In Spain, the big holiday this time of year is All Saint's Day, November 1, when all work is suspended in honor of those who came before. To celebrate the occasion, we went to Montserrat, a monastery built high in the mountains overlooking the Catalan plains.
The holy site has been in use by Catholic monks since the 9th century.
We missed the early morning prayer services but went hiking around these incredible rock formations.
Montserrat literally means "serrated mountain" but millions of years ago it was the bottom of a river delta. When the Balearic Continent submerged (can anyone explain this phenomenon?), these sedimentary rock formations were left, and then the wind and other natural forces continued to shape these odd conglomerates of rock.
That is all to say, there are lots of fantastic toe holds for climbing.
At the top of Saint Jerome, one of the most holy places in all of Catalonia, Team Barce said some prayers for the elections happening in the USA.
The place became even more magical as the sun set.
Here is a peek inside the Basilica.
...and the Ave Maria Path where people light candles for deceased loved ones.
In other very exciting news, our first niece was born on Halloween!
Charlotte Elisabeth Wright
October 31, 2010
5 lbs, 2 oz
Perfect in every way, she was born to parents, Dara and Kenneth Wright, and big brother, Owen. I guess we weren't the only ones missed out on Trick-or-Treating this year. Poor little pirate in the puffy shirt...
And just because I'm crazy about my nephews, here is Callum dressed as an elephant:
Can you imagine anything cuter?
Props to Grandma, aka "MawMaw", for the awesome costumes.