Monday, 5 August 2013


Our Lady of the Snow, several writings tells that the catholic priest, Martin de Merida and his atendant Martin Soto, on the 5th of August 1717, where crossing from Valor to Granada, and reching La Carihuela, near to the Veleta peak (3394 high), at about 3200 meters where surprised by a snow storm, not findig the way out of it, the only remedy was to pray for their lifes, when the Virgin Maria and child apeard to calm the storm, and lead the two men on a saer way to cross the mountains, and save them from an infallible decease.The peaks near this plase was named Los Tajos de la Virgen.

This is a very popular pilgrimage and mass among mountaineers from all Spain,and in Sierra Nevada is celebrated every year  at the 5th of August, as you may  know, the traditions in Spain is to carry the ecclestiac images in prosession in towns and villages on their anniversary.
Last night was  the big night , and we runned away from the heat (round 40 degrees) in Granada, at the altitude of  2078 meters, called Pradollano , we had a nice luncheon with some friends, and then we went to have a rest.

 At sundown, Our Lady of the Snow, is carried in prosession around the little town here, but the really important moment is at 04.00 when the pilgrims  takes her on her throne and they march up to Borreguiles at 2665 meters , where they rest for a moment, almost 600 meters altitude difference, have a warm chocolate ( temp can be around 12 degrees) before they continue to Tajos de la Virgen for mass at 08.00 at 3250 m.

This night is the only night you can drive up the old road going by the Veleta to The Alpujarras, as Sierra Nevada is a National Park, car or motorbike traffic is not allowed the rest of the year, and we went up with the car, and was so unlucky to have a flat tyre on the way, wich made us miss the mass, but we went to the place anyway, a walk  only of 5 km, it was blowing hard in the beginning, but as we where reaching Los Tajos, the wind calmed down.
The feeling of immensity where ever you look, right over to El Mulhacen, the highest peak of 3482 meters, and all down to the Mediterranean Sea, overlooking Granada town.

In 1968 Sierra Nevada got a permanent sculpture o Our Lady o the Snow, realized in aluminium  by Francisco Lopez Burgos , a 9 meter high altar made of local local flagstone, and the 3 meter high sculpture on the top precedes the Ski-Resort.

I will of course come back to the ski-resort in a couple o months, at he moment, one gondola and one chair lift is working, so you can have a view.

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