Should we have a look at notes of those who plan their trips to Spain, next to the darling of all hearts, Barcelona, Montserrat is bound to rank second. Also, the mountain of the abbey is a must-visit spot for local dwellers, too – they believe it necessary to visit Catalonia’s religious heart at least once a year.
There used to be a sea in the place of present-day Catalonia; and when the bottom pranced, long mountain range emerged. Elder generations convincingly tell that it were angels who divided the mountain into two parts and made it carved with their golden saws – they came down from heavens and decided to enliven monotony of the landscape a bit. In fact, this was how the name Montserrat originated – it translates as “serrated mountain”. Here and there the mountain resembles a castle of sand and fantasy starts conjuring images of winged creatures constantly adding on tiny towers that have been washed with heavens’ waves for centuries.
Legend has it that an astonishing light fell down there from the skies to reach depths of dark caves. Shepherds’ children noticed the miracle and started plunging into waves – later a statue of Virgin Mary with the Infant was found there. When it was decided to transfer the figure to a place of more honor, it turned out that no power of men was enough to even lift Madonna. Therefore Monserrat remain the place of its peace forever. Still, initial statue wasn’t preserved and was thus replaced with a copy. Poplar figure acquired an unusual dark shade with time and under influence of candle smoke, which made it special and gave it the name La Moreneta – the Black Madonna. Catalonians tenderly call her Brunette.
Dark-faced Virgin is a true patron of the faithful from all over the world – just have a look at gifts brought by those who believed in a miracle thank to the saint. Men bring their wives for them to ask La Moreneta for maternity. Dwellers of Catalonian lands give the name Montserrat to almost every newborn girl; however, few of them use their first name. But still, you have already recalled Montserrat Cabalé, haven’t you?
Inspired by Santa Maria de Montserrat, they started erecting a Benedictine abbey on the rocky surface. A truly masterful architecture ensemble emerged on the mountain with time. It will just suffice to mention the Basilica (Basílica de Mare de Déu de Montserrat) and its western façade with perfect stone-carved pieces framing glass mirror. One can’t but try and figure if there is someone from celestial chancellery looking down into it.
Only monks lived their hermit lives there at first but eventually more and more people began visiting the place. Later Europe’s first music school for boys was opened in Montserrat. Till now parents from all over Spain dream of their little boys getting music education and discovering their voices of an angels there of all places. Every day at 1 p.m. sharp a chorus of tiny cherubs all dressed in white go there to illuminate the basilica with their singing and perform Virolai.
Paths of Montserrat are all luring and none is about to disappoint. Everything is simple there, as in Russian epics: you go to the right to find monastic library or museum where masterpieces of Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso, Degas and Dali are awaiting or have your sight lost in numerous galleries… You go to the left to look for sculptures that got settled on most exotic spots and hid in floral grottos. Tombs, monuments, steles, majolica and medallions are scattered on the mountain as if someone cut feather off of wings that got stuck in jagged surface of the rocks.
Ascending the stairs of Josep Subirachs in the eye of your mind, try to realize how far from eternity you are: stone – fire – Earth – plant – animal – human – angel – heavens – the Maker.
And don’t forget to purchase a tin of honey or a block of cheese from local countrymen as a souvenir because alongside home-made products a spoonful of miracle gets there in a wonderful way to give the delights inimitable taste.
Despite ongoing development of air transport, many people across the Earth still love to travel by train for various reasons. Though the majority of passengers associate trains with a rather slow way to travel compared with airplanes, and are concerned with low comfort which can be still at the level of last century, reading through our selection below, you will definitely consider once again which means of transport you prefer to get to your destination.
Today Outlook travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
Context manager Bohdan Yanchev undertook a long-term journey to the United States. He spend six months there and not just visited large cities like Miami, New York and Washington but also worked in different positions, made numerous acquaintances with locals and visited places that ordinary tourists know nothing about. Upon his return he told us about his brightest impressions.
Prague... It is romantic, decadent, sad and cheerful, sublime and spiritual, reflected in the flapping wings of well-fed seagulls on the Charles Bridge, in the mirror pools of Vltava River, in each cold polished stone of its bystreets... Prague is a very attractive and slightly strange European city. Creative copywriter Masha Goldman once spent several winter days there and told us about Prague charms.
Nature bestowed our planet with many sky-high peaks, which at any moment give visitors the feeling of boundless freedom. Cities build skyscrapers boasting to one another and, to satisfy high aspirations, they add observation decks at the height of the bird's flight. Travelling from continent to continent, with bated breath we will admire the world's loftiest views from the summits of supertalls.
