Spain trip report: Barcelona, Day 2, Montserrat 2

So, here we are up on a mountain in Spain up at Montserrat, on a hike, heading back down to the funicular.

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If you couldn’t tell, I really liked this little chapel.
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You can see the path up in the rocks:
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There was another little path on the other side of the funicular stop, which we tried out.
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Here’s the view from the funicular on the way down:
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When we got down, we walked up to the monastery to check it out.
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We got on line to see behind the alter:
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Detail of a marble candleholder:
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Gold ceiling:
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Here’s the famous “black Madonna”, la Moreneta. From wikipedia: “Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the Church, it is more possibly a Romanesque sculpture in wood from the late 12th century.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_of_Montserrat)
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Everyone was touching the ball she’s holding through the hole. We didn’t.
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Looking down at the church:
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We exited the church:
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There were tons and tons of candles – you could actually feel the heat!
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You can see the funicular we took earlier:
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And down we go on the cable car!
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Here we are back on the train:
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I had a really nice 40 minute conversation with this older woman in the train on the way back, all in Spanish. It started when she was adjusting the shade on the train window because of the sun, and asked me if it was bothering me. (I understood the verb “molestar”…) And I said no. She she asked if I was Spanish, and that got us into a conversation. She didn’t speak any English. She started telling me about some of the landmarks we passed. And then we got into more basic conversation. Where are you from, etc. I think I understood 75% of what she said. So that was cool, even with my broken Spanish, which was probably hilarious. I was trying to tell her that I studied Spanish in school, but Doug doesn’t know Spanish, he studied German – and it took me a few tries to come up with the right word for German. Deutsch? No. An then I came up with Alemana, and then I wasn’t sure if it meant German or Germany, but she understood me! Also I don’t remember any past tense verb conjugations, so I can pretty much only speak in the present tense. I’m sure I said something lame like, “In the school, he studies the Germany!” Anyway, it was fun and we talked about Barcelona being hot in the summer and where I was from, and that the summer in DC was hot, and what we were doing in Barcelona. (“He is at a meeting for work”, was more like “He works! In science!” Close enough.) I had no idea how to say “meeting”. Though we got across where he was working in Barcelona. (At the University.) Anyway, we ended up with her showing me pictures of her grandkids, and her grandson’s wedding in England – and she pointed out who everyone in her family was (the high school Spanish unit on family members came in handy) and she didn’t know who any of the English people were. Oh, I think we goton the subject of her family when I told her I liked her ring, which I think her granddaughter gave to her. That’s when she got the pictures out of her purse. Anyway, she was really nice and it made the train ride go fast! And when she got off at the stop before ours, she gave me kisses on both cheeks in the European way. Fun. :-)

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