Spain trip report: Barcelona, Day 2, Montserrat 1

We took the subway to the stop that had transfers to the train and from there were able to someone giving directions and selling tickets to Montserrat. So it ended up being pretty easy.

On the train ride there, we were sitting across from two pairs of women who started chatting about where they were from and what their lives were like. It was actually a really fascinating conversation to eavesdrop on. Two of the women were Chinese, I think from Hong Kong – they were maybe in the 30s, so they grew up when they could have siblings. One of them worked in China, the other in Hong Kong, but they liked to travel together. The one who lived in Hong Kong had perfect British-accented English. The other two girls had hard to place accents, but when they spoke their own language, it had a lot of gutteral sound to it. Finally I put the bits of conversation together and it became clear the were Israeli. They talked about how after doing the whole mandatory military service things that Israeli kids will often travel for a year before going to university. That’s what they were doing. They’d been in Australia and all over. The one who did most of the talking (the other didn’t seem to have as much English) was actually starting university on the Monday. She actually had a really pretty accent – her voice was very lilting. Anyway – it was such an interesting cultural exchange. I mean, I love talking with people from different countries too – it’s so fun to learn what other people’s lives are like. But it was fun to see it with two groups of people where neither was American.

And after the train ride, we were there!

Here’s our first glimpse of Montserrat. See it?
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Here comes the cable car:
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The view from the cable car:
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By this time, we were starving. There was a more expensive restaurant that didn’t have a view, a cafe that did, and a cafeteria that had better looking, less expensive food.

It ended up being really good! We got paella (which was better than the expensive stuff from the night before), a sort of Greek salad, really good calamari. For dessert a crema catalana, which is like creme brulee. And to drink, I got a clara, that half beer/half lemon soda I liked so much in Barcelona.

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Now, back outside.

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We headed up to the funicular (which was crowded with loud, German teens) which we took further up the mountain.

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The view from up there was beautiful.

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There was a really nice hike up on the mountain, which is where we are now.
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We went up the path – these people went up a very long, steep set of stairs!
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Looking back the way we came:
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The trail went further up near where those stairs met the trail. Doug went up further to see if it was worth it for me, but we decided just to turn around and head back.

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Here’s a little movie:

Pics of the way down and more of Monserrat in the next post, since this one has gotten pretty long.

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