religious and catalan historical value. When Nepolian found the town, he destroyed it and once the people started to rebuild Franco put the laws that rejected Cataluynian culture into affect and the project was postponed. Franco's death fueled the reconstruction and rebirth to this amazing landscape, which is ... read more
Going Up
Mid Way
Mid Way

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Monistrol de Montserrat January 8th 2012

Montserrat. A city literally built into the side of a mountain. It was amazing. After about an hour long subway ride, we got to the cable cars that took us all the way up the mountain. This was unreal, and I was freaking out. You could see the cable car station then were they were heading, but you couldn't see where it ended, it just kept going up the mountain. So after freaking out for a bit, we finally got to the top. Once there we got to walk around the little city for awhile, which was really cool. We then went into the Santa Maria de Montserrat Basilica. This place was unbelievable, and had one of the few Black Madonna Holy Images left, which I was able to touch. After that, I bought and lit ... read more
Cable Car

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