Saturday, August 1, 2015

barcelona, spain - montserrat.


sorry it's been a few days, again, since my last post! ben took the camera with him to france for 10 days while norah & i stayed with my parents in seattle...& while i consider myself relatively computer literate, i wasn't quite literate enough to be able to download photos ben sent me through google drive. so i waited until we were happily reunited to pull the photos off the actual camera memory card myself, like they did in the good old days.


but, montserrat! 

after a week in coma-ruga, we headed back to barcelona, where we'd be spending our final week of this vast europe trip. first item on our barcelona to-do list was montserrat--about a 45 minute train ride away. worth it!


we had to take a cable car up to the top of the mountain (montserrat is also accessible by train). it was an exhilarating ride, & i loved the bright yellow color of the cable car, but it was also a little nerve-wracking to be up that high. my face the entire time:


little norah's first cable car ride (she looks scared in that photo on the right, but i promise she didn't know we were up so high, ha)


view from the top:






beautiful buildings, a museum, an abbey--there's a whole village tucked away up there:



there's all this hiking you can do on montserrat, & apparently it's really popular to watch the sunrise from one of the peaks. we weren't able to do that this trip/didn't plan well enough in advance for that to be possible, but it would be awesome to do one day.



this pose, oof?





scenes from inside & outside santa maria de montserrat, the benedictine abbey that calls the top of montserrat home:


 


the gorgeous, dark, moody inside:


one thing i loved about the interior of this abbey was the plethora of light & lamps. they were hanging up everywhere, they were all beautiful, & they were all different. i'm 90% sure no two lamps were the same! ;)





other scenes from the inside:





ben & i took turns going up the stairs to see the virgin of montserrat--one of the patron saints of catalonia. with her dark skin, wikipedia tells me, her familiar name is la Moreneta, or "little dark-skinned one."



the virgin of montserrat is up at the top of the altar (what is that--the apse, right? i learned all those technical cathedral design terms as a freshman in college, but i couldn't remember them without doing some googling, #humanitiesfail). you have to take stairs up & behind the apse, & then you file in one-by-one to get a close-up of the statue. while i was up there i spotted ben & norah perfectly centered in the aisles below. see them there in the very middle?


after seeing the virgin of montserrat, you're led out through this back pathway that takes you through ALL THIS:







these pictures don't quite do it justice, but it was a blisteringly hot day. we had hardly any energy left after spending only a few hours in the sun:





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