Montserrat

06.04.2010


I got up bright and early in the morning to head up to Montserrat.  It's 100km north of Barcelona and about an hour by train.  I got up there shortly after 10a, which gave me some time to wander and take pictures before the crowds started.  I was able to attend the 11a Mass, which was nice.  It was very quiet and prayerful.  The Benedictine monks were all in attendance and as usual, I didn't understand a word of it.  :)  I didn't realize how full the church was until I went up for communion and saw that the place was packed!  The tour busses must have arrived.

After Mass, I left to go to the Museum which has a pretty extensive art collection, as well as an exhibit of Eastern Orthodox icons.  I was able to get through the exhibits in enough time to head back to the church just before 1p to hear the Boy's Choir sing.  It is one of the oldest and longest standing boy's choirs in Europe.  People were pushing their way into the church and being quite rude.  I stuck around for a bit, then left to go have lunch.  I was just too much for me!

After lunch, I went to the gift shops to see what they had.  I was looking at some of the books and found several books in Spanish on the Camino de Santiago!  From what I could gather, there is a route that starts at Montserrat.  Very cool.

I decided to head to the top of the hill on one of the funiculars.  It's like a tram but it goes almost straight up a hill on a track.  I got up to the top and walked about two seconds and there it was:  the yellow arrow waymark for the Camino!  It was so awesome to see that.  I almost felt like walking a bit of the Camino just to see how far I could go, but my feet had different plans.  There was a hermitage I really wanted to go see but my feet were getting tired and I needed to start making my way back to Barcelona for dinner reservations I had.

On the way back, I met a nice couple from Boston who are in the process of moving to the Bay Area in California.  I am horrible with names, but the husband had just finished his residency in Radiology, so they were taking some time off before he starts his new job.  I enjoyed meeting them.  It's always nice to meet Americans.

I made it back to Barcelona in time to grab a quick nap before heading to Espai Sucre, a dessert restaurant.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A dessert restaurant.  They only serve desserts.  Before I left for this trip, one of the RN Supervisors at Providence Milwaukie told me about this place, so I looked into it when I got to Barcelona.  I decided to splurge and had the Chocolate Menu.  If you check out the website you will notice how expensive the place is.  Well, it was worth every Euro!  It was a very unique experience and I am glad I did it.  The staff were very friendly, the service exceptional and the desserts were very creative.