Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 9 in Spain

Thursday 5-23

What a day today! What a day!

We had no plan for today but when we woke up I felt restless. I looked at the map and I had read some in the travel guide earlier. So I suggested to Ute to drive to THE END OF THE EARTH today. That what the name Finesterra means and that is what the town is called where people used to think the edge of the earth was. Jesus told his apostles that he was sending them out into the world and to the end of the earth. This must be why Saint James wanted to go there to bring the good news and why pilgrims walk for hundreds of years to his tomb in Santiago De Compostela.

Lately it has become quite customary for the pilgrims to continue to Finesterra and Muxia if possible. Not the Spanish though. They are usually finished in Santiago. We were told today that Spanish people with the Certificate of the Camino will get paid more, become more vacation time and something else special for their wedding (not sure what).

So, after breakfast which was a nice helping of refrigerator oats (which we were finally able to buy yesterday … in a pharmacy!) we headed out at 9:30am. We were not sure about the weather because it really wasn't that promising but sometimes waiting for the perfect day is no good.

 Right in Pontecesa over the medieval bridge through Laxe on the other said of “our” bay. Laxe seems to have a super beach which is very shallow when the tide is low and we could see that today. I stopped to take a picture but it really didn't show it that well. I had suggested to Ute that since we are driving through Vimianzo where we had seen the castle (I wrote in an earlier blog that it was closed then) we should try again. Good idea. We found a nice parking spot on the road side.
On the short walk a beautiful blooming bush.
Yes, it is open!

How surprised we were that the visit was not at all about history etc etc but it was full of artisans. First room downstairs: besides jewelry, pottery, etc etc, a very nice lady weaving. She is also a bobbinlacer … and she speaks English.
There were spools of local linen hand dyed. OMG the picture doesn't do it justice. Sorry, James, had to get some. 

Eye candy, practical things.

 Upstairs a whole room just bobbinlace.

The lady in charge spoke German and told us that it is some kind of a co-op. There are about 50 lacers who make things. Every lady has a number and the numbers are on the things. When it is sold they get the money. They also take turns demonstrating. Sometimes these seats are full.

I took a closer look how this lady works and even makes leaves.

 See the videohere!

Look at this photo. They used to sit on the floor to make lace?

In next room was the weavers' room. Look at this invention. You can use the newspapers either as an umbrella stand or as a stool. I like to stool idea.

But the weaver was not very friendly. Neither she nor the lady on the sewing machine even looked at us. Very unusual.

The other part of the castle seemed to explain history but everything in Spanish so we skipped it. But you could walk outside upstairs …

… and walk on the wall. Nice view.
 We made some purchases to support those busy local ladies and continued with our drive. The drive today is incredible. I know I have said it before but there is so much beautiful landscape. Ute and I keep telling each other. It is just unbelievable and no picture can capture it. Once we came over the top of a mountain and all around us it was as happy yellow as you can imagine with blooming ginster. The roads here are very winding and around every curve there might be something else breathtaking.

O. k. … here is our first glimpse of Finisterra.

We have to drive through the town to get to THE place, the Cabo with the lighthouse.

The Lighthoue!

 This one is bronze.

Pilgrims are sitting around, contemplating, getting their privacy, or talking.

But everywhere are little fires smoldering where things have been burnt. Many leave there shoes behind. See the pair in the fire pit?

 A German lady asked me to take her picture with her camera. She was happy when I had taken it. I asked her to reciprocate and we talked for a long time. I told her about James and the snowstorm. She had walked through there a few days earlier in lovely weather and wanted to see a picture. She said he should put it up on the internet and when I told her he was blogging she was all excited and asked whether she could have the address. When we parted she read a nice prayer for us which she pulled out of her purse.

Here is Monika. She also told us also that any (certified, I guess) pilgrim upon arrival will receive three free meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for three days at the five-star Parador Hotel opposite the cathedral. It's the former Hospital Real built 1501-9 and turned into the hotel 1953.

*** (see note on bottom of blog)

On our way back down we stopped for another photo-opportunity.

Some very narrow streets down to the harbor. Some nice English gentlemen pointed out a parking space to me.
Three tries before we found a lunch place with WiFi. When we ask in the first they said they had it … but it didn't work … so we didn't stay (we learned by now to do that first). The one next door said he had it … but he really meant the competition next door, which I told him didn't work. The third place was very nice. They had an upstairs which was a nice view. 
I had seafood soup first and Ute had a salad.

Then Ute and I both had the grilled fish. It was quite tasty but so full of bones that it was a bit too laborsome for me. 

But the 'postre' (dessert) made up for it. She called it Tiramisu. Whatever it was, it was quite nice.

One more quick look around and walk to the car.

 I had done a little homework before and knew that there were some cascades in Ezaro not too far where the Rio Xallas had been unable to erode an estuary of its own through the mountain and instead was tumbling down over granite. Here he flows below the waterfall towards the ocean (just around the corner).
As the travel guide says: Some of its wild charm has been sacrificed to a hydroelectric plant.

There is a lovely walkway. Ute took this photo.

And we really enjoyed it very much.

I had walked down to the water's edge and kept hearing a noise which I couldn't identify. I kept looking for a strange bird or so but it finally dawned on me that there were at least a dozen little frogs in this puddle.

 If you look closely you can see at least three here. Fascinating!

An incredible peaceful place. And the weather could not have been any better.

By now it was past 6pm and we went on our way home. But we had seen a supermarket which looked like a really good size and planned to stop. Yes it was open. Life is good!

*** James corrected me on this. Monika was not right.
About the three days: The pilgrims have to have the certificate not longer then three days old.
The three meals are correct but only for the first 10 pilgrims. So the line is VERY long !

* * * * *
If you want to go to "Day 10" click here.

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how fast that lacemaker went. My leaves go MUCH slower! :)