La Coruna and on route to Ria Vigo 43:23.4N 008:46.7W
Alan Franklin/Lynne Gane
Fri 1 Aug 2014 13:37
|Dear Family and Friends,|
Having spent another, yes folks another lazy day, yesterday finally taking a long walk around the old town and on the sea promenade around the bay of La Coruna to return to Jenny for a quiet supper and another wrestle with the comms. Unfortunately some diary entries were written, sent and lost, so apologies for the silence. The WiFi signal in the marina was hopeless. We have also spent some considerable time getting to grips with new photo editing and compression software. I now have a selection of photos to share although I am not sure I can share them all at once.
La Coruna is a large natural harbour with the town spread over peninsulas of land. Our first sighting of the town is dominated by the Torre de Hercules lighthouse on the leading headland, giving way to St Anton’s fort on another nearer the centre, now seeming quite a low building against a crowded front of offices and apartments. The water front at La Coruna is being transformed through new development and I am sure will be wonderful when finished, The town is emerging from difficult economic times, it is a busy port with an industrial zone clustered around the far end of the harbour.
Our walk around the old town gave us glimpses of the past but much has been lost to apartment blocks, seemingly this is where the majority of people live in this city. For the second time this year I have been impressed with both the cleanliness and care taken around public facilities in Spain. Our long walk took us to the light house and around into another bay, defending castle walls being superseded by bastions of tall apartments, you could not call them attractive but the view was wonderful.
Closer to the port, beyond the town hall piazza, named after Maria Pita a local heroine, and following narrow lanes we found the Mercado De Augustin, part supermarket part local stalls on the floor above. Local fish stalls jostled with butchers, (dried salted pigs trotters and pigs head looked like local delicacies), greengrocers, bakers and cheese shops and more surprisingly singing attendants. Bread can be purchased by the piece of loaf as can other local dishes. We tried a shortcrust pastry ‘pie with caramelised onion and raisin filling and something akin to a shortcrust almond tart. The membrillo (quince jelly sold as a slice and quite solid,) sorry if I have misspelt that, was wonderful with the local creamy cheese. On our first night we stumbled upon the wine and tapas area, had a wonderful wine from the local Galicia region and tapas. The anchovies marinated in vinegar and oil and served with a mature hard cheese were delicious, Serrano ham & foie gras, and a vegetable melted cheese tower were perfect!
The waters in the marina were very clear, you could see many fish so it is unsurprising that the walls close to our pontoon were often lined with fishermen. I wouldn’t have chosen to eat fish from the marina waters but they were there each evening past midnight, a quiet camaraderie over a can of beer. Perhaps for the elderly and dishevelled who lined the walls this is the underbelly of the economic times.
There is a corner of La Coruna forever English as Sir John Moore commander of British forces was killed following the battle of La Coruna with Napoleonic forces during the peninsula war. His request to be buried where he fell was honoured and his tomb rests in San Carlos gardens overlooking the old town and fort, where the british forces were able to retreat by sea due to his heroic leadership.
Leaving the port this morning we are heading south to Ria Vigo to join our OCC rally on Monday. It should take around a day or so to get there, the wind is on the nose so we are motoring at present. The air is quite chilly as the coast is wrapped in a grey sea mist. We can make out a rocky and hilly coastline with towns and villages….
Hopefully I will not have typed this in vein and it will be posted.