Friday, February 3, 2012

Montserrat and Sitges

Hello Everyone!
I'm sorry I haven't posted anything lately. I have been busy with classes and school work. UPF is extremely hard...lots of reading and writing constantly. Other than school, I have been resting and hanging out with my friends as usual; I practically live at Kaley and Katie's apartment. We always end up making dinner at their place and relaxing.

This week we went to a Japanese restaurant called Ikibana. I was dying for rice and, well anything Japanese really. It was actually pretty decent. It was very modern and had a stylish setting. We had different kinds of sushi, but I also ordered rice by itself and some tuna sashimi to go with it.
Tuna Sashimi

So it's been freezing here the last couple of days! This weekend is supposed to be the coldest Barcelona has had in 7 or 8 years which is quite ridiculous, but it actually snowed a little bit yesterday morning. I heard a lot of schools got cancelled even though it flurried only for about an hour. They cover the streets here with loads of salt...literally loads of salt. It feels like your walking on broken glass! However, they never get this kind of weather so its better to be safe than sorry. 
Today, our program took us on a "field trip" to Monserrat and Sitges. We left at 9:30 this morning on a bus that took us to Montserrat first. It was about an hour ride from Barcelona, I slept the entire way. Montserrat is a mountain, a sanctuary, and a monastery; a spiritual community. We got midway, but we had to take a cable car the rest of the way up because the mountain was full of snow. The tour guide said that it practically never snows and that we were lucky to have seen it with it was sunny. 
 Tired...waiting to get on the metro
Where the bus dropped us off

We took a nice, but freezing tour through Montserrat. The Montserrat community is formed by around 80 monks who live according to the rule of St. Benedict. There is also, Escolania, which is the oldest and hardest to get into boy choir in Europe. Only 50 boys are accepted each year, and they say that they must play two instruments and have music class for four hours a day, plus all their other academic classes.

Beautiful Panorama!

Montserrat also has a beautiful church, that has "La Moreneta" meaning the Dark One, due to the dark color of Her skin. It is truly a beautiful 12th-century Romanesque polychrome carving. 
 The Monastery

After touring Montserrat, we headed down to lunch. They prepared us typical Catalan food.
Tomato, Garlic, Aioli Sauce & some
red sauce...Roma...I forget!!We spread all
the ingredients on a piece of toasted bread.
Calcots: a type of onion, where you hold the 
bottom and pull the onion out...really good!
We also had patatas, sausage, salad,
and bread.

After lunch, we headed to Sitges, a beautiful town by the beach. We took a tour throughout the small town and I definitely would love to go back when it gets warmer!
Still cold, but not as cold as Montserrat
Stopped by a Crepe/Waffle shop and bought 
myself a delicious Nutella & Banana Crepe!
Calle de Cuba: Back in the day, most of the products 
in Sitges was imported from Cuba
Calle de Cuba was and still is one of the 
wealthiest streets in Sitges, with all the large homes
My street!!!
Sitges at Sunset

We had a wonderful day today and learned a whole lot
about both the history of Montserrat and Sitges. 
I hope to visit both again someday and 
definitely recommend everyone to visit both places.
Happy Friday!
Besitos, Lilly Goti

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