Saturday, 11 July 2009

Meeting the Press in Compostela....

From Thursday July 2: I have finally arrived in Compostela and my Spanish publisher, Editorial Boveda have put me up in a lovely boutique hotel with a view of the Seminario Menor and right across from the market. This is an area I know well.

Funny to think of staying my three nights in the Seminario, particularly when I remember that as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago, I would walk up the hill past this place so many times in 1999 and 2000 and since, never knowing what was in store for me.

Last night I went for a walk around Santiago de Compostela. I went to Praza Obradoiro of course. That vision of baroque splendor will always make me smile a big smile, but it is the Romanesque interior that I love most.

I had interviews all day for my book, Pilgrimage to Heresy or in this case, Peregrinos de la Herejia. Maria Arias told me that I would have one after the other. I expected four or five as it had been with the rádio and press interviews in Malaga last week. Oh no! She had lined up no less than 12 press interviews, two live rádio interviews and quite a few “phone ins”: in fact I lost count. And all in Castellano which I am not by any means fluent in but which seemed to come from nowhere!

One of the periodistas, Xurxo, who Maria tells me is widely read and respected, took my hands in his, looked in my eyes and said: “Tu hás hecho una maravilla. Una Maravilla!” I was so stunned I didn’t know what to say. And to think I thought they were going to burn me at the stake in front of the cathedral…. (Course, they still might as you will see in a day or two…)

The next day I had a promise to keep. Last time I was here I left a white rose for Priscillian in the crypt and I went in search of another in the market today. It looked very pretty behind the grille and if it really IS St. James, well I am sure he enjoyed it also. I went to the Pilgrims Office to find out how to get permission to view the excavations as I hope to do when I return at the end of the month, and by the time I left it was just past noon and the pilgrims mass had started.

I said to the security guard that I really did want to attend the mass and I wasn’t just “touristing” but he said it was too late. The he looked at me and said in perfect English: “Are you Tracy?” “Yes,” I said really surprised, “how did you know?” “I saw you in the paper…” WELL, talk about 15 minutes off fame! My ghasted has never been so flabbered. He seemed to be somewhat sympathetic to the idea so I gave him a bookmark and he thanked me. I think that I might have touched more than just pilgrims (and the church), but more on that later...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tracy,
    You're not dreaming your life,
    but living your magical dream.

    See: 'Who was the true Jacob (Jacobus, James) of Santiago de Compostela'
    by my pilgrim friend Henk Flinterman

    More 'clues' will follow asap.

    Buen Caminho!