May 8th 2013, Wednesday
Good Morning Barcelona. Nice to be here. Breakfast in the hotel and after that, gathered in Bus 36. Where are we going today? We will go to Montserrat – There a Church/Monastery on the mountain for about 1 hour, 66 km from hotel. On the way to the church, we passed some mountain trails, hills, forest and it’s a beautiful view with clear blue sky and bright sun. I’ve been living for too long in the city with tall building, busy traffic and working people. Now I’m here, makes me so happy to this nature view and blue sky, The world is beautiful and amazing.
We arrived, the location is like a movie in The Lord of the Ring. A nice design building and church on the mountain, can you imagine? The Hill and mountain looks like Titan. Fresh air, clean. I love it. The church has a big wide field, big gate, and big Basilica. I’m a Buddhist but I love this place so much, so peaceful, sacred, Holy and I also prayed to God for the blessing I’m receiving here to visit this beautiful place. Montserrat also has Museum, Singing academy, Restaurant and Hotel.. It would be great if we can stay in this hotel. I wonder what is it like to be here in the night..
Time to explore. When we went inside there’s a long queue on the right side of the church. The tour guide said to line up if we wanna see BLACK MADONNA before the praying time starts at 10.00 am. I don’t quite sure about the detail about Black Madonna but they said it’s the holy statue of Maria holding the World and baby Jesus Christ, (I’m sorry If I’m wrong). I think its the material of the stone/mineral made the statue became black color through ages. Black Madonna was made/sculptured by Santo Lukas. Black Madonna is the highlight of Montserrat.
I think I’ve come this far, so I lined up. It’s a long long long passage way with rooms to go to the Black Madonna at the top floor, but it’s really nice to see every single rooms along the passage although it’s kinda dark. The room is classic with elegant and detailed curvy/floral element (Art Nouveau) on the wall and ceiling. Inside, we can see Holy statue of St. Petrus, Paintings, Colorful Glass Windows and Artworks. Feel so faithful. We’re passing through a room where we can see the big Basilica, It’s Awesomeeeee… Magnificent, just like what i saw in the Hunchback of Notre Dame or any (myth) movie. Overwhelming Atmosphere. I have to go inside the Basilica after I see Black Madonna. A lot of people are praying here. We walked and finally reach to the top floor. Black Madonna. Touch the ‘World’ and I prayed – Thank you. Just a short moment (a few second) to see Black Madonna.
After that we guided to go outside the church. Wow it’s beautiful! Colorful Candle Canes for Prayers. Purple, Magenta, Yellow, Green transparent glasses. They put the candle inside the color glass cane. Light up the fire and pray.. put it on the candle cane display under the hill. As the wind blow, the little fire start to dance inside the color cane. Clear – Colorful like I’m inside the crystal. I’m sure you love it too.
We have free time about 1-2 hours here. So I wandered around and find some nice spots to take pictures. So many people and tourist are coming now. They gathered at the big wide field. They just hang out, sitting enjoy the fresh air, chattering and bring their pet. I can see various people, from France, Taiwan, Korea etc. Prudential Agents also wandering around, and they like to take pictures with foreigners, well me too.
These are the special moments I never forget: I got a chance to take picture with a very cute bulldog… I think the dog loves me too.. I hugged him tight, then he rolled on the floor.. I rubbed his tummy >tickle< >tickle< The owners also laughed to see their Bulldog acted like that, so cutee and one more funny thing is I dance Gangnam Style in Europe with 2 beautiful ladies. They’re very friendly. They’re from France if I’m not wrong.
There’s also cafe, restaurant and shops here, I bought some liquors for my friend and also this is what I like in Montserrat – The classic farmer’s shops/tents outside the church. The farmers sell honey, jam, cheese and local tradition food they made. They’re very friendly. I bought the honey, I’ve tasted it.. It’s sweet, flowery aroma and delicious!! This place has given me a great fun and faithful experiences. I imagine they have a very peaceful life on the mountain.
