The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Visiting The End of the World

July 15, 2013 — 9 Comments
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The famed lighthouse at the end of the world, Faro de Fisterra, is one of the most recognized landmarks in all of Galicia. The lighthouse was built in 1853, and on a clear day, can be seen from 30 kilometres out at sea. The northwest coastline of Galicia is rough, jagged, and treacherous. Therefore, it was given the appropriate name, Costa da Morte, the Coast of Death. Numerous vessels from ancient times to the present are resting on the floor of the Atlantic with lives lost multiplied many times more. It’s not only pleasure and fishing boats that have had distress, but well-documented naval battles between the French and English occurred just off Cabo Fisterra. Visitors are also reminded to be careful walking on the slippery rocks as deaths on the coastline around the lighthouse have also occurred.

I left my last post, On The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Finisterre to The End of the World, here at the 0.00 kilometer bollard at the end of the world. As a pilgrim, you arrive here full of emotion, and grateful that this part of your journey is over, and you’re safe and sound. Once you begin walking the Camino though, the pilgrim knows his or her journey never ends. I know mine continues. Now, let’s take a look around the end of the world at Cape Finisterre.

0 kilometer bollard Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

 These memorials and dedications are nearby.

plaque memorialFinisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

plaque Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

bust cape Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

 The aforementioned Faro de Fisterra, the famed lighthouse.

lighhouse Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

The fire pit where pilgrims offer up a piece of clothing to be burned as a ritual in the sense that the end of their Camino is part of a new beginning of life. A handwritten note is often included, possibly in memory of a loved one, or to repent one’s sins.

fire pit Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

fire pit cape Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

Adjacent to the fire pit is the famed bronzed boot mounted on stone. It’s also a symbol of the end of this part of your journey. For some pilgrims, the worn boots are sacrificed and burned in the fire pit. Let’s take a closer look…

boot Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

sea boot Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

I had to venture as far as I could past the lighthouse on Cabo Fisterra, remembering that on these steep rocky cliffs, people have lost their lives.

rocks cape Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

sea cape Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

 Just a little more… That’s enough!

rocky end cape Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

  Here’s me at the end of the world.

randall st germain Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

 Looking back at the lighthouse.

lighthouse cape Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

The crucerio at the end of the world. Pilgrims place stones, on this and similar crosses along the Camino de Santiago for various, very personal reasons. They may include a note on paper or cloth, possibly in memory of their journey and the lessons learned. Maybe they’re letting go of the past while looking forward to a new beginning. It could be a special note to themselves—a promise to keep, a memory of a loved one, or a repenting of a sin. Possibly, they’re saying goodbye to someone in their lives while looking forward to greeting someone new. Whatever the reason, it’s personal and meaningful.

cross cruceiro Faro Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

 I love the sign: “May Peace Prevail On Earth.”

peace sign cape Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

A popular activity off Cabo Fisterra is dolphin watching. Sometimes, the pods can be seen from the Cape. This statue symbolizes the importance of these truly amazing and beautiful creatures to the waters off of Cabo Fisterra.

dolphin cape Finisterre fisterra Camino Galicia

 

I hope you enjoyed this post as we made it as far as I would go to the end of the world. You may think our journey is over but we’re not finished yet. On my next post, Visiting The End of the World at Cabo Fisterra, Monte Facho, we’ll continue to the summit of Monte Facho with amazing vistas of the famous beach, Praia do Mar de Fora, the town of Finisterre, the coastline, the cape, and the sea. Please join me as we continue to explore the end of the world.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.




About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.

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9 responses to The Camino Finisterre in Spain, Visiting The End of the World

  1. Very interesting indeed, Randall…the explanation of the name Costa da Morte, the Coast of Death…A highly emotional outlook once reaching this destination, part of your journey is over, and being safe and sound. also the closure of some of the Pilgrims.

    I enjoyed this post immensely and of course the icing, the breathtaking photography. Cheers!

    • Thanks for your kind words. I wrote very briefly about the Costa da Morte. In fact, every coastal town here has their own stories and history going back centuries. Very interesting, although I haven’t delved far.

  2. My friend from Halifax is visiting costa da morta and faro fisterra, I knew nothing about this place. Now I a m even more curious having seen your photos. Hopefully one day I can visit. Thanks for the photos.

    • You’re very welcome, Dena. Even if you don’t have time to walk from Santiago, I would really recommend visiting Finisterre and this part of Galicia. Beautiful area. All the best 🙂

  3. For me Finisterra gave me better feeling than Santiago. I have really enjoyed it.

  4. Greetings!
    You’ve answered part of my query — as to how did all of those weary pilgrims get back to their homes (after visiting Compostella). Is it at all feasible, considering the dangerous coast-line, that some would have sailed home?
    My interest was spurred by the history behind the medieval writer of the Florentine Codex: Fray Bernardino de Sahagun .
    Finisterre’s coastline very much resembles California’s Mendocino Coast (with several lighthouses all the way up to the Canadian and Alaskan coasts.

    • Often, the journey home is not talked about in detail. I believe those in mainland Europe most likely walked or found a means of transportation home, if they could afford it. I’m not sure of the actually sailing between ports in Europe and where a pilgrim was likely to return home from. Every seaside town or village had a port (or dock) of some sort that could have been accessible. You will find that many from England sailed to and from the north port city of Ferrol, which was the start of the Camino Inglés or the English Way. Of course, many pilgrims found homes along the Camino. Sorry, I can’t be more of help. Camino history is fascinating though, and I hope to learn more. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  1. The End of the World | Travelrific® Travel Journal - April 14, 2014

    […] the west coast of Galicia, Spain is Cape Finisterre, the Spanish equivalent of Britain’s Land’s End.  The rocky peninsula was thought to […]

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