Walking in Spain along the Camino Ignaciano from Loyola to Manresa, and the Camino de Invierno from Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela

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Monday, 17 October 2016

The two M's - Montserrat & Manresa

Staying for an extra night in Montserrat was a real treat.  We woke to clear skies, but with a rising mist coming up from the plains.  Once the sun came out though the mist burnt off and we had clear skies for many hours.

It is very special to see a place such as this absolutely teeming with people all day long, but then in the late afternoon seeing the mass begin to diminish to a trickle by the evening.  To stand outside the abbey, where it is difficult to move without bumping into someone during the day, and have only stillness and silence, broken only by pealing bells is indeed special.  Not many get to see and feel the peace and tranquility of such a place in this way and we were very blest to have this experience.

Everywhere we looked we had extraordinary views.  We looked up and could see the towering mountains behind, we looked down and saw the little dots of villages sprinkled across the valleys, and looking out we saw the city of Barcelona and the sea beyond.  What views!
An early morning view from near the abbey
Looking up to the mountains behind, which we went up via the funicular.  We had an apartment for two nights in the yellow building in the distance.

We took the funicular railway to the top of the mountain, where we strolled around further and had even more spectacular views to feast our eyes on.  It is amazing to think that hermits built dwellings up here, and lived through all weathers, year in year out.  One can only admire these men who had such Faith and fortitude to live in such adverse conditions.
The funicular track can be seen heading straight up the mountain.
The ascending (left) and descending (right) funicular caboose.
The workings of the funicular.
Steps leading up to where the restaurant was. (See next photo)
The remains of a building that used the rock as part of it.  A restaurant was built near here early last century.  Doesn't exist anymore, can understand why when you see how hard it is to get there.
A little Chapel on the path on the mountain path.
The view of the Abbey from the top of the funicular.
Julie, Pam and Janet on the terrace near the funicular.

Later in the afternoon we caught the rack rail to Monistrol de Montserrat.  From there we caught a train to Manresa, the last town for the Camino Ignaciano.  It was a real contrast to a few days earlier when we had walked into town drenched.  We had a real treat by staying in a wonderful apartment, where  our host provided breakfast both mornings for us, along with a supply of cold drinks and best of all, a washing machine! More next time.

Something has happened to the tablet.   I can still type but cannot add photos at presen.  I do want to show you Manresa, but that will have to wait I am afraid.  At present we are in Barcelona, having spent the day sightseeing, as we will do tomorrow.  Some things have changed though.  Julie's husband, Jim, arrived today and the four of us had dinner together tonight and tomorrow we are off to visit the Sagrada Familia.  On Wednesday Jim and Julie head off on a holiday together, I head to Ponferrada, and Pam is heading home.  She has had a tough time with her knees and feels that she needed to rest them and decided that it was best to head home early.

Hopefully the next time I post there will be photos.

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