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Cape Finisterre’s mythical pull

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Funny, but i have never been drawn to walk there from SDC after Camino.
I've never felt any mystical pull towards Finisterre but curiosity took me there in November as part of a longer walk: San Andres de Teixido, Camino Ingles, Santiago, Muxia and finally Finisterre. I did not feel anything particularly magical about it but certainly beautiful in parts - Muxia especially - and I am glad to have walked that way at least once.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Ach. My journey is, always, to the end of the world and the sundering seas. Others' journeys are of no concern of mine, as I trust mine are not of theirs. But if I could get to meet the producer of that particular bit of BBC folk history I would love to take the opportunity to shake them warmly by the throat. Base your research on more than one source.

Finis Terre was a significant destination to the Romans, and particularly the Mithracists, but I suspect the Beaker Folk weren't to bothered by a militaristic sect that post-dated them by a good 1500 years. Mind you, that lighthouse hasn't been there long and the ban on burning your socks is definitely a modern invention.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Do it Dave. I felt it was different from the rest of the CF. There is the problem though of which place to visit last; Muxia or Finisterre.
Jill and I have talked about doing a day trip to Muxia after we finish the Camino Ingles. It would be fun to see, I just would rather take a bus :)
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Jill and I have talked about doing a day trip to Muxia after we finish the Camino Ingles. It would be fun to see, I just would rather take a bus :)
I took a bus from Santiago to Muxia, stayed the night, then walked 16k to Lires on the coast, spent one night, then walked another 16k to Finesterre, stayed a night, then a bus back to Santiago. So enjoyable I've done it this way twice!
 

FLEUR

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012 - 2016
After the walk to reach Santiago the next few days walking to Finisterre is peaceful, less crowded and provides time to reflect. To reach the end of the earth is a good achievement.
Agree, the recent myths and folklore were not the pull for me.
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: St-Jean-PdP - Santiago dC - Muxía - Fisterra (Aug 2017 and March/April 2018)
I felt last year that my continuation from Santiago to Muxía and onward to The End of the Earth was logical, fulfilling, and gave closure to the whole experience. It was enotionally, physically, and especially spiritually, an entirely appropriate conclusion and my prilgrimage would have been incomplete without it
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
After my third arrival into Santiago, I decided I should contine to the coast. Meh. Pleasant enough, but not worth the hype. Muxia is very nice, way nicer than Finesterre; but didn't need to walk to either.

I did enjoy the coast at Lines, while all the others rushed along the inland trail.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
My first camino I was walking to Finisterre, Santiago is just a place on the way. After my seventh camino I still haven't been into the cathedral. Often I don't even stop in Santiago, I just walk through. Finisterre, The End of The World means much more to me.

We are all different, each to their own.
Blessings to all
Davey
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
Well, you could always get the bus there & walk back :)
I could, but I'm not attracted to walking either there OR back. It just has no appeal or draw to me.

For all those that are drawn to walk it, I don't begrudge that in any way. I can intellectually understand one being attracted to doing that walk. It's sorta like one's preference for milk chocolate or dark chocolate. While some adore dark chocolate, it is 'meh' to me. Give me milk chocolate and I really can enjoy eating it. :)
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
The plan, as it stands, is for my wife to meet me in front of The Cathedral the day I walk-in into SdC, spend a day or 2 exploring SdC together and then her joining me on a much 'leisured' 4-day walk to Finisterre (I'll even be a nice husband and allow her to pick hotels :))
... I know it is still a long way away but I SO MUCH am looking forward to it all....🙏🙃
 

celinehenriette

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Zwolle - Rome 2013
Jacobsweg Austria 2018
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Portugues 2018
Finisterre 2018
Finisterre was the best ending to a year of over 2200 km of walking trails and caminos. The day I walked on from Santiago de Compostela I started walking in the dark and ended when it got dark again about 60 km later. What a day that was! When I arrived in Finisterre the next day it really felt like a proper ending to a great year. I would recommend this to anyone!
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
I could, but I'm not attracted to walking either there OR back. It just has no appeal or draw to me.

