I live in Dublin, Ireland. Sometimes. Most times I live in my head, quite unaware of my surroundings – if you know what I mean… If you succeed in tracking Sean Walsh, please let me know, ok? I've been searching for him for years…
Las Ramblas was something else!
A never ending boulevard of
shops, cafes, bars, restaurants,
caged birds, floral displays…
A brilliant violinist
backed by a throbbing orchestra…
Row upon row of vendors,
noisy locals, incessant smokers…
‘Finishing line at the harbour.
To Montserrat – by vertical bus!
Up, up and up again!
Don’t look out, Ann! Down! Beware vertigo!..
German tourists, unperturbed by the grinding engine,
the wheels dangerously near the edge of the narrow,
broken road winding ever upwards,
listening quietly to the know-all guide
who threw the occasional morsel of English
to the couple from Ireland
at the back…
And so to the Benedictine monastery
and the shrine of the black Madonna –
the core and essence of Montserrat.
And if the tour guide had explained en route
how Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits,
came to visit, pray, confess, make notes here –
followed by a further pilgrimage
at out-of-the-way Manresa –
alas, it went right over our heads!