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Heading to Montserrat

This was filled with history on several levels. We booked a private tour that would take us to Montserrat, a Cava tasting and back. This was part of a small group tour with the 5 of us and another family. When we arrived, the other family never showed, so we had a truly private tour.

Montserrat

Our first stop was the historic Montserrat. This should be on everyone’s bucket list. The basilica is built on the top of a mountain about 45 minutes outside Barcelona with some of the most stunning views and architecture in the world. The benefit of being with an experienced guide is we were able to be one of the first in and got a chance to experience the cathedral in a very private and intimate way. During this experience, I discovered that St. Ignatius Loyola (founder of the Jesuit order) was here to heal and fell in love with the place. As a Jesuit High alum, this was pretty impactful. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves as this place is beyond words.

Cava Tasting

From Monserrat, we traveled down the mountain to a private vineyard that makes some of the most exclusive Cava in the world. Cava is kind of like champagne and is Spanish for cave. We were greeted at Cava Guilera by the owner’s daughter and toured the 90-year-old family owned vineyard. She showed us where her, her father, and brother bottle every batch – yes, just 3 of them for every batch. From here she escorted us into the cave where we took in the stunning sight of over 250,000 bottles in various stages of aging. Each of the bottles is hand turned multiple times during the aging process to ensure the bubbles form properly and the sediment moves just right.

After this we were able to taste 3 varietals and a rose` along with a sumptuous lunch. Marcus enjoyed the tasting, especially the most expensive Cava – of course. He may or may not have been hung over by the time he made it to dinner. We warned him this was sipping and to drink water. Maybe he’ll listen next time. This was a once in a lifetime experience to have such an intimate look into such a small and historic family vineyard.  A case plus several magnums are being shipped home to enjoy with friends. Who’s joining us?

Dinner in Barcelona

To top the evening off, we had dinner at a place Nana wanted to try and was highly recommended by a friend of hers. Because I’m old, I can’t do the traditional 8:30 European dinner, and compromised with 7. The restaurant, 7 Portes, is in a great location down near the harbor. That’s really the only thing good about it. The menu was lackluster and the service was worse than that. We had 2 dishes sent back, which we never do, and the replacements weren’t any better. The company was great though. Now, this where history of another sort kicks in. We were joined at dinner by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Robyn Powell who happened to be in town on work. Love how these moments come together. It was great to catch up with her. We kept most of the “old days” stories to a minimum for the sake of Julie and Marcus.

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Christopher

Author Christopher

I'm a 40 something father, husband and entrepreneur. I love to travel and experience life in between being involved with my son's activities, and running 4 companies, one of which I own with my wife of 21 years. One month after taking the plunge to do an epic 26 day trip from Sydney Australia to Honolulu Hawaii I had a heart attack. I survived because of the quick actions of my wife and the fact that I had been a triathlete for the years leading up to the event. Now, more than ever before, I appreciate what life has to offer and making time to go experience it, not just dream about it.

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