Europe, Spain

Weekend in La Coruña: Day 1

March 12-14, 2021

This weekend I headed up to the tip of Spain to visit La Coruña (A Coruña in Galician). It is the second most populated city in Galicia (around 250,000) and has quite a rich history. Romans first entered the area around 2 BC, and Julius Ceaesar came to the area in the first century. The town grew during the first and second centuries AD, which is when the Tower of Herculues was built. This is one of the major points in La Coruña as it is the oldest lighthouse still in existence.

I headed to the train station early afternoon and got my ticket. I’ve never taken a train out of Pontevedra before, so I was a bit confused getting to the right track. I made it with a few minutes to spare. It was about two hours with a few stops in Santiago and other major transit points along the way.

Just walking to my hostal, I was struck by some interesting and beautiful sites, like a mural for the Port of Coruña, a hedge that was a working clock, a John Lennon statue, fountains, and lots of parks and walking paths.

My first official stop was going to my hostal, Hostal Carbonara, to settle in. I had made the booking last minute but was grateful they were in touch. It was $38 a night. Also, hostals here are a little different. Sometimes it’s a private room and not the normal hostels that are in a dorm style like you think of. They do have both, and it’ll describe it when booking usually.

My room was unfortunately on the fourth floor and with a backup and having done 10K steps already, I was a bit wiped. I took a few minutes to rest, and then was ready to go back out.

At 4:30 PM, I scheduled a last minute massage at Santo Remedio. It had been an awful week with classes, and my incentive for getting myself through the week was a weekend getaway and something stress relieving like this. It was 60‎€ for 90 minutes and well worth it. I felt refreshed and ready to explore.

After leaving, I went to one of the first things on the “top things to see list,” which I thought was the Obelisco Millenium. I actually ended up at just the Obelisco, which is indeed also a monument but less exciting. I never ended up seeing the Millenium one, but that just leaves something new for next time.

Right across from this was Cromática, an art exhibit at the art school. I was suprised to see free admission (which became a trend throughout the weekend) and enjoyed some of the art they had on display.

Next, I walked about 20 minutes up to Avenida de la Marina, which is a very typical and well-known street La Coruña with a distinct style of buildings. There’s government buildings, restaurants, and apartments, and many of them have an abundant number of windows. There’s also a plaza and walking paths and a small port. I spent about an hour here and enjoyed watching the sunset.

As I started walking back towards the hostal, I stopped at María Pita Square, a famous plaza in the city. City Hall (pictured below) is found here, as well as a statue of María Pita, who was a heroine in the 1500s during an English Armada attack. There’s a church nearby the plaza (which I was unable to see), the Church of Saint George, where Spain’s first same-sex marriage took place in 1901.

I enjoyed walking back as I saw the lively streets, live music, vendors, and style of the city. Although, still being in the midst of COVID, things are toned down everywhere. I’m sure during the summer in a normal world, this city must be a vibrant place to visit.

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