I try to be brave and see places! After a few lone trips and some crazy races people say that I am very brave! But I do wonder if this title fits….maybe I just don’t want to disappoint myself and others, and because of that I feel I always have to deliver? Well either way, my next trip this time to Barcelona was approaching fast. I was going for my friend’s wedding but I knew I should use this time for running too! So I twitted to a running community one simple question. Where do I run in Barcelona? With that, the answers flooded and I simply felt I had no choice but to pack my trainers next to my hills, my shorts and t- shirt next to my dress.
So after the wedding and fabulous day watching Ironman in Calella I was inspired more than ever. I took an early train thinking that after couple of hours running I’ll be back to the beach by mid afternoon for a relaxing evening with sangria. I had no map, obviously, and was going with only few screenshots of the place. And two hours later I finally find my way to the place. Whoever told you that navigating Barcelona’s public transport system is easy, lied to you. Take my word for it, it is not!
Onwards with running….
I arrived to Montjuic around midday. Even though I’d read loads of great comments about the place I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision. Ditching the city centre for the Olympic village? I shouldn’t worry. It was best decision I could have made. I left the station and saw a crowd heading for the cable cars to get to the top of the mountain and to the castle. I was debating for a moment thinking I could just run back down. But that would be cheating so I headed for the information point and asked for directions. I was directed to a hill with a warning “this way is toughest, go around” I said thanks and knew exactly this will be my way to go up. But first I headed towards the Miramar Observation deck. The views of the city were breathtaking.
I went back and started my climb to Montjuic Castle. It was very hot day and I did struggle to go up. But the hunger for challenge was stronger than the pain in my legs. I slowly kept going. Half way I turned from the road and took a shaded trail through the wooded area. This route had hundreds of stairs and I had fun with taking one, two and three at a time, jumping like a kid. I think few people must have thought I am mad. I reached the castle and went straight for the back wall. Climbed the step and smiled looking out to one of the best views I ever saw. I took some time taking not only my breath but also the views in.
The run down was fun and fast and before I knew it I was on my way towards the Olympic Stadium, the Montjuic pool and Palau Sant Jordi. The place felt like from a different time. It had strange feel. Maybe it was the open space….I felt very little and I loved that feeling. It felt true. I felt like a princess taking a stroll around this grand garden. I stood there for few minutes staring at the fountains.
Then I turn left and run through the beautiful gardens of Montjuic. The parks and the Gardens are the highlights of the area and I would encourage everyone visiting Barcelona to include those on their lists of must see places.
Maybe I haven’t seen everything and maybe it took me some time to find my way around. Maybe my plan to enjoy the sangria when the sun is high and shining didn’t happen. With all those maybes, maybe it was for the best, because I have seen a very special place. Locals call it Magic Mountain…..and I cannot really explain but when you go and see it yourself you will understand why.