KelsieGleason's Travel Journals

KelsieGleason Kelsie Gleason

  • 27 years old
  • From Illinois, United States
  • Currently in Barcelona, Spain

Visions and Revisions: Discovering the Culture of Barcelona

This journal will serve as a collection of my experiences, observations, and reflections over the next four months of cultural immersion in Barcelona.

Montserrat

Spain Barcelona, Spain  |  Mar 08, 2011
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Since yesterday was a holiday and most of the attractions in Barcelona were closed, my family and I went on a day trip to Montserrat. It was a little over an hour away on the Renfe, but the view from the train was beautiful and it was cool to see all the little towns around Barcelona. I think a lot of people had the same idea as us, because the train was packed. Courtney and I sat on the floor next to one of the entrances to the train since there were no seats open. When we got to the foot of the mountain we took a cable car up to the top. The view was spectacular and we all smashed up against the side of the car to look out the window. There were at least 30 people crammed into the car—I have no idea how we all fit! We were expecting Montserrat to just be a series of trails around a mountain, but little did we know it basically had its own little tourist town up there. There was a hotel, restaurants, a museum, gift shops, and a monastery. We walked around for a while enjoying the view, ate some lunch, and then went to explore the basilica. It was similar to a lot of cathedrals in Barcelona—a very wide building surrounded by a ring of small chapels, but in this basilica we actually got to go in the chapels. We walked through all of them, admiring the altars and the decorations, walked through a staircase in one chapel that led to the crypt, and then walked up to a lookout point above the main alter of the basilica. The exit took us to a little patio area with a bunch of lit candles of all different colors. We walked around there for a while too and took pictures of the rainbow of candles before heading back down the mountain. I’m still not sure what holiday we were celebrating (I’m pretty sure it was a made-up holiday), but I was very glad to have a day off to explore!

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