WEDDING DETAILS

When & Where
The wedding will take place in Montserrat, Spain, Saturday October 3, 2009 at noon.

Montserrat is a mountain near Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain. It is the site of a Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary and which is identified by some with the location of the Holy Grail in Arthurian myth.

"Montserrat" literally means "jagged (serrated) mountain" in Catalan. It describes the peculiar aspect of the rock formation, which is visible from a great distance. The mountain is composed of strikingly pink conglomerate, a form of sedimentary rock, popular with climbers.

The Caribbean island of Montserrat is named after the mountain.

Transportation
You will fly into Barcelona.

How to get to Barcelona? Several airlines fly to Barcelona from NYC's JFK and Newark's airports: American Airlines (JFK), Iberia (JFK), Delta (JFK), Continental (Newark), and Air France (JFK). Flights are relatively affordable, between $500 and $800 per person (economy class) if you book them sufficiently in advance. We like to use Kayak to search for the best flights.

Once you land...
Option 1. You can rent a car at the airport and drive into the city. You can leave the car at your hotel and do all your city sighseeing using public transportation (recommended) or cabs. The buses and subway are very nice and clean.

Option 2. Travel by Aerobus (air train, 4.25 euros) from the airport to Pl. Catalunya, and then it's less than a five minute walk to most of the hotels listed below, or a 2 minute cab ride.

Option 3. Of course you can always take a cab from the airport to your hotel. Will be around 50 euros or so.

Where to stay?
During your visit...Barcelona has many fine hotels. Here are some reasonable choices, both price and location-wise:

The reception and the night after the wedding...
Hotel Bruc is where the reception will take place. It's located about 30 min from Barcelona, off the highway, at the foot of the mountain (you will go by it if you drive from Barcelona.) The reception will start around 3 pm or so, and will likely go into the night. It may be a good idea (recommended) to plan on staying at Hotel Bruc the night after the wedding. You definitely do not want to drive after drinking.

Hotel Bruc (***), address: Autovia A2 Barcelona-Lleida, Km 570, Salida Montserrat-Manresa, 08294 El Bruc, Approx price: $85 per night
Email: hotel@hotel-bruc.com | http://www.hotel-bruc.com | Map

How to get to Montserrat?
Note: allow for enough time, it's going to take you a bit to get there from Barcelona

Option 1. The abbey can be reached by road, driving your rental car, about a 45 min drive from the city. Get to Diagonal Avenue and head East (away from the sea), exit the city and take state highway A2 heading Barcelona-Lleida. Stay on it for about 40 Km. (25 miles) and take Exit Montserrat-Manresa. You will see Hotel Bruc right off the exit. Map: Here is simple map of how to get there from Barcelona.

UPDATE: There will be a chartered bus leaving from Hotel Bruc at 11 a.m., taking guests to Montserrat. If you plan on taking the bus, all you have to do is drive yourself to Hotel Bruc, which is right off the highway, super easy to find. Everybody is welcome to take the bus instead of driving up the mountain. You can leave your car at the hotel parking lot. The bus will return guests to the hotel, where the reception will take place, right after the wedding. If you still prefer to get there on your own, you can take the winding road up the mountain, or:

Option 2. You can travel to Montserrat by train which you catch from the Espanya rail station in Barcelona. The Espanya rail station is on the green and red metro lines making it very accessible from any part of Barcelona city centre that has a metro stop. Once at Espanya look for Line R5 headed towards Manresa. The train from Espanya station takes you on espanacialis.org to the foot of Montserrat mountain, then you have two options: Cable car or Cremallera Funicular to actually go up the mountain to the Monastery. You will see below you also need to get off the train at different stops depending on which one you decide to take. Here are some Detailed Instructions.

Option 3. You can call a cab from your hotel and have them drive you to Montserrat. It will cost about $80 to $100 approx.

Option 4. You can also have the hotel call you a limo or car to take you and pick you up.