April 7, 2001

It's Saturday evening. I worked on a computer program in my hotel room until 3, and then drove up to Montserrat. It was a beautiful drive. The last 5 miles wound up the steep side of Montserrat to the monastery. It was a nice sunny day with a good breeze. I was going to take a funicular to the top of the highest peak, but I wouldn't have been able to stay at the top for more than a few minutes before the last one started down. Instead, I took a good hike for about an hour. Most of it was walking up steps that were either cut in the stone or poured with concrete. The views were great. I saw many mountain climbers coming back down, but I saw only one actually climbing. I have attached a picture looking back down on the monastery and one of a rocky peak.

As I walked back down the trail, I heard the bells pealing. When I got back down to the monastery, I saw a lot of people walking into the sanctuary. I followed them, and found myself in a beautiful old cathedral. There was a service just starting (Saturday evening mass). The opening hymn was beautiful. There were tourists going in and out of the back of the sanctuary, so I figured it was OK to watch for a while and then leave. The guidebook said the place is famous for its boys choir.