Santiago to A Coruña 

June 22 – We came to Spain for 90 days, as that is the maximum time an American can spend in the EU as a tourist, and we didn’t know exactly how long it would take us to complete our Camiño.  So now our pilgrimage is done, and we have a little time left before our flight home.  We spoke to many other pilgrims who walked different routes to Santiago, and we decided to check out some other towns in northern Spain before returning to Madrid.

Our first stop is A Coruña, just a 45 minute train ride north to the coast.  In celebration of our Camiño, Jim booked us in a classy hotel with an ocean view – a real step up from an albergue!  Here is the view out our window:

We have our own little sandy beach with clear blue water, but the weather is a bit chilly for swimming.

A Coruña is famous for having the oldest working lighthouse, built in the first century by the Romans to keep ships from crashing into the rocks of the promontory.  Today it is called Hercules Tower, and is the town’s main tourist attraction.

Views from the top of the tower:

The tower is in the center of a statuary garden crisscrossed with walkways and bike paths.

This is Hercules on the Argonaut ship:

This one is called the Family, but it reminds me of the standing stones in the Outlander books.  Trivia:  I read the first Outlander book years ago, and read the remaining 7 books (each 800-1000 pages long) in the last two months.  Don’t judge – sometimes a little historical sci-fi romance is just what you need to get your mind off your sore feet…

Here is Jim with King Carlos III.

The city has a pretty marina.

…and white fronted art galleries frequented by Pablo Picasso when he grew up here.

The municipal buildings are magnificent:

This is Maria Pita, who bravely fought off British invaders:

We are here, by chance, on this town’s biggest festival weekend, the Nativity of St John the Baptist.  There will be bonfires on the beach accompanied by the grilling of sardines, much drinking and partying tonight.  A band and a medievally dressed parade meandered through the main streets:

The main church in town is St George’s, who adorned the altar with the vanquished dragon:

Many Marys here too:

Down the street is the Iglexa do Santiago:

There were pretty Madonnas there too.

We stopped for a midday meal at a place that advertised all things octopus, including pulpo empanadas.  Now that we’re on the coast, seafood is cheap and plentiful.

We strolled through a Museo displaying old Roman artifacts 

…a reproduction of an ancient boat made of wicker and covered with animal hides:

…and an eerily beautiful cistern.

We ended the day with a walk around the Finisterrae Aquarium.

A relaxing day in a beautiful town.

2 thoughts on “Santiago to A Coruña 

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