9 September 2017

Coffee at the monastery

Perhaps it was a Saturday prayer day. We never found out, but the core of the building was barred to non Spanish visitors. However the two open buildings seen were of interest. That built into the foot of an overhanging cliff is the burial place reserved for the ancient Kings of Aragon and benefactors of this place. At the upper level, above the cliff, is a more recent monastory where a palatial museum is created over the footings of the much earlier building.
No monks were to be seen at San Juan de la Peña, but a replica Holy Grail was on display, and supposedly this is the place where said grail was brought for safe keeping.  Opus Dei is very much alive in Spanish society and associated with the Roman Catholic Church.  Grand modernist architecture is in evidence, and whilst very spectacular, must have cost many many millions.
Of greater interest was the beautiful setting and approach road, as it passes across the ancient sea bed of some earlier epoch. The dour lady at the entrance foyer was impatient with us and our English queries, but I made her smile with an extravagant raising of my Australian leather hat on exit from the place.
The previous day we came across Buerba and for some reason a purchase was made of a carved wooden spoon. The elderly artisan was using a blunt hand axe and a rasp, to laboriously fashion the slightly crude ornament. Perhaps the cash will recirculate a few times in this little village and buy him a beer.

Buerba


Buerba


Monastary under the cliff


Who is this knight pretender


Downhill switchback


A very English vehicle


Looking towards the National Park of Ordesa


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