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Montserrat - Is is worth staying overnight here ?

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Nov 6th, 2002, 11:15 AM
  #1
Peter
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Montserrat - Is is worth staying overnight here ?

Hi again,

I was looking at the Montserrat site and it looks heavenly.

I have a total of 5 full days in Barcelona and I am wondering if it would make sense to spend 1 night in Montserrat. What are your views on this ? Is it worth spending 1 day and night out of 5 in Montserrat or am I fine with just a day trip ?

Apart from the monastry and museum, is there enough to do if we stay overnight ? It just looks very serene and peaceful from the pictures. Do the knowledgeable people here agree or disagree ?

Finally, is there a place in Montserrat that we can stay at ? Recommendations for a good hotel ?

Thanks folks, I'll post all my trip experiences in great detail after I get back.

Thanks again, this forum and the people here are just toooo good !
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 12:07 PM
  #2
Maribel
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Peter,
When are you traveling to Bcn? If it's during the winter, you'd get mighty cold up there, I would think. There is a hotel (or 2) there, but I personally wouldn't spend the night, but others who have done so or long to do so may disagree.
Bcn itself is chocked full of wonderful Modernist (Catalan Art Nouveau) architecture, museums (Miro, Picasso, Romanesque/Gothic, the small but beautiful Thyssen collection in the Pedralbes Monastery), monuments, a well preserved Gothic Quarter, the new hip "Soho" like area of El Born, the ultra lively Ramblas, 2 exquisite theaters to tour (the Liceu opera house and the Palau de la Musica), a zoo, Gaudi's Parc Guell, more funiculars/cable cars up to Montjuic and Tibidabo-all this can easily take up 3 days of your time.

Also there are other worthy day trips by train (no cable cars/funiculars involved!):
to the the "cava" (sparkling wine) cellars of Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, the lively, hip, pretty seaside town of Sitges, the city of Tarragona to the south with its Roman ruins and the city of Girona to the north with its atmospheric Jewish Quarter. Plus if you're a Dali fan, there's his over-the-top museum in Figueres, further afield (a 2 1/4 hr. ride).
The new edition Rough Guide to Barcelona and the Lonely Planet give tons of ideas for day excursions.
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 12:29 PM
  #3
Peter
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Thanks Maribel. We are going to be in Bcn from Nov 22,2002 to Nov 28,2002.

We dont drink at all, so I'll have to pass on the Cava. We love architecture and love nature. Museums are so-so. I probably can see 1 museum but then I'll be bored.

So basically, we'll be visiting most of the architectural sites, maybe a museum or 2, and some day trips out. Given this, do you still think Montserrat is not worth an overnight trip ?

Thanks !
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 12:54 PM
  #4
John G
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I was in Montserrat in June of '99 and it was cold, even though it was in the 90's in Barcelona. I thought Montserrat was interesting, but I don't know if you need two days there, as I saw all of it in a day trip. But, it all depends how spiritual you are. I enjoyed the boy's choir immensely and the Black Madonna. There are also some French Impressionist paintings (Monets, I believe) in the museum.

Don't forget your umbrella!!!!!
 
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Nov 6th, 2002, 03:24 PM
  #5
Sandy
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I was just there last week. Personally, I do not think it is worth it to spend the night. You can see all of Montserrat in an afternoon or certainly a day; there are bus tours or you can make your own tour with a train/funicular package. Other than the monestary and museum, there is NOTHING! (Sorry - the gift shops! On Sunday the locals come up and do an open air market) It is lovely to see; many people bike up there (I thought we had stumbled over the Tour de Montserrat) but there is not much to do. Enjoy!
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 07:03 AM
  #6
Peter
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Hi,

I am not thinking of spending 2 days there, but staying overnight gives me 1 complete day, rather than having to leave to catch the 6.30pm train back to Bcn. So I was thinking we spend 1 complete day in Montserrat, and leave for Bcn early next morning.

Now, given this, my question is, how would the train tickets work in this case ? If I buy a round trip ticket from Bcn, would it be valid if I travel back on the next day ? Also, any idea what time the first train in the morning is back from Montserrat to Bcn ?

Thanks again for everyone's help. This forum is awesome !
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #7
Vicky
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We drove there in July and spent the night. It is completely diferent after all the crowds are gone. The hotel overlooks the courtyard and we had a wonderful time. PS: We had to talk the guard into letting us drive all the way up to the hotel. Told him we had reservations (we didn't) and he let us through. We were lucky to get a room.
 
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Nov 7th, 2002, 09:01 AM
  #8
Maribel
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Peter,
You really can see the Monastery in a half-day or full day trip. While there's no actual need to spend the night , it
sounds like you really want to have this experience.

If you do decide to spend the night, then you might want to buy that "TOTMONTSERRAT" pass, as everything's included so as to completely explore the site, use the 2 little funiculars (unlimited rides on them and on the cable car), enter the museum, free lunch, plus get a 5% discount on your lodging . The pass is sold at the FGC train stations. You can also get answers to all your questions at the FGC shop in El Triangle (can't miss this building; it's the huge, new shopping center on the west/left side of Placa de Catalunya across from the El Corte Ingles dept. store.

The earliest cable car to take you down to the train back to Bcn leaves the Monastery at 10 a.m., so my guides say.

Since you enjoy architecture, you might want to consider a night spent in Girona instead. It's easily accessible by train from Bcn, and you'd enjoy wandering the maze of steep, dark, narrow streets in the atmospheric Jewish Quarter (the Call). It was once a very thriving community of over 1,000 inhabitants.
Still very medieval in feel. The rust, ochre and mustard colored houses built in the Middle Ages, complete with hanging laundry, perched on at the banks of the River Onyar are quite striking. Girona has a very pleasant promenade, a Rambla, which really comes alive at night. And the cathedral there has just one central nave, the widest Gothic nave in the world.
Cathy M just posted on a new, architecturally interesting and inexp. place to stay right in the heart of the Jewish quarter, the Apartaments istoric Barri Vell (www.historic.go.to)
Just a thought to make your decision a bit harder...
 
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