Our crossing from Plymouth, England was a comparatively pleasant 3 days with a couple of British guys as crew.
We arrived into La Coruña, or “A Coruña” as the Spanish call it, on a Sunday morning, and attempted to clear in ourselves and the boat, and get Tadd a Schengen entry stamp in his US passport. In most places that would have been a non-starter on the weekend, but we were told by the marina to call the officials.
La Coruña City Marina
But, in spite of many phone calls and a promise by the Policía Nacional to stop by the boat, we saw neither customs nor immigration. And Tadd still had no proof of entry into Spain, and back into Schengen.
So we gave up, went ashore and found ourselves a tapas bar with a view. What else!?
Plaza Maria Pita – enjoying an extremely reasonably priced bottle of Rioja
The Plaza is an important location in Coruña, where many locals come to hang out and grab some favourite tapas and admire the ornate building of the municipal palace. The square is named for the local heroine, María Mayor Fernández de Cámara y Pita, who helped protect the city from the British attack by Sir Francis Drake, even after her soldier husband was struck down and killed in the battle.
Monument to Maria Pita, A Coruña
We never did talk with any officials during our week there, but we had an amazing time getting to know this colourful, historic city full of wonderful flavours and amazing people.
Lots of the buildings in the old town had wonderfully ornate brass door knockers
Playing tourist took us to the Castillo de San Anton, which keeps watch over the entrance to the port. It was built by King Carlos I to protect the city during merchant times, as Coruña traded spices to Europe, and continued to protect their interests through the years.
The Tower of Hercules has served as a lighthouse and landmark at the entrance of La Coruña harbour since the late 1st century A.D. when the Romans built the Farum Brigantium. The Tower, built on a 57 metre high rock, rises a further 55 metres, of which 34 metres correspond to the Roman masonry and 21 meters to the restoration directed by architect Eustaquio Giannini in the 18th century, who augmented the Roman core with two octagonal forms.
Every day we took a different walk through the city… amazing what you can find!
Meeting the locals is always the jewel in the crown of any new destination. Here we were lucky enough to get to take out las hermanas Golepes for a half day sail and show them a view of their city they had never seen before (even though their father was a merchant mariner!)
Galegas Ana & Lucia
In exchange for their sailing trip, we were delighted by their offer to go for an inland adventure to their family’s ancient home in the countryside.
Afterwards we wandered the hills of Bentanzos, “the tortilla Espanola capital of the world!” Unfortunately we had already filled up on a bunch of delicious tapas and wine at a country restaurant.
Our friend from London, Cassie, was also visiting and came along for the ride.
Our original plan of staying just a few days in A Coruña turned into more than a week! We will definitely be back.