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Lesson 8

A famous monastery

著名的修道院

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[00:00.90]
  • Lesson 8
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  • A famous monastery
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  • What are the St.Bernard dogs used for?
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  • The Great St.Bernard Pass connects Switzerland to Italy.
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  • At 2,473 metres,
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  • it is the highest mountain pass in Europe.
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  • The famous monastery of St.Bernard,
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  • which was founded in the eleventh century,
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  • lies about a mile away.
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  • For hundreds of years,
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  • St.Bernard dogs have saved the lives of travellers crossing the dangerous Pass.
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  • These friendly dogs,
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  • which were first brought from Asia,
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  • were used as watchdogs even in Roman times.
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  • Now that a tunnel has been built through the mountains,
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  • the Pass is less dangerous,
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  • but each year,
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  • the dogs are still sent out into the snow whenever a traveller is in difficulty.
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  • Despite the new tunnel,
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  • there are still a few people who rashly attempt to cross the Pass on foot.
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  • During the summer months, the monastery is very busy,
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  • for it is visited by thousands of people who cross the Pass in cars.
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  • As there are so many people about,
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  • the dogs have to be kept in a special enclosure.
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  • In winter, however,
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  • life at the monastery is quite different.
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  • The temperature drops to -30 degrees,
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  • and very few people attempt to cross the Pass.
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  • The monks prefer winter to summer for they have more privacy.
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  • The dogs have greater freedom, too,
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  • for they are allowed to wander outside their enclosure.
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  • The only regular visitors to the monastery in winter are parties of skiers who go there at Christmas and Easter.
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  • These young people,who love the peace of the mountains,
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  • always receive a warm welcome at St.Bernard's monastery.
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