Our first impression of A Coruña, Spain was not a positive one. When we arrived, late in the afternoon, it was cloudy and raining. As we approached the city, via the Autovia AG-55, we were a bit overcome by the smell of factories belching heavy, black smoke, into the already cloudy grey skies.
Fortunately, we didn’t let this first impression ruin A Coruña for us! The next morning, the sunny blue skies and wonderful views of the Atlantic coastline made us nearly forget about the previous day’s ride through the industrial area.
Our short ride along the boardwalk was a great way to start our morning. See that thing in my right-hand mirror? We’ll revisit this later in person…
San Pedro Mount
After parking the mules and changing into our “walkin’ duds”, we decided to take a unique ride up a space-age looking rail elevator called Ascensor do Monte de San Pedro (Elevator of San Pedro Mount).
Personally, something this space-age should have a much cooler name than that. This rail elevator, built in 2007, provides 360° views of the surrounding coast, during its short 3-minute assent.
Once you reach the top of San Pedro Mount, you can enjoy a park with some modern architecture, remnants from the Spanish Civil War, and a hedge labyrinth.
Unfortunately the hedge labyrinth was closed to visitors. Oh well, there is plenty of other things to see in the area.
Remember the thing we passed by on the motorcycles this morning? We got a chance to see it up close and personal!
This giant octopus sculpture is covered completely in tiny, colorful, square tiles. We were impressed at the level of detail, various colors used, and how the octopus legs just seemed to flow around the metal handrails
Although walking the entire boardwalk would have been fun, we decided to ride the 5 km to our next destination just north of the city so we would have more time for exploring.
Parque Escultórico de la Torre de Hércules
The first thing I noticed about this wonderful open air museum was the friendliness of the small birds. They just seemed to enjoy posing for my camera and would patiently wait while I fiddled with the focus.
We wished we had some birdseed to reward their patience.
I imagine they would probably eat the seeds right from your hand since they seemed so friendly.
The park’s crown attraction is the Tower of Hercules. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the world and was originally built in the 2nd century by the Romans.
The surrounding park also has many unique sculptures and walking trails that provide wonderful views of the surrounding Atlantic Ocean.
I love modern architecture and design, so this park was an ideal place to wander around and take photographs of the many unique sculptures.
This sculpture called Menhirs for Peace by Galician sculptor Manolo Paz, consists of twelve menhirs with each having a window in the middle.
Although this is a modern sculpture, Paz referenced the Neolithic and Bronze Age sculptures of the past.
A memorial, designed by Isaac Díaz Pardo, is a homage to the victims of Franco’s repression during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939.
The monument consists of blocks of granite, and stripes of red paint symbolizing blood. The inscription roughly translates to “Immolated in these fields, facing the dark sea, for loving righteous causes.”
We really enjoyed our time in A Coruña and could have easily spent more time there. However, we were under a bit of time pressure since we only had about a month left on our tourist visa and we had a lot of ground to cover before reaching the Balkan region.
The remainder of the day was spent riding the 170 km (106 miles) from O Coruña to the coastal town of Ribadeo, Spain…
…Where we enjoyed comfortable riding temperatures, wonderfully maintained roads, fertile farmlands, and small Spanish towns along the way.
Next Blog Post
We finish our travels through the Galicia region with a visit to Playa de Las Catedrales and then head inland into the León Providence to marvel at the destructive beauty of Las Médulas.
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13 Aug 2020