LOS DOS HERMANOS GORDOS DO EL NORTE: DAY THREE - AY CARUMBA A CORUNA
OK, so another morning, another hangover. But, after a pleasant dose of Chocolate y Churros at a place called The Business Cafe where a scant amount of business seemed to be done (unless that is, it involved people drinking large brandies at 10am) and a trip to a bookstore to see large amounts of my books on display (HURRAH!) we felt ready for the rest of our day and the long old haul up the coast to Galicia.
A short walk around Gijon later, I had managed to ease the leviathan of a vehicle out of it's tiny parking space and hit the right road without too much trouble. The coastline from Gijon to A Coruna is quite simply, breathtaking. With the Bay of Biscay to one side and the mountains on the other, it was very hard not to imagine staying here forever. But, we had a hotel reservation and after a four hour "not even time for a piss" drive, we were on the outskirts of A Coruna. A town that legend says was founded by Hercules, which has one of the best bar cultures outside Madrid and which represents everything that makes Galicia one of the great food providers to the whole of Spain. I loved this city and I think I can speak for Robin when I say it was his highlight of the tour.
SIDE NOTE - all of our hotels were chosen by Robin with reference to the accurate and fun Footprint Guide. All were clean, comfortable, friendly, in great neighbourhoods and all were dirt cheap (with the exception of Burgos, but more of that later). You can stay in much more expensive hotels in Spain, but why? These were just the job and left so much more money to be spent on small animals snatched at the prime of life for our enjoyment.
We spent the evening sampling the best the city had to offer at beguilingly named places like El Pulpo and Rey Del Jamon. Amongst various plates of Iberico, Cecina, and Pulpo, I also recall eating Empanada, Zamburinas (small sweet scallops), Pimientos de Padron and some exceptional clams which I am ashamed to say appeared by mistake when we tried to order something entirely different. My favourite dish of the evening were some fabulous croquettas. Disturbingly cuboid and piping hot, they managed to be crisp and crunchy on the outside and creamy and rich on the inside. All of these dishes sat nicely alongside the glasses of Ribero and Albarino that seemed appropriate given our location.
It began to rain rather heavily at this point and we headed back to our hotel but not before stopping for a nightcap of Orujo and Brandy and a short detour to look at the impressive Estadio Riazor - home of Deportiva La Coruna.
Ok, time for some more photos (you know you love it).
Coruna's beach plus stadium
Main Tapas drag
One plate began to merge into the other...
Oh goody more pulpo
The inevitable aftermath