Lloyd and I hustled to the Placa d'Espanya to catch the train to Montserrat this morning at 8:36AM and arrived up the mountain via cable car just after 10 AM. We spent a glorious morning in the basilica, bookended with an organ practice at 10:30 and the boys choir at 1 PM. We saw the famous black madonna but more interesting were all the images in the museum inspired by this madonna over the last 400 years. There are a few different theories as to why she's black...(1) she was originally painted with white paint but the lead darkened the paint over the year, and (2) she was carved out of dark wood.
Took one of the funicular trains further up the mountain for some great vistas, unfortunately marred by the low clouds. Lloyd was impressed with the plant life...thyme, rosemary, saxifrage, oak, and so on.
Finished the day with beer, wine and tapas in a local restaurant where we successfully deciphered the menu and ordered croquettes made with wild mushrooms, cheese tortilla, and potatoes with a spicy sauce.
Thus the food tour of Barcelona continues. I have spotted at least one fabric store and a yarn shop to visit in greater detail next week while Lloyd is at his conference...