Montserrat is only some 50kms from Barcelona and yet feels like a different world. Forget the Ramblas and Mediterranean casual seaside lethargy, this is a combination of the Grand Canyon crossed with Saint Marks Square and it is amazing!
There is a choice of three ways to ascend this strange landscape from below; by a modern funicular, by cable car or by road but the religious types may even consider walking depending on how penitent they feel.
For non-believers there are some great hikes around some incredible basalt rock formations with views of deep ravines and small villages below.
The real action is back at the Monastery where there are plenty of chances to save your soul in the Chapel, visit the Black Madonna, light a candle for a loved one, visit one of the best art collections of mainly Catalan artists or sit and watch the hordes of people from all over the world milling around.
A great day out will be had by all, nature overwhelms religion, but what a combination!
See and download the full gallery on posterous