031 - Faro Silleiro - Spain/Galicia

When I was living in Spain, I would take my bicycle for a ride a few times per week, from home, all the way south to the windmill (030). I would not always reach the windmill because I would stop far too many times, for far too long, just to admire the beauty that is the Atlantic coast. Read this article to see the real Darth Vader helmet and much more. Let’s discover! 



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031.1 Now why would you go from Baiona to the lighthouse? Well… it is close, easy to reach on foot, really nice and quiet, and you can see the sunset twice. More on that later.

031.2 You will not be the only one(s) walking from Baiona to the Lighthouse. In fact many locals, tourists and parents, with their children, do the same trip, especially in weekends or on festive days. Here is my trusted bicycle that I used rain or shine to do this trip every week.

 031.3 As you pedal or walk, (or even skate, because the road is perfect for that) you really find yourself close to the ocean. In some areas, you can feel the water droplets on your cheeks. The air is just perfect and it fills you with joy and happy thoughts. The bicycle lane starts in Vigo and will continue along the coast, past Baiona and past even the Windmill (030). In some portions of the road/track there so few people coming and going that you don’t have to always look just forward, you can also enjoy the scenery to the right or to the left. Most serious bikers, won’t use the dedicated track and will actually pedal on the car lane.

 031.4 Some people come by car and enjoy a picnic in the dedicated areas, talking, playing or just watching the spectacular show given by the sun, the clouds, and the ocean.

031.5 We can easily see Illas Cies from the road and many times I would imagine with eyes wide open, that I am in a Jurassic movie and dinosaurs are on that isolated place, ready to show their gigantic silhouette.

031.6 However the only gigantic silhouette can be either the daily cargo ship (from Vigo car factory) or the even bigger cruise ships. Before getting to Spain/Galicia, I never saw these huge boats live and up close. They are really impressive, much bigger than they seem to be on the internet/tv.

031.7 From Baiona to the Faro Silleiro, there is this fishing boat sitting like that in one of the picnic areas. Not that impressive when compared with the monolithic cruise ships :). By the way, notice how there is no graffiti on this one? More on that later.

031.8 I went a few times to the lighthouse on stormy days. It is a bit scary in some places, plus I was alone on my bike (many come by car in these moments). Nevertheless I did enjoy seeing these waves crashing into the rocks. If you leave near a coast, perhaps this is not that interesting… I was born and lived 90% (or more) of my life far from sea/ocean so for me this is beautiful, interesting and something I did not like to miss seeing, not even one day. The waves are not really big, on camera I could zoom in and crop so they look more interesting or scarry. Big waves? World record high waves? See article: 011 - Nazare - PT.

031.9 And if there is not storm, even watching the stones can be interesting. What shape do you see here? I see a dog, sleeping.

031.10 Or how about here? Look to the center, doesn’t it look just like the helmet of Darth Vader from the Star Wars movies? It’s not just the similar shape but even the proportions are good and the dark colour also.

031.11 Away from the shore, there is the Silleiro Mountain with the Faro de Silleiro (Baiona Lighthouse) at roughly halfway distance on the mountain. To the right, close to the base, it is a hotel that many who come in visit for Vigo or Baiona, will use to check in.

031.12 These man made structures are in fact Batteria J4 - built in the 1940s, and they have underground galleries and a horrible history (read the legend at the end of the article).

031.13 From the lighthouse there is more than one way to reach those military structures and like I said before, if you are in a car (or you can pedal fast) you can see the sunset, at ocean level, and then climb fast the mountain and see it again! We did that, and it works for real. It is actually fun!

031.14 Getting closer to Batteria J4, while it is not allowed to enter (obviously) many do get in, and leave their … traces. It is true that many young people died here, and many young people still die around the world because of much older (“wiser”) people… so at my age I find it a bit normal for the younger to not like these structures. Again, this is filled with graffiti, boat is not.

031.15 I think this is the base camp and it does not look too great to be honest. We did not get closer than this, and I also saw some images (more recent) where there is a fence. I was hoping to see some more artillery stuff, but no such thing.