Ahh.. Time is running. I’ve to go to the Basilica. I rushed inside and lucky I can still go inside. Renaissance Era! I amazed.. Wonderful with all the details in the Basilica. Every corners is ART! I amazed how can they built such a great artwork in here. I feel happy, faithful. Sitting down, breathe, grab my hands and start to Pray~
It’s a great experience to be here. We’re back to the hotel to rest, but some people went to IKEA or Carrefour for shopping. I and some Prudential Agents went to La Rambla again by subway train. Just a short time, we have to go back to hotel at 4.30 pm..they able to find some items to buy. Time is running fast.. Rush hour!! We made it in time! What is out next destination ? We will go to Gala Dinner at the biggest football field in Europe – CAMP NOU!
We were wearing the Prudential Soccer red uniform. We arrived. First thing to do is group photoshoot with the leaders/boss of Prudential. Then 1st place we visit is the Football Museum. All the people are gathering here. So crowded! I’m not a football fans so it’s quite ordinary for me.. but the museum is nice… maybe the football fans out there will envy about this. The staff welcoming us with the fresh beverages, champagne and wine here. Here, We can see the photo documentary, balls with the players signature, shoes, video, medals and champion cups etc. So many people wanna take pictures with the champion cup and anything related about MESSI, The best player of football.
We will have Gala Dinner here.. The Prudential comittee guide us to the dining room. They’re serving appetizer, main course and desserts. They have red wine! OH YEAH!! All the foods are nice especially the appetizer. I ate them all. I think it’s good enough.. But still there’s always complaints from Indonesian people.. hahahaha..
After that, I’ve been asked to go with the Prudential committee. The PCC, PRUFlyer and Birthday Prudential agents has the privilege like a VIP, so they took me (I’m a PRUflyer) to the CAMP NOU Football field first. WOW! I said I’m not the football fans, but when I’m standing at the stadium and in front of me is a big supeeeerrr wide field, the biggest football field in Europe, the field that can contains 100.000 people.. It’s SUPERB!
This is gonna be the GREATEST night for all Prudential agents, this their night to feel the moment of their hard works, their achievements…This the peak of this Barcelona Trip. We also can see the logo of Prudential shoot at the stadium. All the people has come and sit, I’m in the middle of people in red. Thousand in RED! The opening show is the song of our Indonesia Anthem – Indonesia Raya ! OVERWHELMING!! We sang it loud, we sang it proud! Continue with Prudential Theme Song “We are number ONE!” They’re all fantastic!! This is the moment!
Prudential is GREAT, the leaders are motivating their agents, they’re recognized them for the hard work and convince them that this is not their FINAL results, they have to keep moving to build their better future and achievements. Everybody else is moving while they’re enjoying this Holiday trip.. Prudential makes them proud, I can see everyone is so happy. Time for entertainments, Start with the Spanish heritage dance, Flamenco! It’s a graceful dance performance.. The male dancers also do the Tap dance and it’s awesome! They entertained us with Singers who sing The Prayers (duet), La Copa De La Vida and Waka-waka. The closing event kinda mysterious, the Prudential agents are guessing and thought they will see MESSI here, but unfortunately, they just brought the Winning Champion Cup. But I think it described a very good meaning and motivation boost for the agents, they’re Champions.
After the great night at the stadium, Camp Nou also has an official NIKE/BARCA soccer store. Special night for Prudential agents, they open until midnight. Some people went back to hotel to rest and the others are going to shopping. We can find various items here – Balls, Shirts, Shorts, Shoes, Bags, Accessories, Merchandise etc. So busy!! So many people walk around and find the items they want like crazy, The queue for paying was looonggg. I bought Shirt MESSI for my brother, bags for my sister and a set of baby costum for my nephew. Finally finish shopping at 1 am 0_O and back to hotel.
What a great night to remember..