Sunday, November 11, 2012
Montserrate is 10000 feet above sea level and overlooks the city of Bogota. Built 400 years ago, it has a name sake outside of Barcelona, which I have also visited.
To get there one must either walk up (not! we can barely breathe here anyway) or take the venicular, straight up the side of the mountain, thru a tunnel of solid rock.
Once at the top, there are several splendid buildings with beautiful landscaping and terracing. The Church at the top is very plain, considering how the Cathoholic's usually built these older Churches. In fact, it was hard to know if Montserrate was still
inhabited by Priests or Brethren, as it did not look to be any area that was "off limits". However, there were lots and lots of folks there who were actually making a pilgrimage to the top. I hear on Sundays, that it is packed.
What I love about Latin American countries, is that often times, Mary and Jesus (whether a baby or the man) are black. So closer to the truth. There was a walking path which had statues depicting the crucifixion and resurrection, in 10 different stages. Harvey had his first Sunday School lesson. There were no menorahs to be found up here, either.
As there are so many tourists and pilgrims that ascend to the top, there were at least 20 small eateries to choose from, for your family picnic. All of the food was displayed like this and taste tests were offered at all. Harvey had a taste of crispy intestines. Yum!
At the summit and after the intestines, we lingered over a steaming cup of coco leaf tea. Without a doubt, the tea helped with breathing at high altitudes.
Both of us made it down the mountain on the cable car/sky lift without crying (secondary to the height for me) or flipping out (secondary to the tightly packed car for Harvey). Perhaps it was the tea.