Running to the summit of Mount Tibidabu (11.04.2019)

Written by Solan GSM

Start point Hotel Catalonia AvinyĆ³
Endpoint Hotel Catalonia AvinyĆ³
Characteristic Jogging
Duration 2h 45min
Distance 19.5km
Vertical meters 1,347m
GPS
Ascents Tibidabo (510m) 11.04.2019
Panorama over Barcelona captured on my way up Mount Tibidabu.
Panorama over Barcelona captured on my way up Mount Tibidabu.

I was in Barcelona for 5 days, attending a medical conference (EuroELSO 2019 - a conference centered around ECMO treatment). While there, I was staying in a hotel in the Gothic Quarter, not far from La Rambla. I went running every morning before the congress started, except for Saturday morning. Most mornings I made a round in the city, in order to get aquatinted with it, but on this particular morning I had decided to head for the highest of the mountains that I had seen in the distance as I had been walking around in the city.

The first part of the run went along the streets of Barcelona (left image), whereas the next part went up through the forests of a very steep hillside.
The first part of the run went along the streets of Barcelona (left image), whereas the next part went up through the forests of a very steep hillside.

I left the hotel around six o'clock in the morning, and found my way through a narrow alleyway, into an open square, and then through another, rather short alleyway into the street called "La Rambla". Once in La Rambla, I headed west towards the mountains. The city of Barcelona is situated on a costal plain, with only two rather small mountains in between the streets and houses, whereas some kilometers west of the city centre and the costal plain, there's a range of higher mountains. I had located mount Tibidabo on the map before I went to bed the previous evening, and now I was running towards it.

As I was approaching the summit of Mount Tibidabo, the sun was rising, seemingly from the Mediterranean Oscean in the east.
As I was approaching the summit of Mount Tibidabo, the sun was rising, seemingly from the Mediterranean Oscean in the east.

There is a slight climb all the way from the coastline to the foot of the mountain, but just very little, hence most of the climb comes after you've reached the foot of the mountain. As soon as I arrived at the foot of the mountain, I located at trail leading directly uphill through the forest. The trail seemed quite steep, hence I was not sure I would be able to run it all the way up, but I decided to give it a try. And I managed, as I've been running quite a bit uphill back home in Norway for the last year. As I was approaching the mountain top, the trail split in two; and I chose the left trail, which proved to be a dead end. I came to a little group of abandoned houses, which seemed like they had lately been used by homeless people, but there was no one there right now. The view from the spot was splendid, however; so I captured a panorama image of Barcelona (the uppermost image of this report), along with a sunrise photo, before I headed back to the right track.

Beautiful tourist hotel less than half a kilometer from the summit of Mount Tibidabo
Beautiful tourist hotel less than half a kilometer from the summit of Mount Tibidabo

Once back on track, it was only a few hundred meters, and I arrived upon a paved road used by buses taking tourists to the mountain. This was to early in the morning for that, however, hence I seemed to be almost alone on the mountain. I had to follow the road, as it kind of circumvented the top of the mountain. I passed by a beautiful tourist hotel, and shortly thereafter I was at the summit. Most Catalonians are deeply devoted Christians, and they tend to build churches or sanctuaries on hilltops, and this one was no exception. There is a Church right there on the summit of the mountain, with a huge Jesus statue on the rooftop, hence you cannot stand directly upon the summit of this mountain unless you enter the church. To me Churches are pagan sanctuaries, so I didn't bother to enter in; and the Church was probably closed this early in the morning anyway.

At the very summit of Mount Tibidabo is located a huge Church, with a huge Jesus on top, preventing you from reaching the summit proper, unless you want to enter the Church.
At the very summit of Mount Tibidabo is located a huge Church, with a huge Jesus on top, preventing you from reaching the summit proper, unless you want to enter the Church.
Just beside the Church located at the summit of Tibidabo, there's an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster, among other things.
Just beside the Church located at the summit of Tibidabo, there's an amusement park with a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster, among other things.

Close to the church, there's an amusement park with a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a lot of other stuff. The view from this spot was really amazing. I captured a few more photos at this location, and then I started my descent from the mountain, using a different route from that of my ascent.

View of Barcelona from the mountain top.
View of Barcelona from the mountain top.

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