Once we'd narrowly escaped the vultures in the Foz de Lumbier, we found a place to warm up, have a cup of coffee, and an excellent bit of Spanish omelette. There's nothing quite like hot Spanish omelette to revive you after nearly freezing your behind off. And, having recovered the feeling in our toes (as well as other strategic parts of our anatomy), we set off on the next leg of our trip and headed towards the Monastery of Leyre, which is one of those must-see places we always take out-of-town visitors to.
|A lone flying buttress. Don't you just love to say flying buttress?|
|There are nine kings, seven queens, and two princes (and a partridge in a pear tree) crammed into this itty bitty box...and the genie from Aladdin thought he had it bad.|
|Matias Salinas was here, 1729|
|Little did he know, the weremonk was watching...|
Once we finished with our little self-tour, the guys decided they wanted to climb the nearby hill, because they had heard there was some sort of virility fountain nearby, and that was something none of them wanted to miss out on. As we started up the path, we heard the eerie howl of the legendary weremonk (that sounded absolutely nothing like the whine of a circular saw from the nearby roadworks). I guess he didn't much like The Professor's little joke inside the crypt, and seeing as tourists are scarce this time of year, we suspected he must be ravenous by now. If you're wondering what a weremonk is, well, I'm not quite sure if it's a regular man who turns into a bloodthirsty monk, or if it's a wolfman who's taken a vow of poverty....but whatever it is, I sure wouldn't want to meet it on a lonely mountain trail, armed with nothing but a cheese sandwich.
|I don't know if men can find their virility up here, but the trip is worth it for the view alone.|
|Halfway there. The men all look hopeful, don't they?|
Legend has it that San Virila went out for a walk one spring day (around the year 850), meditating on the question of eternity, and he fell asleep near the fountain, listening to the song of a nightingale. When he awoke and returned to the abbey, he found that none of the monks recognized him. At first he was perplexed, but then he discovered a old document in the monastery's library that said, "around three hundred years ago, a holy monk called San Virila had ruled the monastery and had been eaten by a wild animal on one of his spring walks in the wood". Wild animal? Could that be the weremonk? Or maybe San Virila is the weremonk?
Weremonk or not, San Virila then realized that he was that monk, and that God plays rather cruel practical jokes.
We don't know if the reason that San Virila fell asleep for three hundred years was because he drank from that fountain or not, but the guys decided to risk it anyway, on the off chance that it might still have some sort of virility-boosting effect after all.
|The Professor at the fountain.|
And here ends part two of our little adventure. Tune in next week for part three, especially if you want to see what a man eating a sea urchin looks like. But first we have another photo contest coming up, so make sure to check in tomorrow for that. In the meantime, if you still need some more entertainment, you can see more photos on The Rain in Spain's Facebook page.