Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The wonders of Burgos; Hotel staff; & Another verse.

Any one of Burgos Cathedral's stunning treasures would take away the breath of even the most ardent atheist. But to have them come at you one after the other for an hour or more is to risk dying of a-respiration. One is left pondering, not what a work of God is man, but what a work of man is God. And also where all the wealth came from at time when 98% of parishioners were dirt poor. Apart from the South American gold mines, of course.

There was a Mass taking place in the largest side-chapel. Tellingly, the 8 celebrants (4 priests and 4 rather elderly altar 'boys') outnumbered the faithful. Even before account was take of the organist. I couldn't help wondering what went through the minds of the priests as they gazed out - in the modern fashion - of the ranks of empty pews. So few people to appreciate their singing

On the mundane level, my colleagues' recorded guide in English took longer than mine in Spanish. As The latter uses more syllables and, indeed, words than the former, this could only mean the Spanish guides spoke more quickly or imparted less information.

Seven is a good number to have in group, especially so (even more so) when of you are in this world and one of you operated in a parallel universe.

I could well be wrong on this - and maybe it's a function of the number of stars and, thus, the prices - but I get the impression that hotel receptionists these days are doing the work of two before La Crisis. Not that they ever seemed overworked back in those days.

Shortly after I wrote the last paragraph we arrived at tonight's hotel in Logroño, where the 3 staff on the Reception first told us we had no bookings, then told us we did but not as per my confirmation, and then finally photocopied all our passports, rather than just write down the numbers. When I queried this, I was told it was in case the chief of police dropped by and asked to see them. Presumably a descendant of Franco

Finally . . . Another verse from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam:-
Myself when young did equally frequent
Doctor and saint and heard great argument
About this about that. But ever more
Came out of the same door as in I went.


Patrick Glenn said...

Burgos has the best Gothic Cathedral in Spain. The mass was probably in Santa Tecla chapel. The Cristo Burgos chapel is quite meaningful also. The effigy of Christ is thought to be miraculous. Cartuja de Miraflores in Burgos is also worth visiting for the great sculptures by Gil de Siloe.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Patrick.

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