Heading into the Big Badalona Woods

The other day, I headed straight to Sants Estacio to make my way to Badalona. It’s a municipality just North-East of Barcelona, check out the map below for the exact location.

Once I had arrived, my initial intention was to just walk straight up north into the large green area. I was going to take the path northwest to Montcada I Reixac and take the train back.

Oh, but things never go as planned. This I learnt all too well, that one fine day. The journey that was going to be about two hours became more like nine. Worth it though!

Parc de Montigalà

When you come out of the station at Badalona, there’s a suggestion of a hike that you can take. The hike leads you to through the city and then to the  mountain range. So I took this route and found my first stop in Parc de Montigalà.

Walking through the park was like most parks really, quiet, full of nature and just rather peaceful.

When I had walked through to the other side, I found myself in a mix of a retail park and a industrialised looking area. I headed into the shopping centre and had a bite to eat, read by book, and carried on my merry way.

Attempting to follow my original route proved a little challenging. Roads weren´t where they should be, others turned out to be uncross-able motorways. However with a little determination, to at least find the entrance, I altered my course. Finally I walked through some residential area and at the other end… voilà!

Parc de la Serralada de Marina

This area of land contains vasts spans of views, various ruins and buildings and numerous other sights.  My first port of call was Creu de Montigalà which is a cross at the top of a hill. From this point you can start to plan where you might want to walk to next.

 

Ca L´Alemany is the direction I headed. It´s an old farmhouse located in the valley of Bethlehem and St. Jerome. This is a great spot to just sit and take a rest, have a read and also to take some self-portraits.

When I had sufficiently taken in the ruins, I headed up towards the Monastery known as  Sant Jeroni de la Murtra to see what all the fuss was about.

As I made my way in that direction, I had not seen one person, just heard the tweeting of birds and the rustle of leaves in the wind.

I steadily got closer and closer until I heard the rather melodic tune of the tower bells playing. There was also a group of children seemingly on a school trip, people going on their midday run and cyclists starting their route through the mountains. I had suddenly found civilisation.

 

After this point, I had a decision to make:

  • Carry on along the path in front, explore some more and see what I can find
  • Try and find another route back to the station
  • Turn around and walk back on the same route I came

I chose the first. And I saw so much.

 

To Tibidabo

Ever since re-watching episodes of Friends and seeing that one episode where Joey tells the story of how he was backpacking through Western Europe and hiking up Mount Tibidabo, it was a sort of reminder of how close I am to such amazing feats, that I must take advantage of.

Where is it?

Assuming my embedding skills are up to date, below you´ll see a map of the exact location of Tibidabo, just click on “Directions” to figure out how to get there. Heading up there we took the train up to Peu de Funicular and then the funicular up to Vallvidrera Superior, following that you can take the bus to the top or you can take a 15 minute walk and enjoy the sights along the way.

Walking up you still get views of the city of Barcelona and if you didn´t know that there was even more higher up, you might even be satisfied with just seeing them and not going any further. Fortunately for you and I, we know there´s more ahead!

Walking from Vallvidrera Superior up to Tibidabo

Generally the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Tibidabo is the large structure at the top of the mountain. It´s known as Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor.

And when you start making your way up, it´s pretty much the first thing that you notice and it’s rather amazing both in photo and in person.

What is it?

It´s a Roman Catholic Church that was built because of rumours that a protestant church and a hotel-casino  was going to be built over there. It took just under 60 years to build this feat of Neo-Gothic architecture with the building beginning in 1902 and completing in 1961.

Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor

What else is there?

Aside from the epic views and great areas to walk around, they´ve also stuck an amusement park to keep things interesting.

You don´t have to pay to be up there and walk around for most of the area but there are sections cut off to paying customers only, like some of the viewing platforms and play areas for the children. There´s more than enough though to keep you entertained and sights to see if you decide to take the free entry route. When we were up there, we just walked around and found it more than suffice in not making any purchases.

One thing I´ll especially recommend is to go up to Tibidabo for just before sunset because it´s quite simply stunning.

If you decide to head up to this place, leave your thoughts of it in the comments!

CosmoCaixa – It’s Like The Others, But Maybe More Fun

The name CosmoCaixa intrigued before I knew what it was, maybe by as much as this blog post does to you!

When you’re in need of a place to go with your child that will keep them occupied and not require much work of you, go there.

Riley and the world
Taking it all in

What is cosmocaixa?

A Science museum!

CosmoCaixa spiral rampFrom my own experience of science museums in different countries, they are always a great place to go. You press lots of buttons, take photos, see crazy inventions and unique mechanisms.

There’s such a diverse mix of things to see that it helps to encompass all types of people.

So when it comes to children, it’s perfect! They get to experiment, learn and play.

 

How is COSMOCAIXA?

It’s huge, and I’m sure when Riley and I visited it, we missed things. The missing things is how they get you to come back again!

When it comes to the basics of a science museum, this place ticks the boxes of what I’d personally look for: buttons, wheels and cogs, optical illusions and wildlife. But then they threw an little (HUGE) extra thing into the works….

A RAINFOREST!

You don’t just get all the standards, but you also get an aquarium/rainforest experience; climate and all.

 

How to get there

There’s always a few ways to get anywhere but personally I always find easiest to just go by train. So, we went by train. We headed to Av. Tibidabo and then walked up the mammoth hill to be greeted by another hill and a bridge (top picture). So just be prepared if you decide to not take a taxi, bus or tram up to the top. All in all, worth it though and can’t go wrong with a bit of exercise.

Av.Tibidabo
View from Av.Tibidabo on the L7 Line