Galicia

Our camp site at Santiago de Compostela was close enough to walk into the centre of the city for the day. The cathedral was impressive from the outside (pity about the scaffolding).

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We got a combined ticket for the roof tour and museum, and as our roof tour wasn’t until 5pm, had plenty of time to look around the museum and then wander round the old town. Photos weren’t allowed in the museum itself, but we got some good views from a balcony overlooking the square.

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The roof tour was interesting. Most of the explanation was about the original medieval cathedral and how it would have been much more of a fortified construction than we see today (hence the stone roof). I hadn’t really thought about it much but it did make sense that if you (supposedly) had the remains of an apostle you had to make sure to hang onto them; others would be more than happy to run off with them in which case you wouldn’t have much of a pilgrimage site any more. A later Baroque-style remodelling added all of the twiddly bits.

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From Santiago de Compostela we moved on to Cabo Finisterre (the “End of the World”) for a night. We had a fantastic spot right on the edge of the cliffs and Mark managed to get his bike out and have a quick run out for an hour before it went dark.

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Just as Mark got back, a French lad arrived in another van, which gave them a good reason to get the beer out and sit on rocks like gnomes watching the impressive sunset.

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Our final stop in Galicia was on a hillside just outside the town of La Guardia (which is a small fishing port right on the border with Portugal). Here we visited Santa Trega, the remains of a Celtic settlement that would’ve housed 3-5 thousand people, reaching it’s height in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. Only a small part of it has been excavated.

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All very interesting, particularly as we’d been watching a three part TV series about the Celts. The round shape of most of the buildings together with the idea that the elite lived in such hillside fortified locations whilst the plebs lived in the valleys below reminded me very much of Kuelap in Chachapoyas, Northern Peru, which I visited last year. The first picture below is the reconstructed house at Santa Trega; the second picture is the reconstructed house at Kuelap. It’s amazing how people on opposite sides of the planet can come up with essentially the same idea!

 

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Next stop Portugal…..

 

 

 

 

 

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