The Hotel Áncora in Fisterra symbolizes the aesthetic transformations taking place in Fisterra, where gentle winds of color introduce a new palette to the city walls. It embodies change and gives the place a fresh and contemporary expression with its modernized facade.

by Steffen A. Pfeiffer (a.k.a. Investigasteve)

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Steffen, and I am a photojournalist from Germany, drawn by the pilgrimage routes through the East and West to Fisterra, at the end of the world and home to the legendary Dragon Mountain ‘Monte Pindo’. My brushes are languages, my colors are words. From the Atlantic blue world of Fisterra, where the winds of fate and life blow as capriciously as the sea breezes, I begin, among other things, the story of Richy Loker, the color whisperer who …

Fisterra, the canvas of life

…. one day stepped onto to leave his hand-colored mark. It is a place marked by its history, which reaches back to long-forgotten times, partially fallen into the shadows of oblivion. Here, from the very beginning of their presence, people have worked in the region and have wrested much from the climate through hard work and a good dose of creativity.

It is a fishing place, with people of a rich and colorful language, who, however, live together just as taciturnly. Over time, many artists and creative minds, inventors, and creative lovers of humanity have come, acted, and disappeared.

People are as proud of their local and regional poetry as they are of their sons and daughters. And sometimes also of their adopted newcomers. In the past, it was the first fishermen who, using rope and stones, developed sounding leads to measure and map the depth of the sea in the bays around Fisterra and its surroundings. With this, they determined at their time which types of sea creatures and seafood were native and which ones passed through seasonally. There were also precursors to sextants and echo sounders, which we today take for granted as GPS and sonar.

In the present, it is the sons and daughters who make a name for themselves in theater and film with awards, as well as sons who invented table football or are educated philologists who emphasize caring for and preserving the rich language and vocabulary, as well as documenting its development.

Estíbaliz of Ancóra

The needs of the past required people to be creative and reinvent themselves time and again. With the technology and possibilities of current days, for some, this necessity or the awareness of it disappeared.

However, there are always people who think, feel, and live outside these squares, boxes, and drawers. It is the deep longing to preserve and create memories and beauty. This is also true for Estíbaliz Lopez, the owner of the Hotel Ancóra in Fisterra. She praises and promotes artists regardless of their direction if it seems valuable to her, and all that is good and beautiful has value to her. More on this later.

Memories fade and remain

… depending on their value to each individual. And memories are often emotionally tangible, even if one cannot initially grasp the nature of the emotion. Surely you know, as almost everyone does, the feeling you have when you miss someone irreplaceable to you. It is hard to describe this feeling. However, this indescribable often manifests in feelings that make one wish to repeat certain events or see the person again. As I write these lines, I am looking at a personal photograph, about 115 years old, showing my grandfather as a 10-year-old boy during the era of Kaiser Wilhelm in the German Empire. Just to remember this man, who was decisive in the first 21 years of my life. And these feelings can be awakened by words, as well as by the graphic art of painting.

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the passing on of the flame.”
Gustav Mahler, Composer

Ricardo (Richy Loker), the color whisperer and painting composer

… one day, as if emerging from the neon nirvana of the big city lights of Madrid, stepped into the light of life in Fisterra, this pearl on the Atlantic blue coast of the ‘Costa da Morte’. Initially unobtrusive, but then with a rich and colorful explosion of colors on the wall of the primary school and adjacent kindergarten, his art quickly became the talk of the town. People began to talk about the richness of colors. Some of those who met Ricardo at that time had a sparkle in their eyes, like the one you have in moments of memories you’d like to relive.

But this missing is not the missing of people from memory, but simply the situation, the experiences, and the emotions of yesteryear and days past that were had and which today, again, in their indescribable way, flare up.

Yet Richy managed to reach the heart directly with his art. In my role as a narrator, this surprised me. Personally, I met Ricardo at another memorable place, a maritime restaurant at the port of Fisterra, whose facade always reminded me of a pirate ship due to its style of windows and whose name, appropriately, is also ‘O Pirata’. He was busy with his color winds emanating from spray cans, whispering the story of the captain’s cabin on the house wall. And the conversation with him the next day, after he had finished his transformative work, was as rich in words and thoughts as it was sparse in words. However, it gave me the feeling that I can learn and understand how to handle words, just as he does with colors and brushes.

There are more whispers of colors in Fisterra,

that deserve to be personally discovered to interpret their stories and poetry. Because it was these whispers of colors that inspired Estíbaliz and led her to design the façade of the Hotel ‘Ancóra’ as a memory of family, tradition, and emotion, inviting Ricardo to breathe and whisper life into the hotel façade with memories of beloved, past people against the colorful sunset typical of Fisterra.

And it was also Estíbaliz who recognized this value and thus wanted to share it with us. So that these seemingly small memories, once again in the light of the setting sun, leave a lasting impression and remind us all that creativity and education happen outside of school. There is where knowledge resides. But knowledge only becomes tangible through the heart and the power of imagination and creativity, and therefore remains in memory for the long term.

How the story continues, you might be asking now?

Frankly, I have no idea. But you, dear reader, feel invited to come here, to see the pearl called Fisterra for yourself, to understand it, and to leave your story as a chapter here. What I do know, is that already some people have arrived here, at the so-called end of the world, and made it their beginning, just as they started their pilgrimage here.

I wish everyone a ‘Good Journey’ or ‘Buen Camino’ as the greeting on the Camino de Santiago is said. And this regardless of in which direction your Camino of life may lead you. Do whatever you do, but always with your heart. Because it is always the ears that want to hear what the heart has long internalized and knows.

Related Posts