Montserrat is a monastery built high up in the mountains. Apart from the monastery, the mountain itself warrants a trip. With jagged peaks, much like the serrations of a knife, the mountain makes for an impressive backdrop to any outing. In fact, the name derives from the Catalan words for serrated mountain. You can visit by taking a funicular (la cremallera-literally translates to zipper), or a cable car (el teleférico), or drive, or hike. We chose to hike.
Once we reached the monastery, we parked and set off on our hike. Given that we are in the fall season, the beauty of the hike was enhanced by the varying colors of the leaves along our route. Beautiful yellows, bright reds, light pinks and fading oranges and greens adorned the trees and covered our path.
We chose to take the steep hike upward towards the peak, which we have visited on previous occasions by funicular. We could have instead taken the gradual ascent which might have been less demanding but would have taken much longer than we had. All in all, we hiked closed to 15 kilometers. However, don’t be deceived by the short distance, because most of the hike upwards was a very very steep ascent.
Close to 2 hours in, we reached the peak we had set out for. Satisfied with our ascent, we laid out our picnic of sandwiches and filled our hungry stomachs with the Honey Bee’s delicious concoctions. All this, while taking in the unbeatable views at close to 4,000 feet above sea level.
The hike back down was relatively quicker. Given the steep angle of descent, you couldn’t help but break into a light jog every so often. We reached the parking area, tired and exhausted, and just in time as dusk began to set in. The air started to get cooler, the sky started to darken, the parking lot started to empty, and we set off towards home to prepare to join some friends in a guilt-free celebration of the feast of All Saints Day (Día de Todos los Santos) in Spanish and Catalan tradition…
PS: More on this festival in the next blog post. However, I will tell you that it was a rich feast consisting of delectable food and mouth tingling drinks that we celebrated in the setting of an old grand farmhouse.