031.16 This is the main entrance to the base camp and I love how the gate does not need a wall, because nature itself is the wall. I wonder just how a big truck could fit through that opening though…

031.17 While the military bunkers/batterie are interesting, opposite to them was the real gem.

031.18 Just like at A Guarda, here also we can admire the beautiful sunset and a clear view over the ocean. Many couples come here to watch the sunset (it can be a bit too late during summer).

031.19 Not to mention how beautiful and moving is the sight of the sun setting far in the horizon. The colours are “real” and no artificial manipulation on this website. It is true that each camera has a specific sensor, and each software has a way to “translate” the raw image, however here on this website we try hard to reproduce natural look, as we remember it. And it is harder to do that with a sunset, or at least I remember it to be more powerful and more dynamic in colours than this.

031.20 And while on one side the sun is setting, on the other side (mountain) the moon is rising. How cool is this!

031.21 One of those superb sunsets and bellow me is the used-water treatment station for Baiona region (and I think also Oia). Yes, you can really smell it on some days.

031.22 This lighthouse is from the year 1924 and it is replacing another one, that is much closer to the shores.

031.23 Yup this is all that remains of the old lighthouse. Stony building with covered windows, no tower, a really bad smell and a ton of vandalism. Many come here (I had to wait for the car to get out of sight), but just like us, people come, look, and don’t take photo… is that ugly :)) I say this because I wish they would restore it, not in working state, but in looking alike state.

 031.24 I took this image from link, and posted it here so that you can see how the old (initial) lighthouse used to look like. The new one is much more beautiful, better placed (higher altitude), and more picturesque. Plus the new lighthouse is covered in white and red ceramic tiles, to better reflect light, and thus be more visible.
031.25 Not long after the sun goes down, we can start seeing the mirrors rotate and the light rays traveling on the shore and then vanish into the ocean. The lighthouse is used not just by those who navigate the ocean, but also by those who navigate the sky. 

031.26 Many times me and my wife would go somewhere to discover something new, and forget stuff like… tripod. Here we are pushing the good old Canon 80D with the kit lens at f4, probably 5 even.

031.27 On another day, (in fact other year all together) we took our widest lenses and spent the better part of 11PM to 12AM looking and taking pictures of the Milky Way. It actually looks better in reality, however we did not see it as great or well defined as it is represented on apps, books or even other photos. We went out “hunting” for the Milky Way quite a few times and this time, we chose to make pictures not just of the stars, but also of the beautiful lighthouse.

031.28 Silleiro mountain and the beautiful lighthouse. From here we took the picture of the Milky Way. Also behind me it is the old lighthouse with all it’s graffiti.

031.29 Our singing (cricket) visitor is resting on the pavement. Remember how I said that sometimes the bike lane is so empty that you can easily look away? Well this cricket was standing just like that and I got lucky seeing him from quite a few meters away (it is quite big and in contrast). I made a few photos until a car came and he jumped away. He was shy and quiet :)

031.30 And it is time to move away from the Faro de Silleiro, and get to one of the most beautiful Galician costal town - Baiona.

Should you come to Faro de Silleiro from far away? No… however, like mentioned before, we think that A Guarda and Baiona do deserve a visit, if you love Celtic culture and want to see Castros (old ruins) and Petroglyphs (see next article).

So, if you do come for these unique human historical places, then one afternoon, just before the restaurants open, you should take a walk along the coast. Go as far as you wish, and enjoy the view!

Dolphins can be spotted on some days, however in my 1 year stay, I saw them once, just once… I went in the morning, midday, afternoon and even nighttime and always carrying the camera. That one time I saw the dolphins, was the first time I rode the bike, after many many years of break. So I did not pack the camera, nor the phone actually. I knew I will fall at some point. Well, I did not fall but I did see 3 or 4 dolphins swimming towards Vigo.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and found it useful.

Thank you and see you in the next one!





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