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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

The Cathedral at Conques

The abbey-church of St Foy at Conques, which has now been named a cathedral, is a beautiful building in a spectacular situation. One of the most important way stations on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Conques remains a site of great charm and  peace.The square in front of the cathedral looks much as it must have done for centuries, below. Behind the church is a hostel for pilgrims who can still be seen arriving daily.
The twelfth century Tympanum  carving of the Last Judgement ( a decorative  frieze above the doorway) at the cathedral is a spectacular example of Romanesque art. As you can see below the detail in the carving is extraordinary. Seeing this alone was worth the journey to Conques. Below you can see Christ sitting in the center with heaven above and the chaos and danger of hell below. Clearly such images were designed to explain the scripture at a time when most people could not read.
The images of damnation are very vivid. I love the creatures preparing the eat the sinners below!
Things look less chaotic for the worthy souls who have made it to heaven. they are see
The inside of the Romanesque church is very peaceful and of course quiet.
 There are several small chapels including one to St. James. This is a wonderful place to visit and highly recommended.


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