Caves and Monasteries

032Saturday we went with our Meet up group, NCAT, for a tour around l’Espluga cave –  apparently one of the longest in the world. It has had a long history, going back to the neanderthals and there is evidence of other human use. But it’s tied into natural and human history and evolution, which makes for an informative and inspirational visit.  We only went as far as the tour in the first part of the cave. The second part is for speleology activities, and I haven’t been to it… yet! Wouldn’t mind doing that one day. Afterwards there was a reconstruction of a Stone Age village, which you can see in the picture above.

After that a few of us went to the Monasterio de Poblet, which really took us through layers of history.036

Roman Tarraco

I went to Tarragona to do the tourist thing again; it never gets boring as the history is very deep. You can’t dig anywhere without finding a bit of archeology.

“You’ve found an ancient Cessetani* coin under a lettuce root? Throw it with the others…”

They built a shopping centre with an underground car park and kept some archeology there on display instead of just demolishing it to make more car park.

It’s typical of Spain to have a juxtaposition of new and old – they build a brand new sparkling skyscraper with all the mod cons and next door there’s a goatherd grazing his goats (for instance) – but Tarragona has really gone all out, building flats on the old Roman walls – apparently the oldest Roman walls outside of Italy – and sunbathing on a beach next to an ampitheatre/church/prison/tourist attraction (depending on what era you’re looking at).

2000 years or so of history; I don’t think I’m going to get bored any time soon, lol.

* name of pre-Roman Iberian tribe in and around Tarragona area.