Leg 7 - our favorite city so far - A Coruña
March 21st we are now out of the Bay of Biscay and in the Eastern Atlantic following our day sail from Cedeira to A Coruña where we spent three days exploring this wonderful city. We loved our stay in the big city and was able to get some extra sailing supplies, camping gaz, and another trip to Ikea to pickup things we missed on the Ikea run back in Paris and Bordeaux. Provisioning a new home from scratch takes several weeks as you live aboard. The art work in the city was also pretty amazing.
Wikipedia notes that A Coruña is located on a promontory in the Golfo Artabro, a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean. It is the main industrial and financial centre of northern Galicia, A Coruña is a packed city, the Spanish city featuring the tallest mean-height of buildings, also featuring a population density of 21,972 inhabitants per square km of built land area.
A Coruña is in the Galicia region of northwest Spain. It’s known for its Roman lighthouse, the Tower of Hercules, which has sweeping coastal views goes back to the first century. We biked to the hilltop and hiked the 254 steps to the top.
In the medieval old town is the arcaded Plaza de María Pita, surrounded by narrow pedestrianized lanes. In this square is the Estatua de María Pita, a statue of a 16th-century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drake. We have some amazing pictures of the old town and our on-land treks.
An early morning departure with the sunrise.
Wonder what that tall building is? Wait the chart says it is a light-house.
We have arrived. The A Coruna port authority building is in the background. A very odd looking building but over our stay it turned out to be an excellent reference point to guide us home as it is visible from most of the spots we explored.
María Mayor Fernández de Cámara y Pita (1565–1643), known as María Pita, following the death of her husband she became a heroine in the defense of Coruña, Galicia (northern Spain), against the English Armada attack, an English attack upon the Spanish mainland in 1589. She was born in Sigrás.
Our neighbour in the marina is the San Anton Castle of A Coruna which has been transformed into a museum of archaeology. This is actually a fortress built in the 16th century, during the reign of Philip the Second. It was used to defend the city from the pirates. The views from the top court are spectacular. We really enjoyed the different rooms with the different archaeological objects.
Ancient cover from a tomb.
Awesome views from the top of the fortress.
View of the fortress from the other side of the waterfront.
This is Breogan. He fought several battles. Breoghan founded Brigantia and had a tower built in front of it. Legend has it that on one clear winter evening he was gazing at all four directions from the top of the tower when he thought to pursue, amongst the mists, a solitary island. He told his brothers and set sail for Ireland with one of his ten sons. He was attacked by a group of local noblemen and died on board. The family later returned and avenged Ireland. After their victory the Milesians settled for good in Ireland.
The Tower of Hercules lighthouse that we initially saw coming into the harbour. According to the UNESCO site - The Tower of Hercules has served as a lighthouse and landmark at the entrance of La Coruña harbour in north-western Spain 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. Immediately adjacent to the base of the Tower, is a small rectangular Roman building. The site also features a sculpture park, the Monte dos Bicos rock carvings from the Iron Age and a Muslim cemetery. The Roman foundations of the building were revealed in excavations conducted in the 1990s. Many legends from the Middle Ages to the 19th century surround the Tower of Hercules, which is unique as it is the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity.
Amazing how they were able to build this two thousand years ago.
256 steps later.
The three headed statue
We can see the iconic Port Authority building in the background.
No bugs, no bikes??
Our shopping trip to Ikea and then Leroy Lemon to get a shop vac. The bike rack is awesome.
My first haircut in Europe. Not our first frosty beer - Salud!