If you go to Barcelona, please spend at least a week there.
And if you happen to find yourself with extra time, there is an amazing day trip to the nearby mountains that will take you about an hour (by car) or two (by public transit). I always recommend it to people, because sometimes getting out of the city can be nice, and y’all, THESE VIEWS ARE GORG.
The mountain range is called Montserrat, literally meaning “serrated mountains.” They totally look like a (weird, probably inefficient) kitchen knife turned up toward the sky. This was Spain’s first national park.
There’s a beautiful Benedictine abbey in Montserrat, famous for its Black Madonna sculpture. The Escolania de Montserrat boys’ choir (on Easter vacation when we were there) is also supposed to be incredible. According to their wikipedia article, they have released several albums and have toured all over the world (including in the United States), so maybe we’ll catch them another time.
Montserrat also provides miles and miles of great hiking with incredible views, which is what Michael and I decided to do with most of our time here. In fact, we decided to forgo the funicular (we were literally the only people I saw do this… make sure you are indeed up for a very steep, very long uphill hike if you choose this option). But we were rewarded with some amazing views!
We even took one hike all the way to the top of a mountain.
Here’s us celebrating our victory!
And another more normal picture.
And finally, one of us sitting down, because omg, our legs felt like jelly and I think they were literally about to fall off, and that would have been sad because then we wouldn’t have had legs any more.
We shared the view with some mountain goats that were just casually climbing up the side of a ridiculously steep cliff like it was NBD. (Pretty sure they have gravity-defying hooves. Which is cheating.)
We left Montserrat after sunset, so we got to compare day/night views of the kitchen knife. Pretty sweet! (And kind of spooky!)
We got back to our hostel pretty late that night, and rewarded ourselves with ice-cream sandwiches after a long day of over 10 miles of walking/hiking.
I may or may not have eaten two.