Montjuic


Gary is “Gaudi-ed” out. He has a limited number of hours for touring art, architecture and museums, and his meter has clicked off.  So we are going to the top of Montjuic today. I’m a little weary (make that a lot weary) of public transportation. First, walk several blocks to the Metro Station, ride four stops, get off and walk through confusing tunnels, go up and down several flights of stairs, make too many frustrating mistakes that involve re-tracing confusing tunnels and several flights of stairs and finely— transfer to correct Metro line. Ride a whole more bunch of stops. Walk up several flights of stairs to the surface– I’m starting to feel like a mole.

Ok– where is this dang funicular? The map says it’s right here. Walk several blocks this direction, walk several blocks in another direction. How can you miss seeing a funicular going up the side of a big mountain, when the sign says it’s right here? If we were on the Amazing Race, we would have lost the million dollar prize. Gary is great at figuring out the maze of transportation and I’m pretty good at spotting signs and where to go. But we are totally stumped. 

Thank goodness we aren’t on reality TV because the solution is to grab a seat at a cafe, order a beer and a bocodillo. And ask where the bloody funicular is. WHAT! The funicular is underground? Retrace steps back to the funicular sign, at the Metro station, go down several flights of steps, through the tunnel to the funicular

Might they have mentioned that the funicular is connected to the Metro?


You have got to be kidding me. The funicular only goes up halfway, then you take a ski lift, called the Teleferic, to the top of the mountain. Which isn’t running today because the workers are on strike. 

Might they have posted a sign at the bloody funicular that the bloody teleferic was not operating today?


It’s been a day. It’s too early for another beer and bocodillo. It possibly was too early for the first one, but hey, it’s Spain. We admire the view (halfway) up Montjuic, which is what we came for. 


We walked all over the beautiful park and saw the city of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea below. Gary tentatively suggested we walk on up to the top. Really? Let’s think about this. They have a bloody ski lift to transport you up and down. How much fun do you think walking up and down is going to be? My legs are tired, my knees are killing me, my “wandering aimlessly” meter has clicked off. Did we go to the top?

Of course we did.


The mountain of Montjuic was planned to be Barcelona’s great cultural park. At the beginning of the Catalan Revolt in the 1600’s a small fort was erected around a lighthouse which had stood on top since medieval times. 

I told Gary, after sweating two water bottles worth of about a billion stone stairs to get here, he owed me the 5 -Hour-Everything Included- Complete Detail- DELUX TOUR for Two

Lucky for him they didn’t have one.


This fortress is to Barcelona what the Bastille was to Paris or the Peter and Paul Fortress to Saint Petersburg.


Both a citadel and a prison, generations of captives have awaited their sentence. From the tower of Montjuic, a black flag would be raised, signifying execution. The fort was used in more modern times during the Civil War of 1936, 4 Vickers coastal artillery pieces were not enough defense to prevent thousands of deaths from the fascist Italian raids.


Ancient to modern, Castell De Montjuic was fascinating and worth the sweat and exertion. 

I could not believe my eyes at the first set of stairs. A city bus. The kind you take a seat on and ride down the mountain. There sure weren’t any dang buses on the way up. We didn’t know where the bus went…exactly… but for sure it was DOWN. And that was good enough. 

When we got back to the city it was clearly time for a glass of cava, Spain’s local “champagne.” I want to raise a toast to Henry Ford. The personal automobile was a brilliant, bloody genius, invention. 


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Comments

  1. Love to hear that your vacations at some point become a lot like mine – lost, tired, achy, and mad at transportation (honestly, sometimes it is the driver!). What great views you had and a nice reward at the end!

  2. Susie Racobaldo says:

    Maybe you wouldn’t be so good on the Rat Race. Haha. Pictures and tuturials have been amazing! I feel like I’m there

  3. Christine says:

    Classic report! Giggling here. All I can say is Gary better check your flag pole when he comes home. If a black flag is flying, he should circle back out: flowers, apple cider donuts & a bottle of wine might save him for another day.