Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Montserrat, Spain

The best kinds of accidents happen when you decide to save money by foregoing GPS in your rental car.

We didn’t know much about Montserrat. We’d gathered that it was a popular daytrip from Barcelona. That it involved some mountains. And, later, that it was on our way to wine country. So we figured, hey why not.

We made a few navigation errors on the way there, resulting in an approach from the unpopular backside of Montserrat. Pulling into a small dirt lot on the side of the road, we learned that the quickest ascent from where we stood was via a cable car to the top of the mountain. Score. The fact that we were the only people there, and that the cable car looked like it was from another century, only alarmed us slightly.

Imagine our surprise when we made it (alive!) to the top, and discovered one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever seen. Santa Maria de Monserrat, a thousand-some year old monastery, along with a collection of hiking trails and viewpoints and funiculars connecting the jagged peaks up in the clouds. A picturesque plaza, a quaint hotel, a smattering of cafes and gourmet markets, and a train station for Pete's sake. A stop which I had been completely neutral about, I was now SO glad we hadn’t passed it up.

For more Monserrat photos, click HERE.

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