Santiago de Compostela — August 22, 2017

Tomorrow I leave for Madrid. Today I am taking a group bus tour to Finisterre whose name means End of the Earth. At one time, many Europeans believed that it was exactly that, and it was common for Pilgrims to Santiago to continue to Finisterre after reaching Santiago and to bring back a clam shell to prove that they had reached the Atlantic. The clam shell (almost always a fake one these days) is still the symbol of the Camino.

I don’t normally take group tours, and if I had been thinking, I would have ridden my bike to Finisterre after reaching Santiago. This way, I will at least see it as well as Muxía, the place on the Atlantic where the pilgrims in the movie The Way finished their pilgrimage.

Yesterday I walked around Santiago and snapped a few photos. The following is a traditional Spanish drinking fountain. You find them in many towns and cities as well as along the Camino. Yes, the water is advertised as potable, and I saw a number of people drink it without falling over dead, so that may be true. I have drunk from many of these fountains during my three Caminos and many additional trips to Spain and am still here to tell the tale.

The following  photo shows the side of the Cathedral that is being restored. The stones of the steeples above the scaffolding look new, so I assume they have been recently sandblasted to remove centuries of grime.

Below is a shot of the cathedral’s main entrance, which is now closed off. it may be closed merely due to restoration work, but I suspect the real a more important reason is to force visitors to enter through two smaller doors where it is easier to charge admission.

I see this little tourist trains in every Spanish tourist city that I visit. This one was jammed full of people who did not get much of a chance to view the cathedral. The train pulled up to it, made a U-turn, and chugged off to the next attraction.

I hope to take some more interesting pictures today on my trip to the End of the Earth — if I don’t fall off that is, and if I don’t forget to take my camera.