By Megan

I knew that Montserrat was supposed to be gorgeous, but I had no idea. I also knew that it was of religious importance because the Black Madonna (wikipedia it for more information) and a monastery resided there, but other than those few things, I was in for a surprise. It was a delicious day in Catalunya when a friend and I headed out for a weekend adventure.

We purchased our tickets for 19.50 euros and woke early enough to catch the train that would take us outside of the city. After the train outside of the city, a cremallera (a ‘zipper’ train) took us to a the funicular de St. Joan, which pulled us up into a religious community nestled between these impressively smooth mountains. We grabbed some bocadillos (sandwiches) and a water bottle to split before exploring what we could of the church and other worship spaces. To be honest, I was really there for the outdoor views and the opportunity to explore a new space; the religious importance was of secondary interest to me.

By that point, the sun had come out and started to warm everything up and I was ready for a hike. Camera in hand, I spied a cross that stood out on a mountain side across a little valley, and decided that that was were I wanted to go. There was a path that lead us out there and the views were incredible. But, it was not enough. I had my purple wrap around skirt on, sweater stuffed in my heart print bag, and legs ready for climbing.

It was one of those adventures that made you feel as if you were the first person to discover that spot, the first to experience the thrill of standing that high on a mountain even though you knew that you were not the first and that it was not necessarily unique experience. Having a good hiking partner who was willing to go along with my desire to climb higher and higher also made the day lovely. Sometimes you just need that person to smile with and realize how wonderful something so simple can be.