Thursday, August 11, 2016

Spain: Impressions of Montserrat

The very last excursion of our tour was a trip to Montserrat, a monastery on the top of a multi-peaked (it looks serrated from a distance) mountain about 50 km north-west of Barcelona. We drove in a coach to the bottom of the mountain. 

On the way, still in Barcelona, we passed the Montjuic Cemetery, containing on this terraced hillside, over 1 million burials and cremation ashes in 150,000 plots, niches and mausolea.

 At a small town at the base of the mountain, we boarded a train for the scenic ride to the top. 

 See the train way up there?

Here we are at the top.

The Basilica

Jesus and the Twelve Apostles are at the door to greet all going within.

We stepped inside for a few minutes. There is a black Madonna here at Montserrat that a lot of people were lined up for. The Virgin Mary is the patron saint of Catalonia and many many worshippers make pilgrimages here.

On the square in front of the Basilica, there was a folk dance festival taking place. Costumed dancers were all ages.

Lots of people were taking iPhone videos.

We really enjoyed the views at Montserrat

There's a funicular that we could have taken up to see even better, but we didn't think we had time.

While we were waiting for our bus to pick us up in a parking lot, a couple people climbed to the top of this sculpture which was frowned upon by the authorities.

The authorities are pretty speedy on these things but not fast enough to catch the miscreants.

On the way back to Barcelona we saw this pedestrian bridge from the highway but since the guide didn't point it out, I looked it up later and found out it is the Pont del Diable. Originally built in 1283 on Roman foundations, it was destroyed in the Spanish Civil War in 1939, then rebuilt in a gothic form in 1965. It's now in the middle of everything.

By Jaume Meneses at

Владимир Шеляпин