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.
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.
We write a lot about travelling and offbeat tourism, tell our readers about the most exotic destinations and how to put 10 dollars to good use in the cities around the world. However, we rarely think that mass tourism has the other side. Today we decided to look at the crowds of tourists through the eyes of local residents and to tell our readers about issues that face the world most visited cities.
Beaches, forests, deserts are not enough to say that you have already visited many parts of the earth. Definitely, you wanna something extraordinarily special? Why not! Humanity has flown into space a long time ago! Frankly speaking, the journey to Mars will seem too expensive even for a millionaire. After all, a trip outside the Earth costs the budget of a personal island. It does not matter: on our beloved planet there are absolutely stunning and truly cosmic landscapes!
The rich and famous first started talking about Saint-Tropez when at the end of the 19th century Guy de Maupassant paid a visit there. French author, famous for his non-judgmental realism, wrote about the warm beauty of Saint-Tropez, mentioning ‘sardine scales glistening like pearls on the cobblestones’...
Located on low hills, this country hides in tropical rainforest in the very center of Latin America. There are no beaches and modern concert halls yet it amazes with its access to wild nature. Some come to Paraguay to explore territory of the Indies, others – to get excited with ancient colonial erections, some – for shopping.
Tibet… what are you mulling over while articulating this name, drawing it in your mind mentioning the concept involved in the mild space of clouds?Tibet… There are mountains that seem to be speaking with the heaven. Here everything is penetrated with the religion and different beliefs such as culture, art, folk traditions and customs.
The Senegalese capital of Dakar is not only the most important city of West Africa, but also a city of extremes, a fascinating introduction if purpose of the trip is to "get acquainted with the Black Continent, but gently and smoothly". In addition to many civilizational and habitual to modern people attributes of life, every moment you feel spirit of Africa, at once both intimidating, romantic, off-beat and deeply alluring.
With the support of the Embassy of Spain in Ukraine and personally the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador Sylvia Cortes Martin, cognitive events for demonstrating the cultural diversity and heritage of this country were organized for the residents of the capital.
American Detroit was until recently known as the automotive capital. But nowadays it is more often than not mentioned in the context of decline and population outflow. Outlook decided to figure out why ghost cities emerge.
Incheon is considered to be sea and air gateway to South Korea since it has one of the country's largest seaports and the most spacious, world-class airport in the region. The city is growing rapidly: within just a hundred years it developed from a modest port settlement to an ultramodern industrial and tourist hub.
A function of UNESCO World Heritage Committee is to work in the most careful manner year after year on studying objects that constitute outstanding culture civilizations and are unique in their origins. Under number 569 of an impressive list of the organization city of Gjirokastër, the one from the south of Albania, is located – it is it we are going to study today through the length and breadth.
They become the place for the coolest parties, source of extraordinary ideas and unpredictable discoveries. Nowadays whole houses, temples, gardens, pools and stadiums reach peaks of their popularity – all of them on tops of buildings.