Montserrat Monastery

We arrived at Montserrat Monastery late Monday afternoon.  It took longer than we thought to get our rental car and we soon discovered that the trunk is too small for two suitcases, oops!  We have been told not to leave anything visible in the car or it will likely be stolen. There are no upgrades available so we decide we can manage to go to the Monastery and then we will come back to Barcelona and get a different car.

The monastery is at the top of a long narrow winding road and it is an incredible place.  Within fifteen minutes of checking in we decide that we should stay a second night.image

We wander about and go to Vespers after supper.  The monks sing and then the boys choir sings by themselves at the end of the service.  It was very beautiful.  We have a quiet evening. We are both tired after all the excitement of the FIre Run last night and the first day driving and navigating.imageWe go hiking Tuesday morning.  We take the Sant Joan Funicular up to the start of the trails.  It is quite the experience riding straight up a mountainside, and of course the views are amazing.

imageThe rock formations here remind us a lot of Cappadocia in Turkey, and we managed to get lost on our hike there!  Hopefully we will do better here.  We decide to do the hike to Sant Jeromi, a 7.5 km hike to the highest point of Montserrat.  The rock formations here are absolutely stunning.image imageSoon we are at the base of Gorra Frigia, and we see three mountain climbers, working their way towards the top.  It looks rather scary to us, but then we aren’t mountain climbers.  imageThe picture above is a close up.  They are near the top of this mountain in the picture below.image imageOur son-in-law climbs so these pictures are especially for him.  We are headed for the top of the middle rock in the center of this skyline.  It looks low here but it is actually the highest point, 1236 meters above sea level.imageThe rock formations are fascinating and the rock is conglomerate rock, so it is full of all sorts of pebbles and rocks in a base that almost looks like cement.imageI think we must almost be there after just climbing several hundred steps but we turn the corner and see….more steps, another 112 to be exact!imageAlmost there!
image  Here we are, tired but what an incredible 360′ view!imageWe can see for miles and miles…

image

We have our picnic lunch and enjoy the view and even see a birthday party, complete with cake and candles for a 31 year old Spanish man.  We join in when his friends sing him Happy Birthday which kind of surprised him, and he thanked us afterwards.  On the way down we stop to add a few rocks to these Inuksuk like piles of rocks….image  and see this little Nativity Scene that someone set up, high on the mountain.imageI am intrigued with the rocks on the path.  So many people have walked over these paths that some of the rocks have become polished.imageWe see more mountain climbers, this one rappelled down very quickly and disappeared from sight when we glanced away for a second.  His friends were calling out to him.  We wondered if he was OK?
imageThe sun shone through the clouds, like rays of light from heaven over the Monastery.
image

We went back to hear the choir sing one more time.  No pictures are allowed during the services but I quickly snapped this not very good one as they were leaving.  The boys (55 of them) are educated at the  Monastery, and sing six days a week, with one month off during the summer.image

We go back to our room and sit and have tea, looking out the window, just enjoying it all.  We are both quite tired after our 4 1/2 hour hike.

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5 thoughts on “Montserrat Monastery

  1. Thank-you for sharing! I was looking forward to this part of your trip 🙂 The photo of the monastery in the light is gorgeous… In the photo of you placing a rock on the pile it looks like there is a shack or cave in the background. Do you know why or who used it?

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  2. love following you…continue to enjoy…I can imagine those voices in that type of setting…leaving for Italy on Tues…on my own journey…

    Like

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