thoughts of a deviant
  entry created: Monday 20 September 2004, 11:27am (NZ time)
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Location:  Placa de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Local time:  Monday, 1:25am
Music:  traffic outside

Today we left the city and headed 50km North-West, to a Benedictine Monastery built into the side of the mountain of Montserrat, about 1000m up, set against (and into) some spectacular rocky mountain scenery. Established in the year 1025 (!!) and home to around 80 monks, it was truly mind-blowing, and the cable-car ride to the top will always be remembered.

Tomorrow is decision time. We either head to Palma de Mallorca on the ferry, or train it to Madrid for a few days. My ultimate intention is to return to Barcelona this coming weekend however, for the biggest festival the city puts on, and apparently the biggest fireworks display Spain has ever seen.

On a side note, Absinthe is the devil's work and I shall never touch it again. No wonder this green, aniseed-tasting spirit has been banned in many countries, including my own!

Anyways, time is short, the brain is foggy, and pictures speak thousands of words, so here's a million sentences....

The two little yellow cable cars crossing paths as they deliver people to and from the monastery,
around 800m up the mountain.

The main area of the monastery, which is now surrounded by a few museums, cafes, and even a hotel.

Incredible how they managed to carve this masterpiece out of these craggy rocks, a thousand years ago.
The smooth, jutting granite boulders pointing to the sky kept giving me the feeling I was stuck in the
painted set of some American western movie.

A view from the top, looking out to Barcelona city in the distance. This area of Spain seems to be
particularly hazy this time of year (no, that's not morning mist in the photo).

"Hey Ma, I can see the house from heeeere!"

Port Vell - one of Barcelona city's two yacht harbours.

A typical street (although some are half the width) in Barcelona's old town - Barri G̣tic.
It's a maze of dark streets crammed with cafes, bars and medieval buildings.
And often somebody's laundry, strung out between buildings high overhead.

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