For all those that are drawn to walk it, I don't begrudge that in any way. I can intellectually understand one being attracted to doing that walk. It's sorta like one's preference for milk chocolate or dark chocolate. While some adore dark chocolate, it is 'meh' to me. Give me milk chocolate and I really can enjoy eating it. :)
I disagree with you about Finisterre

I REALLY agree with you about chocolate!

Wave to me as you pass on the bus, I'll get us a beer in when I get there!

I am glad we are all different, the world would be really boring otherwise!

Davey
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
I disagree with you about Finisterre

I REALLY agree with you about chocolate!

Wave to me as you pass on the bus, I'll get us a beer in when I get there!

I am glad we are all different, the world would be really boring otherwise!

Davey
I'll do that :)

I do not disagree that others want to walk to Finisterre or Muxia, or that they might find value in doing so. I just don't share in that desire. :)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Jill and I have talked about doing a day trip to Muxia after we finish the Camino Ingles. It would be fun to see, I just would rather take a bus :)
I did that a few years back just to say "we did it". IIRC the bus from SdC leaves at about 9:30, is supposed to take about 80 minutes and returns sometime after 14:00.
You get to spend a good few hours in Muxia!
The journey back was interesting - we went off route twice to pick up a couple of elderly ladies in the middle of nowhere. Es España, ¿verdad?
 

peterbells

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
In the film The Way, were the ashes put in the sea at Finisterre or Muxia? Have not been able to find answer.
Thanks
 

thistleamy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese (2019)
I took a bus from Santiago to Muxia, stayed the night, then walked 16k to Lires on the coast, spent one night, then walked another 16k to Finesterre, stayed a night, then a bus back to Santiago. So enjoyable I've done it this way twice!
Is it easy to find the bus to Muxia and back? I leave in three weeks for the CP and am definitely adding 4 days of walking out to Finisterre and Muxia - but your experience sounds really nice. Thank you in advance.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
In the film The Way, were the ashes put in the sea at Finisterre or Muxia? Have not been able to find answer.
Thanks
that is in Muxia. You may recall the Gypsy guy (Ishmael?) tells Marting to go to Muxia and he actually brings it up to the rest of the gang before they get to SdC.
The Muxia church (the one that unfortunately burned down) can be seen when they get to the coast.

and here is wikipedia:
After the group arrives at Santiago de Compostela, Tom is accompanied by the other three members to Muxía. He scatters the remainder of Daniel's ashes at the sea there.
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Is it easy to find the bus to Muxia and back? I leave in three weeks for the CP and am definitely adding 4 days of walking out to Finisterre and Muxia - but your experience sounds really nice. Thank you in advance.
Well, I've only walked from Muxia to Finesterre. I've heard there are fewer buses that go from Muxia back to Santiago, but I'm sure it can be done!
 

peterbells

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
that is in Muxia. You may recall the Gypsy guy (Ishmael?) tells Marting to go to Muxia and he actually brings it up to the rest of the gang before they get to SdC.
The Muxia church (the one that unfortunately burned down) can be seen when they get to the coast.

and here is wikipedia:
After the group arrives at Santiago de Compostela, Tom is accompanied by the other three members to Muxía. He scatters the remainder of Daniel's ashes at the sea there.
Thank you, appreciated.
Peter
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Mythical not mystical ;)

At least that's in the title of the thread...
They sound similar to me and neither are factual in nature and I am neither of those things anyway! But you are clever to have noticed my error! Good one!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
They sound similar to me and neither are factual in nature and I am neither of those things anyway! But you are clever to have noticed my error! Good one!
Ah, just semantics.
I guess myths can become mystical after all ;)
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
My first camino I was walking to Finisterre, Santiago is just a place on the way. After my seventh camino I still haven't been into the cathedral. Often I don't even stop in Santiago, I just walk through. Finisterre, The End of The World means much more to me.

