Two things I typically seek out while traveling long-term are fantastic scenery, whether man-made or natural, and a good walk or hike. Usually wandering around whatever city I find myself in includes plenty of walking, but it’s also nice to get close to nature and walk for the sake of walking.
The monastery atop Montserrat is a great getaway from Barcelona, since it’s only about half an hour away. For one day in April of 2009, I traded fantastical architecture, a sparkling sea, and whimsical parks for dramatic mountain peaks and rocky terrain.
This mountain hike didn’t involve a strenuous climb. From the train station, I hopped into a 70+ year old cable car and excitedly took in the scenery on the way up.
I spent my day at Montserrat enjoying the gorgeous weather, people watching, and of course, hiking. I poked my head into the monastery for a few minutes, but it was such a perfect spring day that I quickly returned to the fresh air.
This was one of those times when I was glad to be traveling alone, despite the fact that I was highly aware of couples and families all around me. Here in the mountains, the scenery and grandeur itself was my companion. I could take as much time as I wanted examining flowers and leaves from all possible angles, or merely gazing at the magnificent views from the hiking trails. I scrambled on the rocks, feeling like a giddy five-year-old about to open her Christmas presents.
My last shot of Montserrat:
How cool is that? I keep looking at the picture half incredulously: I both love that I hiked there and can’t believe it. Montserrat and the surrounding peaks are so otherworldly. Just like in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, I was in completely unfamiliar terrain and loved every minute of it.
When you’re [traveling] with someone else, you share each discovery, but when you are alone, you have to carry each experience with you like a secret, something you have to write on your heart, because there’s no other way to preserve it. –Shauna Niequist
I have only traveled alone a handful of times, and I have some incredible memories of it. Even the time I went to nowhere, Maine all by myself because I had a wicked broken heart and I went to where cellphones wouldn’t work and people all had breakfast and line dances together. That’s really up there!
That trip to Maine sounds like such a cathartic one! I’ve had several broken hearted trips, myself. It’d be nice to explore more of Maine- I need to see more inland & north of Bar Harbor.
The viewpoint in the first picture is amazing. Wow. There is something very different about traveling alone. I haven’t done it forever and sometimes I kind of miss it.
Thanks! I love capturing alternative viewpoints so as to not always get that postcard picture effect. Maybe just a weekend away by yourself somewhere? I bet it would be so refreshing!
Wow! That last picture is absolutely amazing! I love the pictures of the architecture as well. Whenever I travel, especially to someplace old, I love to check out the buildings because the detail they put into it is usually amazing.
Haha, I love it too, and I can’t believe I was able to snap it out the bus window! And yes, I find myself more and more attracted to those little architectural details!
Wow, that looks so cool! It’s amazing what’s not too far outside of the city! And little wandering walks like that are ones I enjoy doing alone as well… I think you end up taking in way more details and things that you wouldn’t have noticed if with someone else. And you definitely probably end up going down paths and doing things differently, too! That last picture is really awesome!
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Thanks Erika! Yes, exactly, that’s what I was trying to say but didn’t exactly put into words too well- about taking in more details and seeing things differently in a new city or destination. Though, I haven’t yet traveled abroad with my husband, and I do look forward to sharing those details with him!
We have a friend moving to Barcelona, so we will definitely tell her about this place! Looks amazing! :)-The Dose Girls
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Oh my god, how amazing for her! I considered living there when I visited, it was that great 🙂
WOW!!! I haven’t been on a slop trip so far but I do dream of it quite often. And whatever I read in this post is something that I notice too…apart from the scenic beauty of the place, I do observe people, taste difference in food, architecture, the feel of being in that city…and so on. Feeling refreshed! 🙂