Castello de San Carlos Praia de Rivera
THE PRESENT: A cautionary tale. During my latest visit to Finisterre I u as disturbed to find that I could not order Vieira or Santiaguino. The waters arouiid the coast have become so polluted that there is a government health warning a id an outright ban on the sale of Vieira, the scallop symbol of our pilgrimage.
There is also a ban on the sale of Santiaguino, the unusual crustacean named after the Apostle whose path we have followed to the end of the world. It has been so over fished that it is in danger of becoming extinct. It could reasonably be argued that we have lost the plot and purpose of our lives. We have, collectively, certainly lost intimacy with nature and the spiritual world.
Photo Gallery of Santiago de Compostela Metro Map
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THE FUTURE: Crisis combines the potential for both breakdown and breakthrough, danger and opportunity. The building of the splendid new refugio in the town centre is a bold statement by the town council that Fisterras time has come around again to welcome pilgrims and to offer an alternative to Santiago as the ending of the path. The new millennium marks the dawn of a new era in ihe ancient rite of pilgrimage. The road to Fisterra provides one of the last unspoiled historic pilgrim routes available today. We need be mindful that our travelling is done so as to minimise our impact. The local Council appears to be sensitive to its own role in finding a balance between promoting its unique heritage while also preserving it.
As I write this guideblog. I am aware that it may further the exploitation of this delicate (but harsh) environment. However that is not my intention. I believe that we can cooperate with nature so as to find a balance between our needs and hers. I admit to being part of the problem and my fondness for fresh fish has contributed to dwindling stocks. But I try to tame my appetite and am less of the problem today then in the past. I trust that in the future I may become part of the solution. With this in mind …
RESTAURANTS: Fresh fish and mariscos (shell fish) in particular are amongst the finest you will experience in any of the most fashionable hotels in Europe (indeed Fisterra supplies many of them) however you will experience no pretensions here (beyond the prices). This is simply one of the most down to earth communities imaginable.
Harsh neon lights and the ubiquitous TV are perhaps the greatest drawback to eating out in Fisterra.