Semana 13: Muchísimas historias, many stories

This week a group of friends and I went to Barcelona. A few of us got to go to Palm Sunday mass at the Sagrada Familia!!

We almost were not able to go. When we arrived, the attendant at the front door asked us if we had invitations. We did not know we needed invitations to go to mass. We looked up the details online and it said that the invitations were free, but you needed to pick them up at a nearby monastery in advance. Our spirits were a bit down after we heard this news. We decided to not give up hope and go to the information desk for the slim chance if they had a few invitations left. The gentleman at the information desk was so kind. He gave us invitations!! He said that we got some of the last ones. When we entered, another attendant gave us the inside scoop and showed us where to sit so that we could see the procession with the cardinal and all of the children with palms.

There were hundreds of people both inside and outside of the cathedral. Hint: See the TV screen in the photo below to see outside.

Below are a few photos from when we toured the Sagrada Famila. Pictures and words can not describe how magnificent it is inside and out!

We are planning a reunion tour for 2026 when it will hopefully be finished!

In addition to the Sagrada Famila, Parque Güell is another famous work of Gaudí. Here is just a sample of the park.

That was only part of the weekend. We also saw the Med!! (The Mediterranean Sea)

I was enjoying the beauty of the Med when TJ said, “Look over here!” Spontaneous good pic!

Our hostel we stayed in was great!

They took us to an overlook of the city and watched the sunset.

We also stopped at a market!

On Sunday, I went for my first personal retreat. I was a bit nervous to travel alone to a place I have never been to before, but it was definitely worth it! Grace was proved for me to take the subway through Barcelona and ride a gondola to get there!

If you are looking for a personal retreat spot, I highly recommend Montserrat! The  Benedictine monks take care of you really well.

There was a free concert from their boy’s choir and The National Classical Orchestra of Andorra when I got there. Great surprise!

I went on a gorgeous hike to the point called San Jeroni!

I also tried rabbit. It tastes like chicken!

Montserrat had the most beautiful sunrise I have seen in my life!

After I returned to Toledo, a few of my family members and I went to a procession. There are processions all throughout Semana Santa, Holy Week.

Everyone was silent during the procession. All you could hear was the chanting of the individuals in the procession and the synchronized stepping of the people carrying the platform with Jesus on it.

It is a tradition to visit a total of seven monuments during jueves and viernes santo or Holy Thursday and Good Friday, so we went to seven after mass yesterday. We were able to see some of the convents that are normally cloistered! A large group of people that attended church ended up going on the same route as us.

After my time at Montserrat, I did not want to leave. This photo can help to explain why. This is what happens when I am open to listening and taking risks. I can not wait for what is next!

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