Two Monasteries (Zwei Klöster)

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This is my first encounter with the Pyrenees. The big, smooth, tarred road from Biarritz to San Sebastian snakes it’s way along the coast behind me. On the left, to the east, lie the blue mountains, the Pyrenees. They are not particularly high, their outlines curve gently, sharp ridges are seldom, and the summits are rounded. They are like solid music. The last foothills come down nearly to the sea near Hendaye. We follow the coast. Côte d’Argent is a good name for it. The waves flash silver-white. The coast falls away steeply to the right. Men are looking for birds’ eggs among the scree. To the left, the first cliffs: not particularly majestic, but quite cliff enough for a first welcome. The car purrs around the bends. We are on our way to Spain, to the monastery of Ignatius of Loyola.

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