Thursday, April 14, 2011

Michael Dickerson - Monserrat, Spain - March 23

So far on this outstanding Odyssey I have seen so much beauty that it is almost overwhelming. Yet there are still places that are able to take your breath away. We were on our way to Barcelona, but were making a quick stop at a place called Montserrat. About thirty minutes into the van ride a towering unmistakable mountain chain loomed in the distance. The rocks shot up into the sky in a jagged pattern, almost appearing that they were placed there. It is hard to describe my initial judgment when I first saw Montserrat, but it can be largely summed up in a picture of my face with my mouth hanging agape. I have never seen anything like this in my entire life, it was truly unique. As we climbed away up the windy path the power of the mountain grew and grew. Everything about this moment was just simply perfect, even to the R.E.M song “Losing my Religion” in the background. That is especially fitting because Montserrat is one of the supposed locations of the Holy Grail, which is a fitting place for it because there isn’t anyway anyone could find in this behemoth of a mountain. As we got closer in became increasingly more apparent that it would be difficult to find a place to start, but luckily for us I have a secret weapon up my sleeve. This weapon is pity and my fractured foot is my ammunition. After convincing the guard that we needed to go farther because of my foot we arrived at the highest point that the vans could reach. While Montserrat was brimming to the top with natural beauty, the village was slightly disappointing. Dozens of touristy shops lined the streets; it appears that the long arm of capitalism can reach even the hardest to reach places. Montserrat is a natural wonder, but in the world we live in today nothing is safe from the need to make a quick buck. Two hundred years ago Montserrat was a destination for pilgrims and wayward travelers, now it has almost been reduced to another tourist stop along the road. Regardless of what is may have become now Montserrat is a wonder that exceeds words and gives you a glimpse of a more innocent time in the world.

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