This amazing African country strikes tourists by odd mixture of cultures. There isn’t a thing you cannot see in Senegal! Retro cars of French origin; cows idly walking along the road; horse-drawn carts... Yet, there are more than enough surprises it its historical and cultural capital city of Saint-Louis. Go for a walk in search of attractions, and local herbalists offering specific medical herbs as a cure-all remedy, will immediately surround you. It will be particularly useful if you step over the thorns of haham that are great many here...
Today our story is about one of the most amazing combinations one can imagine, that is Italians and Englishmen, so we expand number of our articles dedicated to the ethnic ghettos of the world. Get ready to follow us to the cold and rainy Bedford, where we will plunge into the warm Mediterranean atmosphere.
In the world there is an unusual place where the biggest number of twins are born. Although at first glance it looks like a mystical coincidence, statistics makes you believe in miracles. The Indian state of Kerala can boast of a village where unusual things happen. Kodhini is the place with more twins than anywhere else in the world. Actually, there is almost no explanation for this.
Nature and heritage are above and beyond temporary drawbacks in infrastructure and services of Kyrgyzstan, which in terms of tourism is approaching to Georgia and Armenia. Let's consider this through the example of the cosy city of Karakol.
Australia flies instinctively into our ears with a loud intro from shell of the Sydney Opera, and only after that we recall that the capital of this country is Canberra. Though the city is often seen as a stopover between Melbourne and Sydney, Canberra is not only considering, but has been already implementing into reality a plan how to win hearts of all tourists.
For many tourists France is mainly Paris with long queues to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, as well as neighbouring sights with royal chic, or Mediterranean resorts. But OUTLOOK author while travelling through the country decided to go to the north, to Normandy! Our readers are welcome to read series of travel essays about a journey to the Atlantic Ocean by Kornei Gritsyuk, and the story begins with his impressions from the town of Deauville!
As a child I could spend hours gazing at the sky and spying majestic flocks of birds winging their way south. For a kid this movement was a real magic. Today my bookshelf hosts almost no books about magic, though I am still excited about feathered tribes travelling in hope to land on their winter grounds.
Experienced travelers tell that one could watch the ruins of ancient settlements in the Andes during several months, moving from one region to another. Particularly, the richest one in archaeological complexes of is the western coast of the Southern continent. A long time ago, some of them, such as Machu Picchu, have become popular with tourists, others are just beginning to open their doors to curious people.
Its sounds penetrate the heart, stop the flow of thoughts and cause the blood to move in some kind of magical rhythm. It's a roll of thunder. It gives the shivers. It's a secret. Japanese drums in their homeland are elevated to the rank of cult. Without them, not a single official event is possible, their melodies delight the hearing during joy and help to experience sadness.
Among tourists, especially those from Europe, it is difficult to find people who have not enjoyed vacation in sunny and hospitable Turkey at least once, so the prices at holiday destinations are more or less known. However, what awaits those who opted for "another Turkey" and went to see the magnificent Istanbul, we would like toexplainwith the example of 10 dollars.
Even being adults, sometimes we are able to bring to life the children’s fantasies, see the stories from childish dreams, and embody what has seemed to be the fairytale. Have you ever dreamt of being in the whale’s chaps? Just imagine that you were swollen by the giant fish, and you were living there for a long time, looked at it inside, settled down there, swam and dived there?
Travelling around the globe lure increasingly every other year and it is so upsetting when all kinds of obstacles arise on the way of undertaking trips. Outlook offers you not to get desperate if you cant set on a journey. Today we suggest you get inspired with movies in which one city or another plays equal part to actors ones. Well tell you about five films that, alongside having artistic merits, educate as good as habitual tour guides do.
Spain is lavish in architecturally rich cities. But there are special among them: the ones where monuments of the past and daily life of contemporaries are intertwined so tightly and unexpectedly at times that the city seems to be living in two worlds. Today OUTLOOK suggests you enjoy one of them – Salamanca: the city where frog brings all kinds of luck.
Once upon the time, Pygmy peoples lived on the west coast of Africa. They did not have any conflicts with anyone. When they were hungry, they went hunting, picked up nuts and bananas. Then the Mpongwé and the Fang tribes came. After them, the Portuguese arrived and named these lands Gabon. They were followed by the French who acquired the land and declared it as their colony. Only in the middle of the past century, when Pygmies were very few, Gabon gained independence from foreigners…
Formidable waves rise up like soldiers on guard, then beat against the rocky coastline, lay down their arms and meekly retreating, crumble into a foam. Wind freely runs over lavender fields and eucalyptus groves hiding sleepy koalas in bushland. Twilight is ready to cover every living creature with a dark bucket, and the bustling nocturnal life spreads its wings. This is not a fictional world of fairy tales but everyday life of Kangaroo Island, a booming destination for wilderness and wildlife fans.