Monday, 31 March 2008


PJ tip me off to the train ride from BCN to Montserrat so I thought I would try it. Well the morning started a little strange. I went down for breakfast at 10.10 am hoping to grab some precious croissant and coffee before heading for the mountains. But I got a shocked. The lights were off and the counters all cleared of food. What's going on? They can't do this. The sign says breakfast 8.30 - 10.30 am on weekends. After some gestulating the attending lady (who wears a uniform like she is going to perform surgery) offerres some croissants and coffee.

After breakfast I stopped at the reception to ask for directions on how to take the train to Montserrat. "Oh, you have to go to the Espanya station". I looked at the map and decided to walk to the station and it took me about 15 or 20 minutes but you discover things like the Sant Antoni old market which is a hive of activity with people selling old stuff (magazines, books, ...

When I got near to the station, I couldn't find and sign saying Espanya station. Then I sported a pretty lady (yes, pretty) distributing a newspaper of sort in a building and approached her to asked for directions. She said "No, you have to go to Catalunya station". What? She's gotta know, right? She works in this area. So, I asked if there is a train station around here. She pointed to the big M sign (for Metro) so I went down and followed the signs. And guess what? This is the right station to Montserrat.

I saw a man a counter with posters behind him advertising Montserrat. He offerred a few packages and I took the complete package with buffet lunch and train and furnicular rides. Everything lah. And then he circled on the leaflet - next train at 12.35 noon. I looked at my "watch" (which is my handphone) and its only past 11 am. Did he say train every hour. Anyway, got my tickets from one of the train staff. And then I spotted the analog clock hanging from the ceiling. It showed 12.10 noon. Then I realised we had move forward one hour during the nite for daylight saving. No wonder I missed my breadfast.

This photo was taken with a quick high-speed snap from the train. Looks like a postcard.

Montserrat is famous for the sedimentation rocks which can be seen from very far.
It is also the place where the Benedict monks have set up a monastery. They produce some famous pastries and chocolate.
Also contributed to publication with "modern" printing press.
If you look carefully in the centre of the picture about, that is one of the two furnicular trains on Montserrat.
I took the train up and went hiking in the nature researve. Lovely view

See the tiny speck on the ledge (left rock)? That's a rock climber.
Now see the picture below. See how high these guys climb?

A long shot of the rock formation.

Evidence that I really did climb, part of the mountain.

Gotta get ready to for my conference. Bye. (apologies, I have not spell-checked some of my writings. Just rushing through)

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