Hiking in the Dolomites

We started our via Ferrara tour in Valli del Pasubio. It was a gentle introduction to Ferrata but with temperatures continuing to be in the 30’s C we felt like we were hiking in a sauna. This Valley, as in many areas of the Dolomites, is full of reminders of the fighting that occurred between the Italians and Austrians during World War One. Each spring when the snow melts and the talus shifts, bones rise to the surface of the slopes. An Ossuary has been built to honour the remains of these unknown soldiers.

La Spezia and Cinque Terre

La Spezia is a lovely port city we used as a base to explore the historic Cinque Terre villages. We have been experiencing temperatures in the 30’s C so we chose to visit the villages by water rather than hiking. We literally got a “taste” of each as we motored from one to the next and had a beer, then gelato, then lunch, etc. Great fun😄

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

20170608_181416(Sagrada Familia dominates Barcelona’s skyline)

Sagrada Familia is a Catholic basilica in Barcelona. Construction began in 1882. In 1883 Antoni Gaudi became involved and made it his life’s passion. It was only one quarter complete when he died in 1926. Construction of the basilica relies solely on donations. It is hoped construction will be complete in 2026 – one hundred years after Gaudi’s death.
Sagrada Familia is unlike any of the churches we have seen on our travels and seems to defy description. Eyes feast on a buffet of sights that soar, colours that shade dark to light as they rise to the heavens, facades that carve Christian messages in their towers. Astonish, amaze, admire – wow!DSC01370
(Gaudi’s tomb in a crypt beneath Sagrada Familia)
DSC01366(west facade)
DSC01346(east facade)

Sleeping Beauty and Vertigo

We had a great evening at the fabulous Palau de Música in Barcelona. Guest violinist was Kolja Blacher of Germany. He played Tchaikovsky’s Concerto d major, Op 35. It was a program of Wagner,Hermann and Tchaikovsky. Loved it!

Montserrat Monastery

P1010346Montserrat is a Benedictine monastery near Barcelona. It houses a Black Madonna statue that dates to the 12th century. The figure is above the altar in the basilica of the monastery. In her honour Gregorian chants are sung daily at noon. Many tourists travel here only to see the statue. The Black Madonna is the patron saint of Catalonia.

Salou, Spain

Salou has been a welcome break from the fast pace/high energy of the crowds when touring. We are enjoying sun and sand in this little town that welcomes families to its beaches. In the photos John is trying to point out that his glass contains only water, whereas in my photo I’m holding a pitcher of Sangria😄