The train from Santiago to A Coruña was only a short 30 minute trip. On our arrival, we were famished so we had lunch at a small local restaurant. Juan introduced me to cocido – a typical Galician stew (there are also different variants from other Spanish localities) which includes meat, potatoes, and chickpeas. This one had many parts of the pig included like the pig ear and trotter. Juan made me try a bit of both but the ear made me cringe a bit… it was too gelatinous for my liking.
We trekked for a while to find our AirBnB. We were surprised to find it tacked on the side of a block of flats so it was easy to miss. The loft was super cute with a mini kitchen and spiral staircase up to the sleeping area. Very cosy and well decorated but I forgot to take a photo! Such error. 😭 After checking in to our AirBnb, we took the bus to the Torre de Hercules.
Torre de Hercules
The Tower of Hercules is the world’s oldest functioning lighthouse. Constructed in Roman times, the original tower still remains inside, although the exterior was restored in the 18th Century. Its name comes from the legend that Hercules buried King Gerion’s remains in what is now A Coruña and over it, he built this tower with a fire on top to guide sailors.
Statue of Breogán
At the base of the hill, there was a statue of Breogán. That name doesn’t sound very Spanish right? That’s because Breogán was a Gaelic leader. Spain’s not just all about flamenco and sangria.
Did you know Spain has a lot of Gaelic peoples? I didn’t, I thought Ireland was the birthplace of Gaelics (sorry I’m ignorant lol) but according to legend, they came from Galicia. Galicia – Gaels… seems so obvious right??
The Lebor Gabála Érenn (The Book of the Taking of Ireland) is a Medieval semi-mythological recounting of the creation of Ireland and the Irish (aka Gaels). The Gaels had wandered the world for hundreds of years before conquering Iberia. One of the Gaelic leaders was Breogán who founded the city of Brigantia (A Coruña) and constructed a tower there. His son, Íth, saw Ireland from the top of the tower so the Gaels sailed to Ireland to conquer it. His son, Mil, completed the conquest and is said to be ancestor of the Irish.
We went up the iconic tower and there were great views out to sea. The sun was out but it was very windy and chilly by the coast and especially so high up! My hair was doing all sorts of crazy things.
There was a mosaic of a compass (Rosa dos ventos) with the symbols of different Gaelic nations between each spire including: Galicia, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, Isle of Man, and Brittany. Bring out the bagpipes!
The symbol of Galicia is the scallop shell. The scallop shell is said to represent the “buen camino” and the lines of the shell symbolise the many routes that point to Santiago (if you missed my blog post about Santiago, check it out for more info about the origins of this famous hike!) Medieval pilgrims are often depicted wearing a scallop shell from their pilgrimage. The scallop is native to Galicia so these shells were picked up as proof of completing the camino. These days, the shell can be seen all along the camino routes and in towns that it passes.
We took a scenic route along the coast to get to the panoramic viewpoint, Monte de San Pedro, but weather started to change for the worse and the temperature dropped. . Along the way, we passed the beach, Praia Riazor and then took a bus since it got unbearably cold.
Monte de San Pedro
By this time, the sky was very overcast so we couldn’t see very far out to sea. There was an interesting glass building with a dome. We checked it out but it was closed/abandoned. Some googling revealed that building was the Cúpula Atlantica, an observation dome. I wonder if it’s open in summer?
In the park, there were a couple of cannons from the 1920s and sealed military baracks. There were also some tunnels and a labyrinth. Unfortunately, the maze was closed for maintenance. 🙁
Pretending to walk through the maze for Snapchat. SOCIAL MEDIA IS FAKE Y’ALL, WAKE UP SHEEPLE 😂 loool
It was very cold and windy so after exploring most of the park, we returned to our AirBnB. Irrelevant but important: we saw a cute black and white cat during this route!
For dinner, we bought a tortilla, salad, gazpacho and pepinillos de anchoa from Mercadona.
Since we had a very early train to catch, we just chilled at the loft and had a relaxing TV dinner to prepare ourselves for our hectic day ahead. We would stop at 3 (technically 4!) destinations the next day! 😱
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