Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Continue walking toward the rising sun. You will come upon a hill, and on the top of this hill you will find a wooden post placed there by the Romans in homage to the God Mercury. Leave your stone there.

Close to this monument there is a city that I prophesized in 1986 would be reborn. It was reborn.

In the center of this city stands a cross.

Your image standing next to the monument to Mercury is the fourth test. Your image in front of the cross in the city is also the fourth test.

In The Pilgramage I had read:

We arrived that afternoon at Foncebadon, a large village that was completely in ruins. The houses, built of stone, had slate roofs that had been destroyed by time and the rotting of the wood that supported them.

One side of the village gave onto a precipice, and in front of us, behind a mountain peak, was one of the most important landmarks of the Road to Santiago: the IronCross.

This time it was I who was impatient; I wanted to get to that strange monument, comprised of an immense wooden base, almost thirty feet tall, topped by the Iron Cross. The cross had been left there during the epoch of Caesar’s invasion, in homage to Mercury. Observing the pagan tradition, the pilgrims along the Jacobean route were accustomed to leaving stones brought from elsewhere at the base of the cross. I took advantage of the abundance of stones in the abandoned village and picked up a piece of slate.

We confirmed the Paulo had prophisized in 1986 that Fancebadon would be reborn we just needed to find the iron cross which we know would not be far away and what an awesome sight it was!

Travelling up through what seems to be deserted towns to the top of the mountain was beautiful. I had started reading The Devil and Miss Prym to catch up and to be prepared for the next few test as during our planning we knew that the first few test were from The Pilgrimage but were unsure where each of the others fitted in.

The cross was a magnificent sight high above the world and mountains far from anything this beautiful site. We left our stone with the millions of others that people have carried with them to place there, and for a silent moment I thought of all their memories and my own and when I left the stone at the top I felt like a was leaving a little bit of me and taking a memory back in exchange.

We carried on down the mountain until we reached Foncebadon a small settlement we parked the car and walked through the ruins until right in the middle we found the wooden cross.

We knew this was right as the fountain at the side on of the road is a huge scallop shell which is a mark of the pilgrims as it represent the traditional emblem of James, son of Zebedee and is popular with pilgrims on the Way of St James to the apostle's shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Medieval Christians making the pilgrimage to his shrine often wore a scallop shell symbol on their hat or clothes.

The pilgrim also carried a scallop shell with him, and would present himself at churches, castles, abbeys etc., where he could expect to be given as much sustenance as he could pick up with one scoop. Probably he would be given oats, barley, and perhaps beer or wine. Or hopefully all of the above! We havent been given these BUT wine is cheaper than water here! NO JOKE

Thus even the poorest household could give charity without being overburdened. The association of Saint James with the scallop can most likely be traced to the legend that the apostle once rescued a knight covered in scallops. An alternate version of the legend holds that while St. James' remains were being transported to Spain from Jerusalem, the horse of a knight fell into the water, and emerged covered in the shells.

I have to say I have found it hard to put down The Devil and Miss Prym. Not just because I am on this quest but because it adds colour to a black and white book. In fact after leaving Foncebadon I looked up and we were in snow from broad sunshine and I was 100 pages in without realising we had gone as far as we had!

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