In late May nearing the finals a few friends and I decided to take a much-needed break with a quick trip to Montserrat, about an hour outside of Barcelona. I didn’t know much of what to expect of this picturesque mountain range, but I was glad I took the journey. Getting there was simple enough and not expensive. With a three-day weekend to take advantage of, crossing this off the budget list was a breeze.
The easiest way up is a cable car that runs from the Renfe station to the (almost) top of the mountain where the town is located. And what a town it is! I thought I was going to go to a cozy mountain village, but instead found myself in an uber touristic village, complete with period dancers and fanfare. I felt as thought I stepped into the past or a more elaborate Medieval Times.
The dancers were cute and obviously local (and more obviously not professionals). This added to their appeal and drew a hefty crowd for a chilly, gloomy day. It was nice to see them and the joy on their faces as they entertained the crowd, expecting nothing but the applause of an audience. I was sad we missed the bunch of little girls ages ranging from 4-7 lingering on the sidelines. It must have been an adorable sight to see them dance for this crowd of eager tourists.
We journeyed into the cathedral but didn’t want to wait on the exorbitant line to get into the tower, nor pay the outrageous fee. So instead we visited the free portions and it was still beautiful. I particularly loved these lamps hanging outside in the area where you light a candle to remember a loved one.
As you can see the village was a bit out-of-place on the side of this mountain and looked like some place that was completely new trying to disguise itself as something old, but doing a poor job of it.
We loved exploring the nature more than the town so we headed on the next cable car to the tip-top of the mountain. From inside we could see actual climbers and hikers making their way up the difficult way. In the biting wind of this day I did not envy them.
My friend brought along his chic friend from Japan who would not be caught anywhere (even the side of a mountain) without being fashionable. I still cannot fathom how she kept up walking with us with 5 inch platform heels on. This was fashion over function to the extreme!
From up here it was easier to see the rock formations. It reminded me of the caved we climbed into in Cappadocia, but with less of an air of mystery to them. They were easy to climb and gave us a great vista on which to see the surrounding landscape. It was breathtaking up here. If only it hadn’t been so cloudy.
The most interesting site that we saw on this quick trip was a hermitage perched on the top of one of the rocks. If I decided to live a life of solitude, this doesn’t seem like a bad view to have.