One of the best things about our apartment in Barcelona is that our landlord, Jepis, offered to take us on a couple of field trips, and we took him up on the offer. He's been a great host and tour guide.
Last Tuesday we went on our first outing to Montserrat.
When Amy came over to meet Pudd in Barcelona 37 years ago, one of her best memories was of going up to Montserrat. This is a mountain located west of Barceona, that looks like a sawtooth. There's an old monastery built onto the side of the mountain, and it's a pilgrimage site for many worshippers, because of its black Madonna, which dates back many hundreds of years.
We took the tram up to the monastery.
Here they are again, 37 years later.
Sadly, the historic buildings were destroyed during one of the wars, so they had to be rebuilt around 100 years ago (i'm not good with dates, but that's a good guess)
We got to hear the boys choir sing a short mass while we were there. It was beautiful.
Then we took the funicular up to the top of the ridge.
Of course, i had to go on another hike once i got up there, and here i am at the crest of the ridge. It was stunning in all directions.
On the way back, we stopped at the Codorniu Winery for a tour and tasting. Just can't stay away I guess! The winery dates back to the 1400's, and the same family still owns it. However, they've been in the business of making Cava, which is Spanish sparkling wine, for about the last 130 years. The same family owns the beautiful Artesa winery in Napa.
The building was another stunning example of modernista architecture, by Josef Puig y Montefuic
The tour was like an E ticket ride at Disneyland, including two different motorized train rides. The first was outside, and the second was through their underground caves, which go on for miles, literally.
Our host and guide, Pep, was the best. He's been working there for 45 years, and also serves as their in house handyman and electrician. I learned a few new tricks for my own tours at Cline! Great fun, and delicious Cava too.