Every other week our students embark on excursions that get them out of the city to explore more of the countryside. Follow the experience of Jake, as he recounts his experience on the Collserola Secret Forest hike.

Coming from the northwest I consider myself an avid hiker and find it to be one of my favorite pass times so going hiking on the first Friday was a great way to soothe the nerves and remind myself that some things are not so different, no matter how far from home you may be. This was the perfect excursion to start the experience off with and was quite enjoyable. We started off meeting on the steps of the Correos (or post office for those who don’t speak a lick of Spanish) after we got EVERYBODY together (I’m talking 37 out of 40 students so I mean everybody) we hopped on a charter bus and headed for the Collserola Mountains and The Hidden Forest. Our adventure was about to truly begin.

We took off from downtown Barcelona and passed Mt. Tibidabo on the way were we saw the captivating Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor along with Parc d’Atraccions Tibidabo which honestly has been one of my favorite sights since arriving. The colors of the park were otherworldly in their brilliance and the temple was stunning, not just for its construction and artistry but for its location, seated at the peak of Mt. Tibidabo. From the peak of Tibidabo and the amusement park, we embarked on our Trek.

This hike was honestly one for the books, at first it seemed to be a little easy but the farther we went the more treacherous the terrain became and we ended up with quite the climb. On the hike, we saw several stunning vistas, as well as even encountering some wildlife that most of us had never seen in the wild before. In this case, we saw a couple of wild boars, it was quite the experience and led to many photo opportunities. Another great aspect of this excursion was the guidance provided by both Charles and Filipo. 

Charles is the man with the plan when it comes to ALBA and is very good at his job and shared immense amounts of knowledge and Filippo is with Spanish Trails and helps with ALBA and all the excursions and really does a great job of teaching along the way (though he did have to leave to go surfing in the Canary Islands which in my humble opinion is completely acceptable). With the guidance of Filippo and Charles, this excursion was a 100% success and we haven’t even gotten to the dinner, well more lunch now that I think of it.

This excursion included a lunch obviously, and boy where we wined and dined. We had red wine, a starter course that included a salad, bread and a delicious cold tomato soup which Charles taught those of us near him how to make it, after that we had a large meat and potatoes type of meal including delicious beans, a potato, a half rack of ribs and some sausage (there was a vegetarian option though I obviously didn’t take that route. This was all topped off with coffee and Crema Catalanaº. Obviously, the food made quite the impression on me.

After this, we met several dogs and traveled home. This was a day that I will certainly remember.