07 December 2008

More Barcelona - Montserrat Monastery

So we heard that the thousand plus year old monastery an hour outside Barcelona, tucked away at the top of a mountain, was a must see and we decided we must see it. Nice. To get there we had to take a train, and then a cable car. Elora loved the cable car, and kept asking to ride it again. It was actually quite chilly, and for some unfathomable reason, Chris did not bring a sweater. As you can see from the photo, the monastery is very high up. I am not really sure how the monks got up there in the first place to build a monastery...
So what is a monastery? Chris thinks it is a medieval word for tourist trap. I was thinking it would be just the church and then some other houses where the monks live, but there is actually a whole little town up there. There were shops where we bought some awesome monk-made bricks of chocolate, and some weird bread that was like a really big soft donut with sugar on it (really big, like, two feet long - for some reason we failed to take a picture before devouring it...)

As you can see, we are very high up. Elora had fun and enjoyed looking at all the statues and just running around.
This is the inside of the church at the monestary. It was very pretty and surprisingly dark. For the camera nerds, this picture was shot at ISO 3200 with a shutter speed of 1/10 (That means it was very very dark). There is apparently a famous statue in this church, but we saw a large line, and didn't know what it was for, and not wanting to line up like sheep, we chose not to get in the line... therefore we missed out on the statue.
After eating lunch, we let Elora run around the walkways of the monestary. It was a must see, but was tough with the little kids. They couldn't take a nap, so they were a little tired, and there was a lot of sitting with the train ride. I would want to go back if we were in Barcelona again though, because there were actually a lot of hiking trails and ruins scattered about the mountain, and we missed a lot of that because we had the stroller and all that. The mountain was really beautiful.

Check out our picture gallery for more pictures of our European adventures as well as hiking trips in Utah and family photos.

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