Retracing our Sailing Route – A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

Last night we thought we might explore the Old Town which is behind the marina for a beer. We wondered through the narrow cobbled streets passed a couple of quiet places. Then we happened upon a butcher / deli / bar which was buzzing. It was like stepping back in time, all across the selling rafters were hung cured Iberian hams, then across the front was a deli counters with local cheeses and sausage, but also a beer pump and a selection of wines. Kevin was in heaven. We ordered a beer and got some lovely chunky fresh bread with a slice of ham, which I am told was perfection. Next an English speaking couple came in and ordered a mixed platter with cheese, sausage and hams. Well Kevin could resist no more. In fairness this is obviously a local hub, lots of locals were coming and stocking up too. Get it whilst it’s good, has always been Kevin’s motto and this was certainly that.

This morning we were keen to get out on a walk around the headland. When we came by boat, we stayed only 48 hours, as we were on passage and looking to hit the weather window, so we did not see a great deal with re-provisioning (and sleep) to catch up on. We saw the prominent lighthouse as we sailed by, now was our chance to visit. the Torre de Hércules (Tower of Hercules) is the oldest surviving lighthouse known. It has Roman origins, built in the first century but completely renovated in 1791. It is a Spanish National monument and UNESCO World heritage site.

So we walked round the headland to the lighthouse, silhouetted against the brightening morning sky. Below the lighthouse was an enormous compass which charted the Celtic kingdoms – Galicia, Brittany (Breizh) Cornwall (Kernow), Scotland (Alba), Ireland (Éire), Isle of Man (Mannin), Wales (Cymru).

There was then a lovely walk around the headland with numerous sculptures which we and the other local dog walkers enjoyed as the sun came up, just over 4.5 mile walk this morning. Lots of nice grassland for the dogs to explore, the strengthening sun, the crashing Atlantic waves. A glorious start to the day.

Next we were back to more mundane tasks, such as breakfast and making the use of the facilities for showers and laundry etc. It was early afternoon before these were done and we slipped into our very late lunch routine. We had planned a very nice lunch at top rated El De Alberto, hot footing it there for 3.30pm before they closed at 4pm. They were obviously from the reviews a serious restaurant, however, as it was a bit of a walk to the other side of the peninsular and they had been shut up in the van since or walk we brought the dogs with us. Unfortunately, they were not welcome in the restaurant, I think the first place all through France, Germany and Spain that has turned us away with the dogs. However, it was obviously as good restaurant and we probably should have guess if we were not rushing. Ah well, we ended up with a lunch over looking the other marina in town. Not half as good I am sure, but by then the skies had darkened and it actually hailed whilst we were eating, so any port in a storm. Two minutes later it was lovely sunshine.

Late lunch hailstorm

We wondered aimlessly back towards the marina and happened upon a large square with the ornate Palacio Municipal in Maria Pita square. It seems Maria Pita became a hero to A Coruña on 4th May 1589, almost 433 years ago, when the dastardly English namely our hero, my school house captain Sir Francis Drake (known everywhere else as a pirate) laid siege on the old city, having already gained the lower city. Maria was helping her husband, the commander of the defence forces, was enraged and reputed grabbed the spear of the commander carrying the English banner and killed him with it. This was the brother of Sir Francis Drake. This demoralized the English troops, composed of 12.000 men, who began to retreat, but María Pita’s husband was killed by a crossbow bolt that struck him in the head. Nonetheless she is honoured by the naming of the square and the statue within, plus apparently a military pension at the time from Philip II.

We then head back to the marina fed the dogs and went for a drink at the bar here. The wind was blowing on the water and we were reminiscing on our sailing trip and being here nearly 14 years ago and as much as we enjoyed our sailing experience, how much less stressful it is to be in a motorhome!

Rainbow over variable weather at A Coruña

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