Hiking Montserrat - Catalonia, Spain
As if we hadn't hiked enough around the city of Barcelona already, we decided to take the hour-long train from Barcelona to hike the stunning Montserrat! My wonderful friend Alyssa had spent an entire semester studying in Barcelona and recommended it as a short day trip for us.
Montserrat is actually Spain's first national park, and is the site of a Benedictine abbey - Santa Maria de Montserrat. Here it is above! It sits about 4,000 feet above ground level.
Below is the funicular that we will later take further up the mountain.
Until then we wandered through the market, loading up on free cheese samples! All of the fresh honey and cheese that you see was produced on the farms that surround the monastery.
The name Montserrat actually means "serrated mountain". This is because the jagged peak looks as if it has been sawed-off. The monks who once lived here carved out many trails to enjoy scenic walks. We followed the first one that we found...
They certainly had the right idea because these hikes are the perfect way to clear your head.
The monastery was built around 880 AD. There are many miracles attributed to this site, so it has long been a popular pilgrimage site. Although before Christian time, the ancient Romans built a temple on this site to worship the goddess Venus. Montserrat has clearly held religious significance since its discovery.
Continuing on, we rode further up the mountain on the funicular to take in the full views of the Catalan lowlands.
Fortunately there are more pathways to follow on the steep terrain! (This is also where a drop of water, or sweat TBH, unknowingly got on my lens. Please forgive the watermarks!)
Of course what goes up, must come back down. Sweaty and exhausted, we made our way back to Barcelona!
If mountains and hiking aren't your thing, my next and final post from Spain will feature the city of Barcelona and a magical local beach that we discovered!