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.
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.
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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.
Today in our review dedicated to the most interesting streets of the planet we are going to talk about Brivibas. The old city of Riga is truly magnificent and finely preserved part of Latvian capital. Verily here there are more tourists and less local citizens, however, 350-400 years ago around it there was nothing and city resembled inaccessible medieval fortress in semi-Scandinavian and semi-European style. All of its population could place here…
Judging by the reviews of the majority of tourists who visited Istanbul, many of them did not reach Asian part of the main Turkish metropolis, or did not have a proper walk there. The best case, they just saw SabihaGökçen International Airport and ferry docks, a destination of leisure cruses from Europe, where on the way one can feed with bread seagulls swooping overhead. For you to have morecomprehensive and diverse picture of this incredible city, we would like to tell our readers about the unique corners of its Asian part, as it is a crime to miss them.
Only an abandoned artificial archipelago with traces of extinct civilizations can better than a deserted island! Cadent splash of oars that plows blue dreams of the Pacific Ocean quells drumroll of ecstasy in your temples while preparing will and mind to the meeting with the greatest mystery of Micronesia. Nan Madol lies empty for more than one hundred years; mighty walls are gnawed away by sea salt but even in thrall of oblivion the forbidden city doesn’t lose its greatness.
Ancient Greece began with Mycenae and Crete, and the country's new history starts its record with Kalamata. It was the city where Turkish shackles were dumped for the first time, thus making way for independence. Kalamata is a place with its own temper. Within less than 200 years, it was rebuilt twice, and both times revival followed.
...The virtuoso chisel inhaled the heat of a living soul in a cold stone block and created a khachkar - an inspired narrative about the spiritual search and longing for a lost paradise, unhurriedly unfolding tenacious rings of ancient mysteries in the curls of mystical ornaments.
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?
Residents of Queenstown, like all New Zealanders, are among the first on the planet to meet the dawn. There are no children's homes, homeless animals. People are resistant to cold, so much so that at zero degrees go in T-shirts. Each of them has an average of nine sheep, and in nature there are practically no such dangers as mosquitoes and snakes. When night comes, Queenstown lights the constellation Southern Cross.
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.
In the world there are two Cartagenas. In both, their inhabitants speak Spanish, love bullfighting, and in the evenings they go to the beach to skip the mojito and breathe the salty wind. But only in one of them a rhythm of hot salsa, placers of emeralds and pearls can burst into a languid city walk, and bright, hot beauties can cross the road. And this is Colombia!
The Kingdom of Cambodiais the officialmodern-day name of the country in the southeast of Asia (Indochina). This destination is a great tourist alternative tomore glorious Asian kingdom of Thailand. Cambodia is betterat least because it is not mainstream. The Kingdom of Cambodia is not quite a fairy-tale, although it is very exciting...
Ancient Fez medina is firmly holding time in a criss-crossing maze of tiny alleyways and picturesque shops. The medieval town of craftsmen does not recognize modern technology, however, it is not difficult to trace a full production of cute handbag with embossed lettering. The leather for souvenir is produced there, in courtyards, and at a reasonable cost a tannery owner would reveal details of folk art with a millennial history.
Someone compares Jaipur with lace tablecloth; others with a box of pink marshmallows; and some admirers claim this is a hive densely inhabited by bees. However, everyone agrees on one thing: there is the wonderful air full of freedom which cannot be found in Europe. It fills the lungs and breathing it a traveller loses count of hours and even centuries.
When planning a trip to Ligurian coast, even do not hope that within several days you will manage to explore the length and breadth of it. So you would only irritate your craving for travelling. Each ingredient of Liguria coast can only be savoured forgetting about the existence of the rest of the world. The port city of Genoa (Italian: Genova) is the chief city of the Liguria region.
Countries often flaunt their natural beauties: they invite tourists allowing them to examine closely every detail of jewellery coined by the nature. Among beauties, there are some that are the most extravagantly bright, showy and bizarre, and sometimes even wild for our eyes. African Ethiopia grabbed one of the most beautiful accessories - Dallol volcano.
Finally, one of our favorite categories reached the city, where dollars are considered as the main currency. Thus, we will not have to go around exchange offices and constantly convert prices. So, we go to such a different and exciting New York to spend our 10 dollars.
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When winds start wandering among those stone, caressing peaks of sand barchans and forcing down rare vegetationm entire space around gets filled with marvellous sounds. Herdsmen, who happen to spend nights in one of the most mysterious deserts of the globe, tell about drumrolls, enchanting sounds of flute and voices, murmuring something indistinguishable.