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visiting Monserrat in Spain

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Aug 11th, 2012, 05:36 PM
  #1
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visiting Monserrat in Spain

Four of us are visiting Spain and plan to take a day trip to Monserrat. We will be in Barcelona on September 15 through the 17th. What day should we plan to take our trip to Monserrat? Is it closed at any time? We would like to go on Sunday the 16th. Is that a good day to visit or should we wait to go on Monday the 17th. Our plane flies out on the 18th. I have looked at the site of Monserrat and cannot find out if it is closed at any time. Help!!!

Thanks,
Kapstreak
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Aug 11th, 2012, 06:04 PM
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Go on the Sunday. We spent the night in the hotel and enjoyed having the hike to the top for ourselves.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 06:22 AM
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I take it the site is open on Sunday. That's the day we wanted to go so that's the day! Thanks for the tip!

kapstreak
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Aug 12th, 2012, 09:37 AM
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Perfect! Monserrat is a magical place. Hike up to the top. Will you stay overnight? I'll never forget the morning we woke up there.

Also visiting Monserrat will give you a clear insight into Gaudi.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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LSky - how does Montserrat give a "clear insight into Gaudi?"
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Aug 12th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Be sure to include the art museum in your visit when you go.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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We would like to take some form of transportation to the top and then hike down. Is this doable? Do you get to see the same things when you hike down? How long does it take to complete the trip from the top down? We plan to go to the top and see all at the top and then start down. Somewhere I read where you can catch a ride part way down if it is too hard. Is this correct? Not sure what to expect as it is a long way up there! My husband and I are 70 (in good shape) and our daughter and son-in-law are early 40's. I want to see as much as we can but don't want to kill myself in the procress! Please advise!
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Aug 13th, 2012, 07:40 AM
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If you are not a hiker, and you don't want to spend too much of your energy for this, go all the way with a aerial cable car to the top and visit. There is a funicular "Sant Joan" there that take you to another higher level. Up there you can walk and hike 30 minutes or longer if you wish.
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Aug 13th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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From Barcelona you can buy a combo ticket for the train ride to the bottom of Montserrat and from there to the monastery EITHER by cable car (Aeri de Montserrat) OR by cogwheel train (Cremallera Funicular).
If you feel a bit uneasy on a cable car, the cogwheel train may be more your cup of tea.
Just keep in mind that either combo ticket binds you to the mode of transportation you have chosen. You can NOT change your mind and go down by cogwheel train when you took the cable car up. And coming from Barcelona on the regular train you will also have two seperate stations for either cable car or cogwheel train.

Check this website to make sure how to buy the right ticket:
http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...ontserrat.html

Once you have reached the monastery you can visit the church, the museum, and the gift shops

The monastery is not on the top of the mountain.
To reach the top you take a seperate funicular which starts at the monastery (as kappa wrote).
A nice, wide and easy trail comes winding down back to the monastery with many viewpoints along the trail (takes appr. 1 hour). The gift shops also sell hiking maps and trail guides, or you can find those at FNAC in Barcelona on Pl. Catalunya.

You should NOT try to hike either up or down from the monastery to the train stations in the valley unless you are an experienced hiker. But you will notice that yourself when you go up
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Aug 13th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Thank you so much for the info. We will definitely take the cable car to the monastery, etc. watch the boys choir and then take the funicular up to the top and walk down from there to the monastery. Will NOT try to walk down the mountain as it sounds too difficult. Spain sounds like such an interesting place!! We are really getting excited about our trip. Just wish we had longer to explore but that's another trip!! All of your suggestions are so helpful!!
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Aug 13th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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We had a long wait in line to see the Black Moadonna or whatever the holy relic is that is cloistered behind the altar I believe - it was a Sunday and seemed particularly crowded - maybe a week day makes more sense since locals perhaps flock here on weekends?

Try the potent elixir the monks or nuns or whoever runs the place concoct and sell in the souvenir shop - now that will clear your head to be ready for Gaudi perhaps!
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Aug 14th, 2012, 03:02 AM
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> it was a Sunday and seemed particularly crowded - maybe a week day makes more sense since locals perhaps flock here on weekends?

I tend to agree with PalenQ. If one day is more crowded than the other, it should be Sunday isn't it? The first reply by Lsky says "Go on the Sunday" but I don't see his/her reasoning for that.

If you ever get sick, they have a clinic at the monastery level where I was able to lie down on a bed for 1 hour. This happned to me more than 15 years ago. I had already been sick since the day before in Barcelona and on the train. Don't mean it will happen to you but good to know isn't it ;-)
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Aug 14th, 2012, 03:35 AM
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< it was a Sunday and seemed particularly crowded - maybe a week day makes more sense since locals perhaps flock here on weekends? >>

The OP wants to go on a Sunday and wanted to know if the monastery is closed. I'm guessing that's why LSky said to go on a Sunday.

I would think the weekend would be more crowded as well. I'm planning my Montserrat trip for mid week.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 04:47 AM
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Ok, probably Lsky meant to suggest a Sunday overnight at Montserrat and get down on Monday which I don't think OP would be doing considering thier stay is only for 3 nights in Barcelona (but you never know.). I would also understand OP wish doing it on Sunday 16th ( even if more crowded) and stay in Barcelona on 17th, the day before returning home.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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The OP wants to go on a Sunday and wanted to know if the monastery is closed>

On the Sunday I was there the monastery was full-blown open - souvenir shop and cafe humming but the basilica or whatever they call the shrine church was closed to visitors during mass but folks could still queue to see the little venerated statue behind the altar (if I recdall right where it was) - not sure how long church was closed but we did peek into it.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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I am really confused! Is it worth missing the museum and going on a Monday or should we go on a Sunday and fight the crowds? PalenQ said the Basilica was closed to visitors on Sunday during mass. Can you still go into the church at some time? We will have all day to see Monserrat so what do you suggest we do? Sunday or Monday? Hate to miss any sights there but if we have to miss something what should it be?
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Aug 15th, 2012, 01:42 AM
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I have not been to the museum so I cannot make an educated statement whether it's worthwhile. But from an overall perspective, I would say that few people go there because of the museum. I assume that you will learn something there about Montserrat's role as the last "Catalan refuge" during the decades of oppression. But if you are interested in Catalan history, the history museum in Barcelona near the old harbor has more to offer.

Aside from religious motivations, the location of the monastery is stunning and probably the major reason for non-religious visitors. And maybe also to see the people lining up for a glimpse at the statue. And it's also nice to hike around.

We went on a weekend (not sure if it was sat or sun) in September, and the train from Barcelona Pl. Espanya was pretty crowded from the beginning. Not only tourists but also many locals go there as an easy day trip to get out of the city. The crowds weren't that huge that they kept us from seeing or doing what we wanted. But looking back I think I'd avoid the weekend next time.
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