My travel book states :

“Montserrat is a mountain top monastery in Catalonia, Spain. Situated atop an unusual rock mountain, it is very popular among Catalans, and Catholic pilgrims come from far and wide to see the Black Madonna…”

not this catholic! I will never know if this relic is just covered in soot or dark skinned!

The slow train trip takes 60 mins then cable car to the top at about 1200m Whilst getting there was enjoyable, trying to return to Barcelona was a nightmare! Along with several other tourists: Russians, Germans and me, we have ascended and descended twice in the furnicular railway, unintentionally! We are confused and to make the whole sorry saga even more frustrating the local Spaniards seemed just ad confused and uncertain! I feel a letter coming on!

Arrived home around 7.30 pm having taken about 3 hours, and need alcohol! Anyway I guess I may laugh about it in retrospect.

A wedding party appeared at the Basilica on Montserrat today complete with smoking bride. I don’t mean she was hot, she had a fag in her mouth which detracted absolutely from her matrimonial beauty. Thankfully I won’t be kissing her tonight.

Another long queue for the basilica, so I bypassed the black Madonna and headed higher up the mountain and rock – looking a lot like smaller version of the Olgas near Alice Springs. around the summit were the ruins of several monasteries, small basilicas and hermitages ( where a hermit lives) Not a vintage red wine!

It was the most energetic day I have spent in Barcelona as I was walking and climbing for some hours. A few scratches , a blister on my heel and already I feel better!

A Peloton of BMX rides – MAMIL types half of them having a fag whilst partaking of coffee arrived at the busy half way point at the main village around 11am before heading down.

And another thing.. After the concert last night.. Why is it that in modern, jazz, blues orchestras,
call it what you will, the man playing the brass instruments- sax, tenor sax, trumpet etc is always moderately bald on to but insists on growing long hair which is fine, thin and straight almost to shoulders; whilst the man who does the sound and lights ( at the back with a bank of electronic wizardry), always has thick hair without a sign of baldness and invariably has a long pony tail?

I have had my last meal in Barcelona – the best Tapas so far and discovered by accident literally around the corner from my bed and breakfast.

Amazing news! I have been notified that the last 4 weeks of denial and pilgrim suffering, have not gone unnoticed in Rome. An edict from the Vatican – known as a Papal Bull – has recognised my efforts and I am the proud recipient of a complete set of monastic bedroom furniture, tastefully Hand carved in the Gaudi style – single bed size of course. But wait there is more – It is carved out of the last remaining bits of the original wooden cross.

Picture attached