The Hills Are Live (Monteserrat) With The Sound of Music...

Day 2

We took another tour today--to Monteserrat... the monestary in the hills just outside of Barcelona.  Up a winding hill and through the trees, we were greeted with a cool fall breeze some 4300 ft above Sea Level.  It was a bit nippy when we got off the bus.

We slipped in on a service in progress in the church.  Good thing I know the liturgy (The Great Thanksgiving) or I would have been lost--even in Latin.  I knew when they were passing the peace ("the peace of Christ be with you..and also with you) and also the prayers after the communion (which I didn't take--don't worry) "You have given yourself for us Lord, now we give ourselves for others.."

I was thinking that as I watched this I had a good idea of someone who comes into our services and has no idea of the language and the codes that we all know in Christianity.  It felt weird.

We wandered around the Basillica and to a gift shop before heading back to the chapel for a Boy's Choir concert (2 songs).  It was nice but especially nice was when the Padre had everyone recite the Lord's prayer in their own language.  I heard German, French, Spanish, Japanese, English and others.  What a sweet sound of heaven that was.

Back down the mountain we drove by the FB Barcelona Stadium (sorry Chuck--no pictures, but they say that it holds 98,000.  I don't think it's that large) and back into town where we had 3 kinds of Tapas for Lunch ( a cheese and potatoe omlette, greek salad and a stuffed potatoe and beef roll)  Pretty good and fit the bill to give us enough energy to get over to the Church of The Holy Family (Segrada Familia) constructed by Gaudi--the famous Spanish architect.  It's a jarring scene when you step back and view it.  It's unlike any other structure I've seen.  But once you understand his inspiration and his genius (the mathematics in this thing are amazing--parabales, hexicoidal, rombus, etc--enough to blow my non-math mind)  He was also inspired by the beauty of nature and much of that is presented in the schemes inside the church with plants and things carved in stone that you just wonder how they did that.

We figured out that reason we say "that was gawdy"---it's a reference to this artist who is so over the top!

The church will officially begin using it for services in 2030--in 2010 the inside will be complete and the Pope is coming in November to dedicate it.  They better get a move on... they've only been working on it for 110 years and got another 20 to go.  Talk about SLOW!
We're back to the hotel--very exhausted and very tired. But, I have learned that I know more Spanish than I think.  Listening to the tour director today, she would speak in Spanish, then English, then French.   I could decode some of what she was saying in Spanish, confirm it in English and then enjoy it in French.  My head was hurting by the time that I got off that bus.



Diane said...

I love seeing you guys in pictures. Looks like you are having such fun. Miss you and can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks Susie. Thanks for taking Jim to all these places. Love you lots!!