We are all different, each to their own.
Blessings to all
Davey
I totally agree, all along the way these last 3 weeks it is the nature that has connected me with my God/Goddess, the churches and cathedrals have just been an indicator that I have arrived at distance travelled as evidenced by the Brierley book. As a Druid the culmination of my pilgrimage will be the liminal space of land sea and sky found at the end of the trip in either muxia or Finisterre. I have been unable to appreciate the church ever since I visited the Vatican on a day trip to Rome back in 1999.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
I totally agree, all along the way these last 3 weeks it is the nature that has connected me with my God/Goddess, the churches and cathedrals have just been an indicator that I have arrived at distance travelled as evidenced by the Brierley book. As a Druid the culmination of my pilgrimage will be the liminal space of land sea and sky found at the end of the trip in either muxia or Finisterre. I have been unable to appreciate the church ever since I visited the Vatican on a day trip to Rome back in 1999.
Blessed be Telboyo!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
It was at this same spot that the conquering Romans first set eyes on a simple stone temple built by the Gallaeci to honour the sun – the Ara Solis – consisting of four granite columns and a slender dome above, as described by Galician historian Benito Vicetto. Sadly, nothing remains today of the Ara Solis, which is believed to have been a place of pagan sun worship. For the Romans, the Ara Solis, situated at what they considered the end of the known world and facing the setting sun each evening, must have been a captivating and enigmatic sight.
The writer makes it sound as if all this is a fact. Benito Vicetto wrote a history of Galicia in 1865 so he's definitely never seen an Ara Solis on Cape Finisterre. Much earlier, neither Pliny nor Ptolemy who both wrote about Spain's geography offered a precise location for such a sun temple or sun altar. It is also far from certain that local (non-Roman) tribes built it as it is often also attributed to the Phoenicians from North Africa. But nobody knows where it was if it did indeed exist.

Although Finisterre comes from the Latin word for end of the world, that's not what the Romans called the cape. The Latin name was used in the Middle Ages.

See summary in: The Tourism Imaginary and Pilgrimages to the Edges of the World, parts of which can be read online for free. There are also some thoughts about the reasons why Galician writers of the 19th and 20th century used Cape Finisterre as a symbol for mythification and idealisation.

Sunsets along the whole length of the Atlantic coast - but also sunsets in a few other places - are fantastic to watch. Would we be quite as enthralled by the one on Cape Finisterre if we hadn't seen the movie and read the guidebooks?
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Since 1500, this stretch of coastline, forebodingly known to locals as Costa da Morte, or Coast of Death [...]
A bit more myth busting 🤓:

Quote: It seems that the name Coast of Death was popularized by the press in the provincial capital Coruña. At the beginning of the 20th century, after a telegraph station was installed, this name came to be used as a headline for news about the many shipwrecks in the area. The name and its translation in Galician 'Costa da Morte' have been progressively accepted by the local population.

A fairly recent article in La Voz de Galicia - The name of the Costa da Morte has been constructed as a romantic myth - is based on a USC study and points the finger to travellers, romantic writers and, above all, the nineteenth-century press of France and England [who] created the name Costa da Morte as a myth that reflects a contemptuous view of the center towards the periphery.
 

leichecerca

Can’t stay away
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Finisterre: May 2018
Camino Frances: April-May 2018
Camino Frances: April-May 2017
I walked to Fisterra not because of a mythical or mystical pull (at least, no more than the normal baseline pull of doing the Camino in the first place). For me walking to the End of the Earth was wonderful because: (a) I was heartbroken that my Camino was “officially“ over in Santiago. I didn’t want it to end, so the extra 3 days were a lovely way to prepare myself to let go of the Camino; (b) I liked the symmetry and symbolism of walking every step across Spain, end-to-end, from the French border in SJPdP all the way to the Atlantic; (c) The Galician scenery & mountain vistas are spectacular. After weeks of walking the Francés and seeing only land, that first glimpse of the sea peeking through the forest trees was absolutely breathtaking; and (d) It was less busy than the rest of the Camino — a welcome respite after the crowded Sarria-to-Santiago leg. I recommend this section to anyone, but not for any other reason than because if you love walking in Spain, it’s a great way to extend your visit and cap off your Camino experience.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
My first camino I was walking to Finisterre, Santiago is just a place on the way. After my seventh camino I still haven't been into the cathedral. Often I don't even stop in Santiago, I just walk through. Finisterre, The End of The World means much more to me.
My goal for my first Camino was to walk all the way across Spain - from the French border to the sea. I didn't enter the cathedral for my first two Caminos. Last year I was convinced to take the Portico de Gloria tour, so I guess that I've broken that streak. :) I'd be interested in seeing the rest of the cathedral just to see the art and architecture, but I'm not interested in waiting in line to do so.
In the film The Way, were the ashes put in the sea at Finisterre or Muxia? Have not been able to find answer.
Please don't follow the example from the movie and burn your things at either Finisterre or Muxia !

