For our second day back in Barcelona we decided to head off to Santa Maria de Montserrat which is only about an hour outside the city by train.
Santa Maria de Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located in the Montserrat mountain.
To get there we took the subway to the Espanya rail station and then purchased tickets for the train and the cable car that take you up to the monastery itself.
When the train drops you off at the Arie cable car station you walk up a some steps and are greeted by the site of the cable cars heading up and down the mountain that the monastery wayyyy up on the cliff face, It is just a little intimidating.
It’s only a 5 minute ride and for me it was no big deal. Others (like Cynthia) found it to be somewhat nerve wracking.
The views riding were amazing and the view from the top was just spectacular.
We wandered around the complex and we wanted to continue on up to St. Jerome but the funicular train as closed for repairs and we didn’t have the energy to make the hike up the side of the mountain.
We did get to see and hear the Montserrat’s Boys’ Choir in the basilica
We also climbed up to touch la Moreneta (“The little dark-skinned one”) one of the black Madonnas of Europe
This also gave us a nice view of the basilica
We spent the better part of the day just walking around taking pictures
Eventually we wound up at restaurant in the Hotel Abat Cisneros. This place was incredible! The restaurant looks like one that you would need a coat and tie to eat in. But they gladly seated the bedraggled tourists and treated us to one of the best meals I have had in my life.
After we had eaten our meal we made our way back to the hotel with a quick stop at the El Corte Ingles for some supplies (water, chips, etc.) and called it a day. We watched some TV and I even downloaded some English programs to watch on the laptop just to give us a chance to wind down and get away from the news of Libya an Japan that has been a constant backdrop to this magnificent vacation.
We have two more full days here before coming home. We’re hopeful for more good weather. But for now, sleep.