Wednesday, June 24, 2009

From a letter dated June 24th - Valle de los Caidos

I'm now on a bus heading out to Valle de los Caidos. It basically means "Valley of the Fallen." It's a memorial/cathedral/gravesite/huge cross on a hill that was built as a memorial for those who died in the Spanish Civil War. The cross is supposedly the largest cross in the world! I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. [picture on previous page]

[afterwards] That was a hard hike! 6 kilometers both ways, and I think I started getting shin splints. But it was awesome! The cathedral is a HUGE tunnel going deep into a mountain. The tunnel is actually the shape of a cross, and at the intersection of the cross there's some pews and this altar thing with a life-size carving of Christ on the cross. It was actually very dark and scary, and they burned incense and the music was pretty, but also kind of creepy. There were lots of huge statues of angels and saints that were pretty neat looking. Yeah, we actually sat in for a mass. It was all really ritualistic. It didn't feel good or right. I just look at that and contrast it with the temple. It's so different!