Good news: I've managed to snap out of the hostel trance and remember I'm in Barcelona. It's so easy stuck in hostel world, especially when you've been here as long as I have. You can self-sustain on food that guests leave behind, and there's constant social interaction so it's easy for the environment to deplete your energy and forget about the outside world (it's been so long since I've been to the Barceloneta area or the beach). BUT, I've managed to wake up (a bit) due to the fact that my days here are numbered now (I'll explain in another post).
When I was working at that other hostel for a month, I met another Workawayer from Melbourne named Elissa. I'm really glad I met this girl -- she came into my life was I was craving consistency and someone to relate to. We spent the month sharing a 2-bed room, tag-teaming our shifts and doing cross-fit in the park. She was more or less in my same boat: too comfortable in the Barcelona bubble, trying to figure out her next move. She managed to escape the trap and head to Nepal, but I definitely miss her. I'm happy I met you, girl. Good luck with your travels, and perhaps I'll see you in Southeast Asia. ;)
Before she left, we decided it was time to go explore somewhere outside of the city, so we took a day trip to Montserrat, which is a town built into mountain containing the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which is famous for enshrining the image of the Virgin of Monserrat. It's Catalonia's most important religious retreat and people from all over this region make overnight hikes to watch the sunrise. It's also I popular place to go for spiritual and mourning reasons, with people lighting candles for their deceased loved ones.
...It's also a hot-spot for those Instagram travelers (you know, those ones who tag everything #lifeofadventure #wanderlust #neverstopexploring) who simply MUST get a picture at the top of the Steps of Knowledge (look up the hashtag #montserrat and you'll see). Elissa and I embraced our basic traveler personas and couldn't resist climbing to the top.
If you're visiting Barcelona, I definitely recommend taking a trip up there if you've got the time. Just be aware, it's a full day excursion, but totally worth it. To get there, you have to buy a train ticket at the Espanya metro station (look for the R5 train the there's a ticket counter in front). There are several different ticket options -- we chose one of the more expensive options to get the most out of the trip, which was 29.30€. It included a roundtrip ticket to and from the foot of Montserrat, a roundtrip track train ride to the top of the mountain, and two funicular train tickets (a funicular is a track train that goes up steep slopes). I'm glad we picked this option: the funiculars at the top of the mountain are super rad. I made a little video of the ride down one of them:
So yeah, totes recommended. Bring lunch and snacks! They have a cafeteria-style restaurant up there, but the food is trash.
I have no idea how to elegantly wrap up a blog post, so I'll just conclude with:
Thanks for all the good memories, Elissa! I'll see ya again. ;)