For reasons I have yet to fully comprehend Barcelona loves Christopher Columbus. We even have our own monument that was erected to commemorate the spot where Columbus reported to Queen Isabella after his first trip to the Americas. While no doubt a feat, I’m just not sure why this deserves a two hundred foot monument of Columbus pointing west instead of east. (It does make more practical sense though as he is pointing at the water.)
(Picture stolen without permission from Wikipedia because my pictures didn’t come out as nicely)
This past Wednesday was Columbus Day here just as it was in the States, except here everything closes. It’s a complete national holiday and apparently most people go to the beach. Therefore, I was also looking forward to some beach time after a productive and virtuous morning of studying; however, as I was getting ready for bed Tuesday night my roommate, Carolin, asked me if I wanted to accompany her and some of her German friends on a morning walk to Montjuic which is a lovely park near our house with amazing views of the ocean and the city. That sounded really nice especially since I’ve been trying to find more ways to meet people here who aren’t in class with me. So, I agreed and was ready to go at 9 the next morning. I was a little confused when Carolin asked me if I had my metro card, but I figured the plans had changed and we were going to Tibidabo which is a lovely place for a stroll and is a short metro ride away. I guess I should have maybe asked Carolin where we were going, but I just wasn’t quite ready to handle Spanish that morning. Therefore, I was again surprised when we got out of the subway and were picked up by her friends in a rental car. At this point I gave up on my virtuous plans of studying and decided to enjoy the day. It was, however, not the peaceful park stroll I was expecting as we were actually bound for Montserrat, a beautiful mountain formation that translates to “serrated mountain.” Which is exactly what it looks like.
We parked at the base, near from where the Funicular leaves, and walked to the highest point called Saint Jeroni. We spent an hour at the top eating a much deserved lunch. photo courtesy of Carolin
Glistening on the top of Sant Jeroni.
We took the longer panoramic way down and stopped briefly to check out the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat.
photo courtesy of Carolin
Seven hours later we made it back to the car, exhausted and exhilarated. We may not have “discovered” a new world but we certainly enjoyed this one. Happy Columbus Day!!