Montserrat Trail Run ⛪️
A few weeks ago, I got lucky enough to have to work for a couple of days in Barcelona. I obviously took advantage of this by squeezing in a few runs while being there. I won't describe a lot about the runs within the city - the "classical" run along the beach, from Barcelonetta to Badalona doesn't need a lot of explanations! Here a link though - the part closer to the center of Barcelona is IMO nicer, and in order to get to Badalona, I had to cross a few rather ugly industrial zones. Nor will I write here about another great run that I did a few years back - but didn't manage to get to this time. It is the Carretera de les Aigües, a super flat trail in the hills of Barcelona, with views over the city to the ocean. A total highlight. I will write about it next time I am back, and run again, in the meantime, this is a good description.
The one trail run that I think is worth sharing is at the monestary of Montserrat.
It is a short 45-60 minutes drive from Barcelona, and almost on the way home to Madrid, so I had to stop. There seems to be a lot of decent public transport option as well, and even a few different funicular railways that bring you up all the way into the mountain. I was rather early, and the parking lot was empty. That is where I started the run. The road ends, so there is no real decision to be made where to park - I took the first empty spot. The first few minutes, I checked out the squares and views around the monestary, and especially the views didn't disappoint.
My goal was the peak Sant Jeroni, which is well marked. I passed the buildings, and went up the stairs, following the signs to the peak. The beginning of the trail is steep. With a lot of steps. There isn't a lot of advice or tips to give, other than to follow the trail. The views are out of this world, I made sure to take enough breaks to enjoy them. About 1 km before Sant Jeroni, the trail merges with another one, coming from one of the railways. I decided to take that one on my way back, so instead of the same trail down, I followed the sign to the railway. Turned out to be a great decision, it was not quite as steep at the beginning until the railway station, and the views even better. Once passing the station, the trail goes shortly up again, before making a loop around the hill, and a steep decline back to the monastery. I actually saw quite a lot of wildlife, including mountain goats (or something like this) that I first heard making loud crashing noises further up in the mountain, and later I saw them feeding when I came back to the buildings around the church.
Well, in short, one of the best trails I can imagine. I got extremely lucky, I was almost alone, which I am sure is not always the case, given how beautiful this mountain is.