THE SISTERS BY THE SEA
As I drive up and down Highway One to Point Lobos or Big Sur, I notice a beautiful church high on a hill overlooking the road. It sits above Monastery Beach.
The above shot was taken by Steve Brown. You can see more of his work at
Whizzing toward Carmel one day, I spot a well-worn road going up the hill toward the church and so I make a quick right and go ahead. The Church and its grounds seem deserted , yet I can tell it is occupied. I tour around and find a parking lot.
The photo above on the left was taken by another flickr photographer, Tony Barakat. View more of his photos at
Luckily I have my camera with me so I step out to get a few shots. Three hours later I am still wandering around the beautiful and peaceful spot.
It appears I am at the monastery of the cloistered The Sisters By The Sea . They are Carmelite Nuns who live in solitude.
Cloistered means that they have not contact with the outside world. So the only parts open to the public are the outer grounds and the chapel ( when the sisters aren’t having Mass). I find this out later when I am researching .
But today I wander around the grounds.
In front of the church is a lovely little garden that allows a view of the ocean and Point Lobos.
Gravel paths weave in and out of shrubbery enclosed “rooms”.
I find a small well-tended shrine .
The paths lead around to still another garden area to the south of the Monastery.
This spot is so feminine compared to the Mission in Carmel.
I feel so lucky to be here when the roses are blooming.
This place is tended to by women and it shows.
I am posting more photos later. Meanwhile, if you want to read more about these amazing women go to their website .
Listen to harp music performed by Catherine Anderson for the Carmelite Nuns (please allow a few minutes to download):
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