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Hiking

Saint Martin de Canigou abbey

We do some shopping on the morning in Vernet les Bains, 5 litre volume of red wine inclusive (for Eur6.75). We take the purchases home and drive again to Vernet les Bains, then further to the neighboring village of Casteil. There the path to Saint Martin de Canigou abbey starts. We ascend by the steep concrete jeep road. It is hot and it is hard to go. Still we reach the abbey and proceed up to have a views to the abbey from above. We climb two hours to the place named Cirerola. There from the top of the huge stone near the slope we have great sights on the Abbey far below. After the short break we go down to another viewpoint to have a closer look to the Abbey. The sights on the Abbey inspire as to take a look inside. The tour is guided by a nun. She speaks with passion – unfortunately in French. Ilze understands but not me :-(. There are interesting columns in the Abbey featuring monks with large ears, animals that shield the mouth with their paws. The church has two stores, columns there as well. The Abbey celebrates it’s 1000 year anniversary.

Clouds accumulate gradually. We rapidly descend to Casteil and manage to jump in the car just before the heavy rain and hail of large grains starts. Beautiful (if you have a roof over your head).

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