Sedona is a sprawl of very ordinary and uninspiring buildings and is a haven for all sorts of new age nonsense. You can have your fortune told, your palm read, your aura photographed and your chakras probed. Signs containing words like ‘crystal’, ‘vortex’, ‘spirit’ and psychic are everywhere. A vortex, we found out, is a point at which psychic and electromagnetic energies can be ‘channelled’ to bring personal and planetary harmony. You can even have a tour to find one and people actually pay for it! I have my own word to describe all this but it wouldn’t be polite to publish it on this blog.
Ten minutes after we arrived we were approached in the visitor centre car park by a woman who wanted to give us some sort of spiritual message. She held a jar of dollar bills and it was clear we were expected to pay for the privilege. Needless to say, we declined.
In my opinion, Sedona’s only redeeming feature is its stunning mountainous backdrop and we spent a considerable amount of time looking at it, mainly from a local cafe terrace where we could sit in the shade to avoid the 90 degree heat. We also travelled by car to various vantage points to enjoy it.
An interesting place, in terms of its architecture if nothing else, is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Set into a cleft in a mountainside’s red rock, its concrete structure is shaped like a massive cross.
Inside, Christ’s crucifixion is depicted in gory detail, completely filling one end of the chapel from floor to ceiling. It’s an impressive sight and a masterful piece of work.
We drove up to the airport to get the most panoramic view of Sedona’s mountainous backdrop and found that the lay-by, where the best view could be found, had been cordoned off and a ticket booth erected so that you had to pay to park just to see the view for a few minutes. Commercialism gone mad. The photo below cost us three dollars to take!
We returned to our favourite terrace for a final refreshment before heading back to Flagstaff. Next we travel north to Page.