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Peña de Francia


From our hotel a large cross sitting atop a small mountain (Peña de Francia) could be seen in the distance.  There stands an old monastery, with a  beautiful view of Salamanca’s countryside.  During siesta one day a group of us piled into two cars and headed up Peña de Francia’s winding road.  The surrounding landscape is gorgeous from the top of the mountain.  Unfortunately both my camera batteries died on the way up, and thus I had to make do with my iPhone camera, thank goodness for photo editors!

While the monastery itself is rather modest compared to other European churches, it’s quite stunning given its age and the fact that it was built at the peak of a mountain.  The impressive stonework actually creates passageways through the rock, which lead right out to cliffs off the side of the mountain.  The church also contains a famous black Madonna.  The church, I read, is frequented by pilgrims, perhaps those traversing the Camino de Santiago and as such there is a hostel in operation at the top of the mountain.  I can’t imagine what masochist who would be interested in scaling the mountain though, it took nearly ten minutes just to drive!

The night concluded with a friendly game of trivia, much to my delight.  I love trivia games and tend to be a bit competitive.  I nearly aced the movie category, but as one of my teammates put it I was, “crap at sports”.  Unfortunately this was the category under which the only Canadian question fell and, naturally, I… dropped the proverbial ball.  The question concerned ‘paddle’, a game which I’d never heard of until Spain, where it is quite popular…perhaps we have another name for it. 










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