https://www.compostela24horas.com/texto-diario/mostrar/1186737/peregrino-quema-ropa-finsterra-provoca-incendio
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
Please don't follow the example from the movie and burn your things at either Finisterre or Muxia !
While completely 15000000% agree with you, the ashes the OP alludes to were the ashes of the son that Tom carried throughout the whole Camino. Thankfully the movie did NOT show anyone doing the "burning the Pilgrim clothes" ritual ....
I can only imagine the spike of the deed! I somewhat know how this works... Living and breathing American Civil War for 13 years it was astounding on meeting the people along the way that were totally convinced of something because they saw it in the movie Gettysburg (fondly known as DA Movie :p).
To them - if it was in DA Movie, it must be TRUE!
:rolleyes:Y
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
I have been unable to appreciate the church ever since I visited the Vatican on a day trip to Rome back in 1999.
May I respectfully inquire what exactly transpired during that visit that caused these feelings?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
While completely 15000000% agree with you, the ashes the OP alludes to were the ashes of the son that Tom carried throughout the whole Camino. Thankfully the movie did NOT show anyone doing the "burning the Pilgrim clothes" ritual ....
I can only imagine the spike of the deed! I somewhat know how this works... Living and breathing American Civil War for 13 years it was astounding on meeting the people along the way that were totally convinced of something because they saw it in the movie Gettysburg (fondly known as DA Movie:p).
To them - if it was in DA Movie, it must be TRUE!
:rolleyes:Y
You're right. I can't believe that I totally forgot that he was carrying his son's ashes!😳
 

firstshirt

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
November (2018)
My first camino I was walking to Finisterre, Santiago is just a place on the way. After my seventh camino I still haven't been into the cathedral. Often I don't even stop in Santiago, I just walk through. Finisterre, The End of The World means much more to me.

We are all different, each to their own.
Blessings to all
Davey
Ah, a kindred spirit lol. I don't have your list of Caminos under my belt---yet, but I also couldn't get out of Santiago quick enough. For me it was (and continues to be) the journey, not the destination.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
Ah, a kindred spirit lol. I don't have your list of Caminos under my belt---yet, but I also couldn't get out of Santiago quick enough. For me it was (and continues to be) the journey, not the destination.
I think you nailed it "the journey, not the destination". I think someone who walks part of 'The Way' in Poland or wherever will get the same out of it that someone who walks St. jean to 'wherever'.

And if maybe there is no historical truth to the pre-christian walk to Finisterre, (I disagree) I really have to question the historical truth of the cult of St. James. But truth or not, it really does not matter. Everyone walks for their reasons. The best thing is I meet all of you with our different reasons and we learn from each other! THAT is the magic of the Way for me.

Love and blessings
Davey
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
And if maybe there is no historical truth to the pre-christian walk to Finisterre, (I disagree) I really have to question the historical truth of the cult of St. James.
Not quite so but I know what you mean :).

The cult of St. James and pilgrimages were huge at one point in time - bigger and more widely spread than just Spain and the Camino Frances. Witness the churches, the bridges, the hospitals/inns for the poor and for pilgrims, the written reports from travellers, the PR aka as legends, the tremendous amount of religious art ... material facts that we can still see and touch today. Doesn‘t matter what the basis for it was, what the „factual truth“ was that started it or whether it was a made up story, it developed into something big - a bit in a similar way to Christianity actually - and shaped society and contributed to who we are now.

That‘s a major reason why Spanish and French scholars took an interest in more recent times, why the early camino associations were formed, why the Camino Frances was revived which then led, in the wake of its contemporary success, to efforts to create or recreate other ways. It’s not the underlying legend that matters but what the legend has produced in real terms.

That all this is of little to no interest for many who walk today is a different story and development.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
In a way - it is quite sad :(
Not really, I now think. The Camino Frances has become such a runaway success because it is a bit of a chameleon: it offers different things to different people, all of them enjoying their experiences and coexisting in the same time and space more or less peacefully. 😊
 

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