I really hesitated in calling this an ‘adventure,’ as a visit to a cemetery isn’t on the same level as going to an amusement park. However, we found the cemetery to be quite fascinating. I will have to try and use my terrible prose to describe it to you, as I did not take any photos (a. there was a sign, and b. out of respect).
The cemetery was opened in 1883, and became the main cemetery. There are over a million burials & cremations within it’s plots, and it sits on the back slopes of Montjuïc, overlooking the harbour and the water. There are winding paths leading far up the hill, and can be walked or driven. There is a bus that operates on Sundays thats sole purpose is to move throughout the giant space. We didn’t realize that this bus only operates on Sundays, so we didn’t get to see too much of the cemetery. We’re planning on going back.
You can either explore the cemetery on your own, or follow one of the three routes created: Artistic, which includes very artistic mausoleums and sculptures; Historical, which includes the graves of important figures to Barcelona (including Joan Miró, Lluis Companys, Joan Gamper, and Ricardo Zamora); and Combined, which combines, well, parts of the other two routes.
We took Bus 21 to the cemetery entrance, and walked up into the first area. The mausoleums are incredible; the sculptures just stunning. As we walked along, we came across some very large mausoleums; there were kneeling benches and what seemed like altars in some of them.
We walked a bit more, and then we were within the ‘walls of the dead.’ This was the most beautiful and tragic part of the relatively short walk we took. These walls were three to six graves high, and each grave is numbered. There were moveable staircases (that reminded me of ones in libraries) that can be moved so loved ones can climb up and place flowers and memorials on graves that are above ground level. It was utterly amazing.
Since I did not take photos, here is a link to more information and an image gallery.
After we decided to leave the cemetery for the day, we hopped back onto Bus 21, just to see where it goes! We ended up winding throughout the factory blocks, and ended up in El Prat, a neat little ‘town’ within Barcelona. Very beautiful! The bus took a pause at the Renfe station in El Prat, so we got out and took a look around. We found a semi-completed metro station, which is meant to hook up to Line 9. A worker indicated that it could be open in 2016 (why so long!?).
We also found safe bike parking!
If you have a membership, you can swipe your card and then store your bike in one of the little ‘garages.’ How cool is that? Safer than a bike rack!
On the way back, the bus also wound down close to the port, so we got to see the mountains of shipping containers and tankers, as well as the rail lines.
Cheers to a beautiful Wednesday!