Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Road to Montserrat

I wasn't sure what to expect when my roommate asked if I wanted to go to this town in the mountains, but I knew from the moment he asked that this was right up my alley. We vowed to get up early that Tuesday and head out; needless to say we both slept in and did not leave the house until 10:30; which if you ask me is still early. We head out, coffee in hand ( my daily addiction), and head to RED Line1 to stop at Plaza Espanya, where we would hop on a the train R5 and take the 1.5 hour journey there. The train ride was just as impressive as the arrival to Montserrat, OK maybe not,but as the first time seeing the country from a different perspective, away from the hustle and bustle which is Barcelona, I found this to be mind-boggling.

Towns that appear to be ruined by heavy neglect and disregard to common upkeep; with buildings crumbling in front of my face, still held this rustic beauty and told stories of passion behind the cracked broken structures. All the while, graffiti lined walls with brightly colored, bubbled letters transform these desecrated ruins into pieces of urban art. Obvious negativity held in those lands are squashed by spirits greater than the everyday Joe schmo, I know. There was such mystery and allure in the country sides that I knew nothing about. All of a sudden the excitement and curiosity turned me into this a lil kid sitting on the train seat, on my knees in reverse, looking out the window in awe.

Then the train pulled up to a mounitan-ness terrain, and my eyes grew big with gleam. I can see in the distance what looked like this small town up in the mountains, and my excitement grew. We got off the R5 and waited for the funicular to come. I would like to mention that we had no clue where we were going we only just winged it; however, It all worked out because If in doubt, follow the crowd. We get on the funicular and it took us up the hill on the edge of the mountain side, along this narrow path; so high my I can feel my ears clogging. The view was majestic, I could see all of those lil towns I just passed on the R5.

We finally get to Montserrat, which is now a tourist attraction as no actual people live there and it is gorgeous. Naturally chiseled rock formations surround the town as if protecting it from outside influences. When your standing there, staring at this town in the mountains, you instantly feel as if you are closer to God himself. INSTANTLY! Montserrat It is a religious site, and in Arthurian myth it is said to hold the holy grail. The Virgin of Montserrat, a black faced Madonna is located there and said to be the guardian of this grail. The cathedral tho unseemly on the outside, has to be one of the most beautiful sites I have EVER seen in my life; bringing tears and an overwhelming feeling of emotion the minute I walked in. I am not a religious person , but I do believe in God and boy was he there with me. Maybe it was because I was also closer to the heavens but I could feel that my dear and beloved grandmother was there as well. As the organs played and the choir boys sang I sat there astonished, with tears streaming down my face. All I could do was say thank you to God and to my grandmother. Thank for allowing me to experience this magnificence and for allowing me travel to the world. I told my grandmother how much I missed her and asked that she watch over me on my journey. After my talk with god and grandma I made my way to see the black Madonna, and waited in line just to get a glimpse and a touch for prosperity. The beauty of the whole place was just unreal, and from the moment I stepped on those grounds I felt their presence and was filled with constant emotion.

After, the roomie and I decided we were going to take another funicular up to the highest point of the hill. THEN, we had this crazy idea and said to the hell with it lets hike. 2 hours later, hiking up hill, I was muerta, dead, heavy panting and tired limbs made me blurt out, I CAN'T go anymore Luke, I really just cant! Needless to say we didn't make it to the very tippy tip, but we got far up there, only another "20 mins" and we would have been there. I felt kind of bad because I know he wanted to go up, but I hiked up that hill till I couldn't anymore. One of the many draw backs of being a big girl is the heavy breathing, limb pain and the sweating profusely. However, it was nice as we stopped a long the way to take in the sights and my sweet Luke would say "we don't have to go any further I'm sure it looks the same from this point as it does from 20 more minutes up hill". I know he was trying to be nice and spare my feelings, but all in all I felt accomplished and happy we hiked as far as we did. Then the fun began, walking down hill, and what a beautiful sight it is when it's not blocked by your own sweat stinging in your eyes. It was relaxing and memorable, I was honestly glad we decided to walk instead of taking the funicular.

After getting back down to the monastery we were both more than exhausted, but we felt accomplished after our day of adventure. It had excitement of the unknown, a religious experience and healthy fun. And best of all we only spent a total of 12 euros, for the train ride. It was definitely a successful day I highly recommend if you in this area, to visit Montserrat.