Arrival in A Coruna – 11th July 2017
A Coruna is one of those places used as a refuge – a stopping off point for the journey south rather than a destination in it’s own right.
It’s located at the western end of the north Spanish coast, so it allows for a quick trip down to Portugal and onwards to the Med if you are that way inclined. And it offers easy access for the weary sailors who, like us, have just crossed the bay of biscay.
The way into A Corona is attractive enough from seaward. The coast has a rugged handsomeness, and it sports the oldest functioning Roman lighthouse in the world: the Tower of Hercules.
But A Corona doesn’t appear to get much of a mention in the travel guide books, except as a convenient transit point to get to Santiago de Compostella.
The marina we chose (Marina Coruna) is large, has several visitors berths, and offers most of the facilities found in a marina of that size. But that’s it… there isn’t a lot of touristy stuff around the marina. There’s a small shop, a dive school, a restaurant and a cafe. The latter complete with miserable camero, and the usual shower and laundry facilities. Nothing that would merit a mention in Frodors guide – so we also thought there mustn’t be that much to it.
Until we spent time wandering round the town and found it to offer much more than we anticipated.
The old town is a fascinating place to simply wander around. We found the Plaza de Maria Pita a good place to start – partly because we stumbled across it. Here you can relax at one of the many cervecitas or restaurants around the square watching the world buzz by. Then you can head off to one of the many tapas bars for lunch or dinner – reasonably priced after turning the corner from the square – as we did.
Dinner one night was at the fantastic El Escribano tapas bar, where the humour of the staff matched the quality of the food… in a positive way. The deal was that we got the english menu, but we had to order in Spanish. Fair enough. We did exactly that and got what we intended to order.
The thing is this… there was little in the way of ceremony. It was relaxed, great food, wine, and equally great value. So there was no need for pretentious service. And they introduced us to probably too many Galician coffee liqueurs than we could handle.
“Muy bien gracias”
“Well, here’s another.” (or whatever the Spanish equivalent of that is)
We rolled out of that place and plodded back to Lady Jane in a pleasant but judgmentally-impaired state.
On Friday, Geoff and Natasha joined us for most of the day to help us take care of some of life’s essentials… money matters. It was great to spend time with them
Later we dined together at the Artabria restaurant, which is rated the second best restaurant in A Corona on tripadvisor. The crew of Lady Jane agree with that rating – it’s the second best restaurant we visited. And the folks at Artabria really need to pull their socks up, or else they’ll soon have competition from the surly fella at the marina cafe.
To end that night we stumbled across, and into, a bar for a nightcap. The suggestion from the waitress was a gin that is liked by the ladies… and I had one too.
Stroll to the beach and leaving
As our planned departure date was looming, we decided to take another stroll around the town. And we just kept walking. This time to the other side of the peninsular to the beach. As it’s been a long time since being on sand, we thought we’d give it a go. And as true Brits, take a paddle in the water.
How anyone can get in that water without a 5mm wetsuit on is beyond me. It felt as if I had plunged my foot into liquid nitrogen. OK maybe a slight exaggeration, but it is very cold in that sea.
Our walk continued to the Tower of Hercules, from where the reward is a magnificent view of the coastline. It was good to see this lighthouse from both the sea and the land. And it is in especially good condition. It certainly betrays its age… I believe the last restoration took place in the late 18th century, but it looks immaculate even now.
After topping up our diesel tank, we headed off towards Corme.
Each of the places we have been to so far has offered something in the way of a pleasant surprise. A Corona especially so, and we are surprised it isn’t more highly rated as a tourist destination. But maybe the locals want to keep it that way. Who knows? All I can say is that we really liked it.