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Monday, 24 February 2014

Barcelona Part 4: The Serrated Mountains

For once our flight times were kind to us and our flight back to London wasn't until 8pm. Not wanting to miss out on anything, we therefore decided to spend the last day going to Montserrat.

Montserrat is a tiny village built at 1200m on the most unimaginably steep mountainside. Montserrat means literally 'serrated mountain'. It's not hard to understand why when you see the odd shaped mountainside...

The main attraction at Montserrat, aside from the mountains, is the monastery dated to 1025 AD. Seriously, how on earth did they manage to build it? I'm always amazed at architecture from the past.

The monastery is at the top of the picture - can you see it?

We bought a combined ticket for the train ride from Barcelona and cable car ride up to the village.  It cost €20 and took an hour.

I'm terrible at looking at historic buildings and museums (unless we're talking about the Natural History museum in London). I have a non-existent attention span and really struggle with moving from one artefact to the next, reading the information boards, unless it's something I'm intrinsically interested in.

Luckily M is similarly minded and we did the obvious thing to us at least, and decided to go for a strenuous hike up the hillside. Taking in the complete and utter silence together with the exceptional view was time well spent and I felt incredibly relaxed afterwards.

Footwear still completely inappropriate

At the top of the mountain we stumbled across this chapel:

I would highly recommend a visit to Montserrat if you want to spend some time out of the city and enjoy some beautiful scenery.

We only spent a few hours there, as we had done everything we wanted to, and decided to return to BCN for leisurely last meal.

My friend Sarah today told me about this incredible app called Trip Advisor City Guide. Although I'm already a huge fan of Trip Advisor, I really wish we'd known about this other app before our visit to Barcelona. It's brilliant. It lists all the restaurants close to where you are together with their ratings and reviews. What's so special about that I hear you ask? It's the fact that it works on GPS alone so there is no need for expensive phone bills while abroad. You just need to download the appropriate guide for your destination before you leave home.

Anyhow back to our dinner in BCN. The food was pretty unremarkable but we ate it sat in an old square filled with late afternoon sun, so really it was the perfect setting. I also made great friends with some dogs...

Saving our first Sangria for the last meal 
Check out those dreads! 

And there ended the final day of a hugely enjoyable three days away!

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