Tuesday, August 23

La Catedral de Sal (a cathedral made of salt...)

Far away, in the foothills of Colombia, in a pretty Spanish town called Zipaquirá, lies a hidden cathedral --  Catedral de Sal.  This cathedral was constructed within a salt mine in the mid 1900's.  If you press your tongue against the wall, like a kid dared to the frozen flagpole, the smooth grey stone tastes of salt.  In fact, it is salt.


Other interesting facts desde mis ojos azules:

- The tour of the cathedral was really a run through the stations of the cross, each of which had a salt-carved cross at varying heights, depths, and distances from various precipices.


- It looked like they called in the tech department from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to do the lighting effects.


- In the forties, people toured the mine/cathedral in their automobiles.  These days, they've perfected their circular ventilation design with occasional draft vents, and prohibited things like smoking and, ahem, driving your vehicle inside the mountain.


- The singing from a mass once held in the underground cathedral is rumored to have been heard out to the coast.

-You can have your picture taken in front of a giant purple altar, and then printed on a slab of salt!  Or a t-shirt.  Whichever you prefer.


And finally, to end the day, a kindly gentleman with a yellow-umbrella-ed cart will prepare for you, from twenty years' experience, an oblea con todo.  This is, a waffle wafer the size of an outstretched hand, slathered with: arequipe (dulce de leche/caramel), leche condensada (sweet and condensed milk), crumbled parmesan, y mora (blackberry jelly).  It looks somewhat like the following photograph (I still have not replaced my stolen camera):


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