Kongo, sailing aboard the World Traveler, arrives in A Coruña, a vibrant city in the Galicia region of Spain. on a rainy, rainy day. It rained all day long. It rained on the bus. It rained off the bus. The monkey was drenched a couple of times but into every cruise some rain must fall. Kongo got his share today.
So, Mrs. Kongo had booked an overview tour of A Caruna and the plan was that after we took in the essence of the city we would do some power shopping before she had to rush back to the ship to make her spa appointment.. The weather quashed that idea. Mostly the overview was through a rain-streaked bus window while we listened to our guide wrestle with a quirky speaker system in barely passable English. The joys of cruise tours.
Occasionally, you could spot the architecture of the densely populated city. So many people live here in the small peninsula that holds the city that the build up and up with apartment buildings.
The building facades have these interesting bump-outs that allow more light into the apartment space and help protect the building from the strong winter storms that sometimes blow in from the Atlantic. Kind of like the storm that Kongo found himself.
One highlight that the monkey exited the bus and soaked himself for was the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world, the symbol of A Corona, the Tower of Hercules. Built by the Romans in the first century AD and renovated in 1788. The Neoclassical facade that is seen today was built around the original Roman structure. If you climb through the inside to the top of the tower you are surrounded by the original Roman structure. 100 years before the lighthouse was first built, Julius Caesar came to A Caruna (then called Brigantium) to establish a metal trade between Spain, France, and England. It was one of the famous Roman’s earliest money-making ventures.
Back in the bus for another ride across town, the monkey caught glimpses of some of the many museums, beaches, and art that line the city streets.
The City Administration building, built early in the 20th century looks like it should have come from an earlier time. Its three towers are layered in tin, making it look like bronze. The municipal center is in Maria Pita Plaza, the most important center of the town.
In 1589 Sir Francis Drake (a pirate according to the residents of A Caruna) came to besiege the city during the Anglo-Spanish war. According to legend, Maria Pita was with her husband fighting the attacking English. When her husband was killed, Maria picked up his spear and killed the British flag bearer then rallied the flagging Spanish troops to throw back the invaders who had breached the wall. Go Maria!
So Mrs. Kongo made it back for her spa date, the monkey dried off and took a nap. In the late afternoon the sail south for Portugal. Stay tuned.
Travel safe. Have fun.