The snowy Pyrenees were somewhat in the distance. Today, we were going for a bus ride and nature walk.
Our hotel was quite a bit different from urban lodging.
We used a large bus and a smaller one as we ventured into the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage area. The smaller bus was needed to maneuver on the mountain roads. Fortunately, nothing came in the other direction on curves like this.
We were at an elevation of 4-5,000 feet on our tour.
Beautiful vegetation was evident throughout the day.
Even the Way of St. James is provided in this rural setting probably for pilgrims coming from France.
The Saint Úrbez Bridge
It's hard to imagine how persons built a structure on such a site or how you get to it now.
During part of the tour, we went on foot since buses could not manage some of the route.
In this area of many caves, we entered the Saint Úrbez site where a saint once lived as a hermit. He was born in Bordeaux in 702 to a noble family but eventually was instrumental in preserving the remains of Christian martyrs from Muslim desecration.
Saint Úrbez lived part of his life here as a hermit. He eventually became a priest and many miracles are attributed to him, particularly with animals. He lived to age 100 and his body did not decompose after death. His body was revered for over 1,000 years but it was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War.
This area is today a shrine and pilgrimages are made here four times per year by the local population.
Sign for the Saint Úrbez hermitage
We encountered beautiful rock formations.
The geology was interspersed with rushing mountain streams.
We felt a little closer to the snow up here and were thankful for the bright, sunny day with no rain.
A photo of our group of eleven accompanied by two local guides and our tour leader, Africa.
After our "wilderness" tour, we stopped in the village of Aínsa, a well-preserved medieval town.
The spire of the Church of Santa Maria. The church dates from the eleventh century.