Santiago Santiago

14 Jan 2007

Santiago De Compostela, Spain

The Cathedral dominated the experience. Every time I stepped into the Old Town I got lost, unable to find anything else. Every time I walked past, it looked different. Every time I heard the bell I turned towards it, and usually found that I could see it.

When we weren't looking for God in architecture, we were trying to find Him in the bottom of a bottle. The police came at around 11pm on Thursday, to nobody's surprise. We had no music at all, but there must have been 30 people in a space smaller than our London bedsit. We moved to a nearby park and drank among the statues, surrounded by hundreds of students doing the same thing. The crowd was well-behaved and the police took no further action, apart from making sure that nobody went home.

But what we did most was sleep. With one exception, we were in bed by 11 and slept until at least noon. Even then, it required multiple doses of cafe solo, once we worked out how to order it, to keep us going. We could have seen, and done, much more than we did.

Not that I'm disappointed. We saw the moment and seized it, rather than saying, "we'll do it when we have more time and energy". In a world of competing opportunities, "someday" means "never" . And anyway, we had to farewell our last contact in the northern hemisphere. From here on in we'll see plenty of friendly faces, but no familiar ones.

Next up is the Czech Republic[1], or France. Lyn has an "ongoing" but temporary job, so we'll take our cue from that.

For now, though, it's neither. We need to sleep.

fn1. Not, as a rather alarmed Czech girI explained to me, Czechoslovakia[2]. I'd have made the same mistake sober; I think I need to get up to date on modern geography.

fn2. The Czech Republic split from Slovakia in 1993. If this comes as a shock, I have some bad news about the USSR.