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.

 

Plaza España – Plaça España

Take the scenic route… whenever possible.

I like waking up early in the mornings, not because it makes me more productive, but because it allows me to take my time to get things done. When this comes to work, it’s not such a good thing, I work a lot better under pressure.

However, when it comes to exploring (which I hope will be my full time job one day) the scenic routes always require a lot of time, there’s just only so fast you can walk before it becomes running, then things just get way out of hand.

In my last travel category post, I wrote about Palau Nacional but I didnt’ mention where I went on my way over there because it deserves its own spotlight. My early morning walking allowed me to stop by Parc de Joan Miró which is known for housing the 22m high sculpture known as Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird).

Wulf Willis - Dona I Ocell in Barcelona
Dona I Ocell in amongst a construction site

The structure was designed by Miró but the colourful tiles on the outside was the responsibility of Joan Gardy Artigas and was created as a means of welcoming visitors to Barcelona via land. It was a part of a trilogy of sculptures for land, sky and sea with this one being the last.

This isn’t the only thing to do there though, there’s a park (clue’s in the name), a few ping pong tables, a playground and palm trees which should meet the minimum requirements for having fun outside.

wulf_willis_joan_miro_park_barcelona
Heading into Parc de Joan Miró

Moving on from there, I stopped every two minutes to take a shot down towards the Plaza and then turned around and took one of the palace, back and forth. There’s just a whole lot in one area.

Here’s what I could have seen on the way to Palau Nacional, if I hadn’t stopped, in about 15 minutes of walking:

  • Palau Nacional
  • Plaza Espanya
  • Parc de Joan Miró – Dona i Ocell
  • Arenas de Barcelona – The Old Bull Ring and now shopping mall
  • Torres Venecianes (The Two Towers)
  • Font Mágica de Monjuic (Magic Fountain)

As sightseeing goes, Barcelona makes it pretty easy to do!