May 2018 – Music and Markets Barcelona Tour
Yesterday we explored along the sea, today we’re climbing high to Montserrat, home of Santa Maria de Montserrat, the spiritual heart of this region of Catalonia. By metro, train then cog rail we ascend to the bluest sky and clear air, where Benedictine monks, of which there are still 150 today, founded an abbey in the 10th century. We find that it’s not just any Sunday, but a celebration – the abbey is absolutely PACKED for Mother’s Day.
Standing room only – but well worth it for the pure voices of the world-famous boy’s choir.
And then the party begins – folk ensembles from around the region, in beautiful traditional dress, line up for the dances in the expansive plaza outside the church. We had hoped for something special up here today, but no online search let us know what we could expect – it’s just a delight!
Accompanied by a Catalan band, with that peculiar oboe-like woodwind, the shawm, the dancers twirl and sway in complicated patterns, their espadrilles softly padding through the steps. What a treat!
We descend in a different way from which we came up – soaring through the air in a little yellow bucket – you can see the next one up on the right. Much faster than the cog railway!
Each day unique, it’s been a wonderful week, polished off with a fine dinner.As usual, we enjoyed this Music and Markets Tour as much as our guests did!