We spent 2 days in A Coruña, staying at a great campsite in Santa Cruz de Oleiros.
It is the second day and after relaxing at the beach yesterday, and trying some of the local wine, Albariño, (a lovely light fruity white wine, a bit like a very good Frascati), and catching up with my friend Lorena, it seems apt that the fog descended on Coruña today as we visited “The tower of Hercules”.
The tower is a working lighthouse which was built in the 1st century by the Romans who called the city “Brigantium”. It was part of the trade route and played a major role in the Roman invasion of Britain and the subsequent trade into London. The tower has been rebuilt several times.
In 1778 a remarkable rebuild was carried out and the lighthouse was given facades which make it an impressive modern looking structure even today.
We went inside for just 3 euros and climbed the 234 steps to the top. There is so much information provided in the tower that it is worth the money just to learn about the city’s history. Apparently it was King Alfonso X the wise who created the legend that the tower was built by Hercules after killing a giant and burying its head there, and then also named the city Crunia, after a girl he fell in love with. Awwww.
Coruña itself is a pretty ugly city except for the medievil part. The nearby towns/villages and beaches however are very pretty. So it’s better to look a round the coast and stay in campsites or small towns than in Coruña itself. Santa Cruz doesn’t have a great beach but the castle and the views are lovely. Santa Cristina looks like it has the best beach. But I have no more time for lying on the beach.
Directly North from here is Great Britain. But I’m heading South to Santiago de Compostela to finish the Camino. The Shell symbol which lines the route is supposedly because the early pilgrims to the tomb of St James brought back a shell as proof that they had reached their destination.
I will be using photos and blogging tomorrow. How time moves on….