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This is a blog about my life.... about living healthy through faith in God, exercise, good food, relationships, friendships, etc...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 5: Montserrat, Spain

Day 5 was my absolute favorite day of the entire trip.  It was full of everything I love- adventure, exploration, nature, history....oh, and I got to do it all with my best friend.
After a late night at the wedding the night before, we slept in.  After a leisurely morning of getting showered and changed, we headed out to a find a new café in the middle of Gothic Quarter, Barcelona for breakfast.  We were both craving Spanish eggs and found a cute café/diner that had exactly what we wanted.
naturally, I had to get a latte. Why can America never make them like they are in Europe?

After a delicious protein-(and grease)rich breakfast, we headed to our rental car to head out on an excursion.  We hadn't driven the car for a few days since we didn't need it in Barcelona.  If you ever find yourself in Barcelona, don't bother renting a car- it really ends up being quite expensive to pay for parking and there are several transportation options that are much better.

After a half hour or so of driving we started to see mountains in the distance.

We had read in travel  books that the city of Montserrat (our destination for the day) was up in the middle of the mountains. The books mentioned we could drive up or hike.  We both knew exactly what we wanted to do...

The sites were breathtaking.  I loved every minute.  The weather was in the mid 70s and the sun was shining brightly.

1.5 hours later, we started to see a paved stairway, we had made it!

the entrance to the city

Once at the top, we stood in awe as we looked at the city.  It was so unique- several building nestled neatly within mountains.  I had never seen anything like it and having just hiked there I felt as if we had discovered a hidden gem- unseen by the world below.

We decided to get a few bags of our favorite gummy candy Habarro in a nearby shop and walked to the cuty cathedral.

In the courtyard I noticed the rocks peeping out from behind the buildings.  It was as if to remind us- we were still on the top of a mountain.

At the very back of the cathedral in an upper room was a black stone called St Mary.  People lined the building and paid 10 Euros to walk up and touch the stone. Apparently if you touch it, you life will be prosperous.  We decided time was running short so we opted out. Maybe next time!

We headed to the city tourism center and found a map showing that there were several nature trails running from the city that took us to monasteries from the 1600s.

Bryan at one of the Montessori's' chapels.

The hike was beautiful.  Every few miles we would discover another building that had been the home to an ancient monk.   I loved imagining what it would have been like back in the day hiking the same routes.  I felt such a sense of peace in those mountains, it was amazing.

Before we knew it, it was getting dark and we remembered our car was parked at the base of one of the cliffs.  We literally raced down the mountainside to catch the last moments of light.  We didn't have a cell phone nor a flashlight so we were slightly anxious but in the end it just added to the adventure.

Bryan racing down the mountainside
That night we headed back to shower and went down to the pier for dinner back in Barcelona.  Another wonderful day.

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