We arrive to Santiago de Compostela, pilgrimage destination of hundreds of people that arrive here every day, after walking hundreds of kilometres on their warn out boots, following the steps of Saint James. Somehow for us is easier, since we arrive here on board of the comfort of Polaris, without undergoing the miles of physical sacrifice. We are pilgrims of thought, that travel across latitudes and longitudes in a journey of exploration, contemplation and self discovery.
Santiago is a smaller city than I have imagined, and it has a certain special charm.
The cathedral is rather impressive from all angles. Wether you see it from near. Or you look at it from far. We are just a bit disappointed because the interior is currently a constriction site, but we accept that renovations need to take place, so we move on, without dragging in our frustration.
The rest of our time in Galicia we spend next to the sea. This region has kilometres of rugged coast to hike and admire and cute little fishing harbours that host the fishing boats that patiently labour the sea. We can also give report of some pretty amazing sea food. I can actually not remember sweeter and tastier little scallops than the ones we ate in Cambados and the octopus was pretty amazing too. Not to forget that we washed it down with some delicious Albariño wine from the region.
Another feature in abundance in the region are lighthouses that give light to the sailors on stormy evenings.
We wait for the sunset next to the lighthouse in Fisterra cape, which used to be marked as the westernmost point in Spain, even if in reality this honour goes to Touriñan cape, which is a whole 14 more minutes to the West.
Another pretty lighthouse is the one at Vilan Cape, anchored in a beautiful coast and surrounded by blossoming nature.
Impressive and solid is the Tower of Hercules, an ancient lighthouse, that was the only lighthouse built by the Romans back in the 1st century, making it the oldest in the world, and currently protecting the city of A Coruña.
Going land inwards we find the magic landscape of Las Medulas, an ancient gold mining site near the town of Ponferrrada. This was the most important gold mine in the Roman Empire and the landscape was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This spectacular landscape was the result of wrecking the mountains with large quantities of water.
From there we head to the pleasant town of Leon, that hosts a nice cathedral, placid pedestrian streets, a picturesque square with the market, an unlikely Gaudi house and lots of little bars and restaurant where one can eat lots of delicious tapas and drink the good local Bierzo wines.
Burgos is another provincial city which has a monumental old town.
Including a big gothic cathedral, which is also a World Heritage Site. And oh! It´s unexpectedly cold in the city!