One of the delights of travel is finding oneself, unexpectedly, in a wonderful place. In a quest to be near the Monastery of Montserrat without actually staying in the busy touristy village, I found a listing for a hotel in the tiny village of Collbato about thirty miles from Barcelona and at the foot of Montserrat. It turns out to be the only hotel in a medieval village of less than 3000 people. It is the epitome of charm.

We awoke Sunday morning to church bells. It was a bright sunny day, leaving our hotel we discovered that Sunday is market day. Much of the center area was blocked to traffic and occupied by the stalls of vendors of all kinds. Each town seems to have their own market day where vendors set up stalls. We found that true of the south of Spain and it seems to be the case here also.

Collbato Sunday Market with Montserrat in the background

Dried fish


Huge strawberries and lots of vegetables

Pork of all kinds. A salted pig's head with snout hangs just above the vendor

A village street with the mountain in the distance

Just outside the wall of the town looking across at the mountain

After the market we went for a walk through the village. the streets are narrow, the houses open right onto the street. Just outside the wall we climbed a rugged path to get a stunning view of the mountain. The town is filled with hikers and bicylclists taking the trails up the mountain where there are ancient caves.