WE DID IT! Made it to Santiago. Did all the requisite pilgrim things: got our compostelas, attended the pilgrim’s mass, saw the swinging butafumeira, walked through the crypt, embraced the statue, bought t-shirts. Now we are off to see the ends of the earth.
Finisterre, aka Fisterra (many Spanish towns have two names, one in Spanish, one in the local dialect- makes trip planning a little complicated) was named by the Romans who thought that this was as far west as they could go. Turns out that the actual westernmost point of mainland Spain is just a little farther north at a place called Cape Touriñan.
The westernmost point in mainland Europe is farther south near Sintra in Portugal.
We were planning to go there next, but the logistics proved daunting. It seems that Portugal’s railroads and Spain’s railroads don’t play well together. The main rails only connect at a couple of places in northern Portugal, and not at all in southern Portugal. Reliable information about whether or not there are smaller regional rail systems that will allow us to go where we would want to go was difficult to come by. So we decided not to go to Sintra, and head south to Malaga instead. Malaga lies on the Mediterranean on the Costa Del Sol and sounds like a great place to enjoy a little R and R.