La Torre de Hércules, Roman lighthouse, and Statue of Breogán, a Celtic King
When I talk about home in Spain, I am referring to La Coruña. This is the place where I grew up from the age of 5 to 18, where I went to school and college, where I met and played with my childhood friends, where I celebrated my successes and cried about my failures, where I first fell in love and where I decided I was going to travel the world on the long afternoons walking along the beach and around La Torre de Hércules – the oldest lighthouse in the world dating back to Roman times and a UNESCO World Heritage site – looking out at sea, always wondering what there would be beyond the horizon, fostering my thirst to learn languages and, in short, made me who I am.
La Playa de Riazor, looking towards La Torre de Hércules
It has occurred to me that, with all our motorhome travels, we have only been once to La Coruña, back in the summer of 2010, as it is a very long journey from England, and I felt I was getting homesick again (a feeling best expressed in gallego by the term of ‘morriña’, often shared by the many emigrants who over the years felt obliged to leave this stunning region of Galicia in the north west of Spain in search of work, meaning a longing to come back).
Playa del Orzán, looking towards the Millenium Obelisk – Bring me that horizon!
So today, I would like to pay my little humble homage to this attractive and inviting seafaring town, with so much to offer, both to the locals and visitors and where most of my family still live.
Plaza de Portugal near the Deportivo Football Club and Playa de Riazor
I was lucky enough to stay with my beautiful niece, Susana, her husband and daughter in their flat very close to La Playa de Riazor, the beach we frequented as children during the long summer holidays and where I kept gazing out at sea knowing that one day I would follow that horizon. They live in a prime spot, perfect to begin my walk along the beach towards the old part of town or Ciudad Vieja.
Walking along from Riazor to Orzán beach
It was Susana who was kind enough to organize a session of ‘chocolate con churros’ (thick hot chocolate sauce served with a crispy doughnut-like pastry but in cut in strips) in a ‘churreria’ in the neighbourhood with all my brothers and sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces and in-laws. I had a fabulous time and I felt very humbled and honoured about so many of them coming to see me: it really felt like a fiesta. If you have never had chocolate con churros on your visits to Spain, I urge to have it next time you’re there: you’re bound to fall in love with it and, even more than Paella or Sangria, is a very integrate part of the Spanish culture, loved by all, young and all, and usually to be had in the late afternoons, say 5pm onwards.
My big family, gathered for chocolate con churros to greet me
I am also taking this opportunity to introduce my family to you, as those of you who have been following my blog for a while and regularly commented on my posts, I have come to think of as friends and it seems to me that this blog is no longer solidly about my travels, but about you as well.
Chocolate con churros
My wonderful family
I leave you with some shots around the town. I hope you like it and will inspire you to visit soon. Enjoy!
The Octopus on the Paseo Maritimo, a new and popular addition to the town – octopus is one of the popular local dishes and simply delicious
The Millennium Obelisk on the Paseo Maritimo and Tower of Hercules in the background
The Millennium Obelisk, facing La Torre de Hercules
The Bubble Lift on the Paseo Maritimo to El Mirador or viewpoint
La Torre the Hercules, Roman lighthouse, the town’s symbol and a UNESCO World Heritage site
typicla houses in La Ciudad Vieja or old town
This attractive house reminded me of France
Typical houses in the old part of town – La Ciudad Vieja
La Calle de los Vinos (Wine Street) where everything happens. Excellent seafood too!
Entering the Main town square or Plaza de Maria Pita – Notice the sign for Meson del Pulpo or Octopus House
La Plaza de Maria Pita (a local heroine who helped fight the English in 1589) and Town Hall
Statue of Maria Pita, local heroine who defended the town against the English invasion in 1589
Fine restaurants and bars are to be found under the archers in La Plaza de Maria Pita
la Ciudad de Cristal (Crystal City) facing the main Port
La Ciudad the Cristal (Crystal City) opposite the Port, undergoing renovation at the moment
More archers holding bars and restaurants under Crystal City