Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Trip To The End Of The World

I wrote this about a trip I took over a year ago. I don't think I ever posted it anywhere, or did anything with the piece -- so thought I'd put it up here.


There are some trips I do for the sheer ‘that would just be cool’ sake of doing them. My trip to the end of the world was one of them.

Yes, there is a place called the ‘end of the world’ or Finisterre. Located on the western most tip of Spain, it’s part of the Galician province. Apart from pilgrims who land-up there to throw their boots into the sea after doing the ‘Camino de Santiago’, it’s a secret well kept.

As you can imagine, with the name like ‘the end of the world’, the place hypes itself. Identified as the end of the world in medieval times before Columbus came and changed that, it’s hard not to still consider it just that.

So while pilgrims with worn out feet arrived to Finisterre after days of walking, I got off the bus from A Coruña, munching a Snicker.

Arriving at 2:00pm, I disembarked at the port of what seemed like an unexciting, ugly, village. A few houses, a port, lots of construction and tourists, were all I could see. Not allowing that to disappoint me, I immediately began to walk towards the lighthouse at the tip of Finisterre.

The walk is about an hour from the port; it’s along a highway which runs on the ‘Coast of Death’. The walk is pleasant with a spectacular view. You will pass a church, a cemetery where the graves look like wardrobes facing the sea, and a fresh water source where you can stop for a drink. My excitement soared when I saw the lighthouse approaching. This was it; I would be at the historic ‘end of the world’ in less than a few minutes.

And there I was.

But it was dead. The lighthouse was ugly. The view was fine, but nothing I hadn’t seen on the way there. And there was a steel boot. Fixed on a stone overlooking the coast, it represented the pilgrim’s shoe that is thrown over sea so that its owner can be redeemed of his sins.

I sat there for 5-minutes to ponder. Not inspired, all I could think about was the elaborate 6-type recycling system they had put at the ‘end of the world’.

The next bus was in an hour, I decided to catch it back to A Coruña where I would go to the captivating Torres de Hercules for a walk and an ice-cream.

On a concluding note: go to Finisterre only if you want to say that you have been ‘to the end of the world’, otherwise, don’t bother.


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