Thursday, 24 December 2009

Pilgrims' Progress

written 24th December 2009

So today is the day we finish our impromptu pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, fittingly in time for christmas eve midnight mass - if there is such a thing.

We had planned an early lighthouse and more coast road - according to LP, the lush countryside and gorgeous coast between A Coruna and Santiago is one of the highlights of the whole of spain, this is the Europe on a Shoestring cheap book after all ;) - but the rain was lashing down on poor Jules when we woke up and it was not at all a nice day for a nice coast drive, or really for that matter, to go up a lighthouse.  We decided that having got this far, we might as well investigate the lighthouse anyway, and having battled our way up the sloping, windswept approach from the carpark we were pleasantly surprised to find it open and a whole exhibition about the history, including viewing all the archeology and excavations around the base, under a nice warm roof.  There was even a good english leaflet and it was a lot cheaper than we thought - brilliant!

It turns out that there has been a lighthouse/defensive tower on that spot since 1AD and it was a complex, well constructed building with an inner tower, around which an access ramp spiraled up the outside and the whole structure was surrounded by a further outer wall.  Over the millenia, the tower has fallen into disuse, been a watchtower and prison, been plundered for stones, been added to, adapted and finally restored in 1788-90 when after several centuries of not being a lighthouse, it was reclad (around the original inner tower), had an inner staircase installed and was made taller with a neo-classical spire in place of the original roman cupola.

At the top it was cold, grey, wet and windy so we didn't stay long :)

Deciding against the coast road in this weather, we set off directly to Santiago instead where we are now trying to find an open restaurant before midnight mass

Feliz Navidad y Felicias Festivas!


  1. Merry Christmas,will read through the rest later

  2. Many Happy Returns and all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

    Looking forward to following that coast on my next ramble.

    All good news following your gas problems.

    Bill W

  3. Just noticed the festive bear on the picture - great scene.

    Bill W