Thursday, October 20, 2005

From Jacqueline CANCELA

When my father remembered his village, he was sick at heart.

All along my childhood, my parents told me stories and legends arising from a remote period and a distant country. Later, my father explained to me, why my mother and himself, migrated to France. He told me about the difficulties of poorness that fell on Spain just after the Civil War and the impiety of dictatorship. His sorrow touched me, when he remembered his childhood, his grandfathers around the fireplace, the setting sun in Cabo Vilán or in Laxe of Bergantiños (in the galician coast- west Spain).

When I grew up, I decided to go off the lost past of my parents and I discovered with admiration every village, every city and every beach of the Death Coast. Its geographic limits are located from spit of Roncudo to Cabo Fisterra, including the bays of Cee and Corcubión. It inherits its name from frequent wrecks of this coast (the last one happened on 2002, it was the Prestige´s oil tanker). I immediately prefered Traba of Laxe.
The parish of Traba lies down along a valley that holds the same name, and ends in an extensive beach of white sand. The Counts of Traba probably proceeded from this parish. Durind the Middle-Age, they ruled this territory and the most of Galician coastal zone from Fisterra to Ribadeo. The most famous of them was Pedro Fernandez de Traba, the grandfather of the King Alfonso VII who lived during his childhood in the Monastery of Moraime (Muxía). The church of Santiago of Traba is located in the centre of the valley. The edifice still preserves its original Roman structure on its walls and in its apse, but the façade is baroque (XVIII century). The Cardinal of Hoyos picked up a legend in his Memorial (1607): a Scottish soldier entered into this temple to steal a silver cup thinking that it was the “Holy Graal”, but he realized that the cup did not exist and he ate Eucharistic hosts to be revenged. Suddenly, he felt a big suffering and he dead.

The lagoon of Traba is located at the bottom of the valley between a lot of sand-hills and grasslands. The inhabitants knew an old legend. They told that in a past time, in this lagoon, it existed a city called “Valverde” that disappeared under the sea to punish its inhabitants because they wandered from the apostle Santiago who preached in these countries.

In the mountains, we can find curious rocks eroded along time. They took different forms being like animals. According to me, it is the best place to let oneself go and to liberate your imagination. When I was thirteen, I spent hours and hours laid down on grass, hypnotized by this place, feeling the finest thing imaginable and, in a way, getting back the childhood of my father. I imagined a little boy, running across the valley, shouting to hear his own echo. I thought about the legend of “Buserana”, the story of Florinda (the daughter of a knight) who fell in love with a troubadour, called Buserán. Florinda´s father ordered to kill Buserán and to throw him in the sea. Florinda became crazy. She looked for Buserán during several days. One day, she heard Buserán´s voice proceeding from the very bottom of the sea. Suddenly, waves closed in upon her and she disappeared for ever.

If you come to Traba, you will hear Buserán´s love songs and you will never forget them, just as I did.


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At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been deeply moved by your story. I feel really fascinated and I´ll definetely go to that area next Easter. Could you be more precise about the situation of those marvellous forests. How could I find them? Could you also tell me places to stay in the region, typical food and places to eat? What about local transport? Maybe renting a car can be a good idea. I hope to be in Buseran´s land one day and be lost in a dream...Phoebe McIntyre (Inverness)

At 2:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is lovely artical about Dead Coast. I will definitely go there. When I read it I am falling in love with this place. Everything you are writing here is like mystery. And the pictures are perfect. Thank you for the artical.

At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to visit some palces of the Death Coast with my parents on Easter hollidays when I was I child, but I don´t remember many things. This article had charmed me and made my thoughts appear. I would like to visit the Death Coast once again to enjoy more than I did in my childhood and discover the magneficience of our legendary coast.



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