In the clouds: a visit to Montserrat (by Jessica Posada)

20130904201828_00231 Montserrat

Since Ramiro wrote about Barcelona last week, I won’t tell you about my visit. But, do know that Barcelona is green, mountainous and has great food. Also, know that people are friendly and that there’s a hidden street in Parc Güell that offers an amazing view of the sunset peaking through the mountains. I have been to Barcelona a couple of times and it remains my favorite city in Spain. So, let me tell you about a place I visited for the first time an hour outside of Barcelona: Montserrat.
Montserrat is located about an hour outside of Barcelona and it’s definitely worth a day trip. If you spend three days in Barcelona, devote an entire day to hiking Montserrat and you will not be disappointed.
I took the R5 train towards Manresa from Plaza Espanya and got off at the Montserrat-Aeri stop. Make sure to buy a combined train+cable car ticket and it’ll set you back about twenty euros. You’ll read online that you can hike up the entire mountain, but I don’t recommend it at all. It takes more than five hours from the bottom, and it’s NOT an easy hike. I saw rock climbers scaling up the side of the mountain; it’s almost vertical.
So, once you get off the cable car, you’ll be in the main area of Montserrat. There’s a large cafeteria, a small market (it wasn’t open when I was there) and bathrooms. We also stumbled upon some tents that sold cheese. Buy the cheese! It’s locally made and delicious. Buy a baguette and some figs before your ascent and you have a delicious lunch. Another note: make sure to buy food and water before heading to Montserrat. The mountain has supplies, but they’re expensive. I spent way too much money on water while I was there.
Take in the views.
After the cable car, you probably should take the other tram up the mountain. You can hike from here and it’s doable, but it’ll take a long time and it probably not worth it. I took the tram which cost nine euros round trip. The views are worth it, I promise.
After the tram, you are now ready to hike. I literally jumped up and down in excitement once I got to the top of the station. The views are that incredible. At this point you’ll be above the clouds, as in you can see a line of clouds on the horizon. This trip is not advised for those scared of heights.

Jessica Posada, student blogger.

Jessica Posada, student blogger.

From here take the Sant Jeroni trail up the summit. It’ll take you about an hour and a half to reach the top if you don’t stop to take photos and just take in the views. The rock formations at Montserrat are the most incredible I have ever seen. The ending gets steep, but pull through! The top will make you feel like you just summited Mt. Everest. It’s also windy and quite chilly on the mountain so make sure you’re dressed appropriately. Sneakers or hiking boots are a must on this trip.
If you find yourself in Barcelona, make a stop at Montserrat. It’s worth the trip, I promise!

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