Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pontevedra and coastal Spain; Vacation 2012 part 9


Leaving Portugal behind, we traveled north back along the Spanish coast in the region of Galicia. Our first stop was near Pontevedra in a suburb called Granja. We could see sailboats in the ocean from the balcony of the hotel.

The next day we took a boat out to the island of Ons and hiked the island all day. We saw the lighthouse, a tree with fuzzy green things all over it, lots of sea gulls, boats and awesome coastline. And Elias really liked riding on the boat, especially when the spray would get them every once in a while.

The next day we took a road trip to the westernmost part of Spain, spelled two ways Fisterra or Finisterre; both mean "land's end." Here is also where a famous pilgrimage, the camino de Santiago ends. Supposedly Santiago, also known as the apostle James, after being put to death in Palestine (according to the guidebook) was put on a stone boat where his body floated all the way to the shores of Galicia. This coincided with a need for Spanish patriotism... so this and other miraculous rumors inspired a pilgrim path beginning in several places around Europe and ending in Finisterre. Supposedly it is customary for pilgrims to burn the dirty socks the traveled in at Finisterre.

The city Santiago de Compostela is named after James as well, but it's not at the end of the trail. It is considered the capital of Galicia, though, so I wonder if the pilgrims come through there, too. We'll be checking that out next.

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