Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my dinghy cruising blog about my John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. Built over three years, Arwen was launched in August 2007. She is a standing lug yawl 14' 6" in length. This blog records our dinghy cruising voyages together around the coastal waters of SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises and click subscribe.
On this blog you will find posts about dinghy cruising locations, accounts of our voyages, maintenance tips and 'How to's' ranging from rigging standing lug sails and building galley boxes to using 'anchor buddies' and creating 'pilotage notes'. I hope you find something that inspires you to get out on the water in your boat. Drop us a comment and happy sailing.
Steve and Arwen

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

a short train journey away to the north

is the isolated mountain outcrop and the Monastery of Montserrat. Recommended to me by my sister in law - a closeted geologist - I was expecting big things.......and I wasn't disappointed!

the view from the station

waiting for the lights

getting there early to avoid the crowds

the only passing loop on the rack railway

the train journey up on the little rack railway

the cable funicular - the photo really doesn't show HOW steep that incline was!

Wow! I mean Wow on so many levels!

The train ride out through the suburbs of Barcelona and across the!

The transfer onto a small rack railway funicular and the stunningly steep climb to the monastery - double wow! The views were amazing, the drops, terrifyingly impressive in the odd place or two,  on a par with one or two in the Alps but not quite the same height drop.

The funicular railway up to the highest peaks - insane! Nothing should be able to go up rails at that angle - insane! Wow, wow, wow - we survived and the cable didn't break!

the monastery lying beneath the conglomerate cliffs with the cable funicular in the foreground

a climbers paradise?

And Wow, Wow, Wow, wow and double wow again! The mountain scenery...breath taking. Loved it, absolutely loved it! But firstly the museum................

some of the paintings in the small but rather good museum in the monastery complex

this painting shows all the small churches and retreats across the Montserrat mountains range

the small town of Montserrat
Then there was the monastery itself, well hidden!

the outer facade

the inner courtyard

inside the Basilica
And the mountain scenery? Well a walker and climbers paradise - bought back the days of my youth when knees were stronger!! Quite envious!
my geology is rusty and I didn't have a guide book but I'm going for 'conglomerate'

a conglomerate formed under water with lots of rounded pebbles - so river estuary? Coastline?
lots of conglomerate spires

hidden somewhere are little churches and retreats

somewhere up there is a French climber we met and her partner
so many mountain paths to choose - spoilt for choice

yep they were going to climb it

don't let perspective fool you - its steeper than it looks

I felt quite envious!


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