Today four of us explored the Montserrat Monastery. Wow. Built into a mountain in something like 1025, it was destroyed by Napoleon and then rebuilt in the late 1800's. I don't know how anybody at any time in history was able to build anything up there.
Yes, I'm wearing a big, floppy orange hat and definitely look like a tourista, but it sure kept the beating sun out of my face all day. Look in the background of this picture. That straight line behind me is the Fenicular that runs up and down the mountain. OMG - literally straight up and down. I chose not to ride it. Wasn't even tempted.
The Monastery is famous for housing one of, I believe, twelve (?) Black Madonna's in the world. The guide books say she is actually black because of candle smoke. Hmmm. Who knows what to believe. Allegedly she was found in these mountains. We waited in a 20-minute line to see her and I snapped a picture as we crossed to the other side. It all happened so fast. A man was standing there ushering people, making sure there were no lingerers.
The church was extraordinary. It was moorish and gothic, with incredible light fixtures, stained glass, arches, etc. etc.
Had to take a pic of the nuns descending the staircase...
Beautiful stained glass window...
Beginning of our hike up one of the trails. It was a steep one and I am soo not a hiker, but I gave it a go.
View from halfway up the hike, looking back at the Monastery and grounds.
In the gift shop I bought a vat of honey that reads: "Mel from Montserrat" but then found that I might not be able to bring honey back into the states. Oh well, will have to eat it here.