martes, 5 de febrero de 2013

Woman's power

I just arrived from A Coruña, a lovely city in the north of Spain where it rains most of the time but that this weekend welcome me with a bright sun, ideal for some “turisting”. I was there several times before and, actually, this weekend I was supposed to be there only for work reasons but you know me… I can’t avoid meeting friends wherever I go, walk around, sneak everywhere that might seem at least a bit interesting and, of course, take some pictures to share with you. My guide this time was Maria, a Galician friend always full of projects that I met in Barcelona when she was working in MACBA. It was lovely to have her company and to “take advantage” from her knowledge about the city but most of all it was great to have the change to, once again, mix work with fun. 

A Coruña is mostly known by 4 things: The Hercules Tower, a lighthouse built in the 1st Century, full of legends and myths which are all very hard to believe but that, despite all the histories told about it, we can say it’s the oldest lighthouse still working. The strength of their women that, when the British attacked the city in 1583 defend it with their own bare hands (by taking the rocks out of their houses and throwing them to the invaders) and won. It’s glass balconies that reflect the sun when it shines creating a beautiful “kaleidoscope effect”. And, last but not least, A Coruña is also known by it’s great sea food restaurants, especially by the typical way they cook the octopus. 

To get this beautiful sight from the tower we really had to get our wedge sneakers dirty. From Playa de las Lapas (the beach you could see in the previous picture), we had to climb the hill and walk what seem like a goat path but, voilá… amazing view, almost resembling a Scottish landscape.

But the worst was climbing the 236 steps of the tower (after having paid for it). Maria had a friend who was told that the number of steps from the tower was pair and that it would be much easier to climb them by twos… Really?! Can you imagine the effort?! But apparently he believed it. But imagine the disappointment of the poor thing when he arrived to the top and there was a step left. That's why during all his life he thought that the number of steps was actually impair. But the truth is that they are 236, I count them! This way I wasn’t thinking about the physical effort. 

Maria posing with the tower at the distance. 

In the emblem of the city you see the Hercules Tower, four scallop shells (which apart from being an exquisite dish very traditional in this part of Spain are also the symbol of the pilgrims from the Santiago Path, which I’ll do this Easter), and a skull that reminds us about the pirates that were constantly trying to invade the city and constantly threw out by their population, amongst them by the A Coruña woman.

The seashell sculpture that amplifies the sound of the wind. 

It is a bit “Dalínean”, which really attract me, and plus it is so well integrated with the landscape. We had to change a little bit (not to say a lot) our course to be closer to it but it was totally worth it because I was so so curious about it when I saw it from the top of the Hercules Tower and being close to the sculpture and listening to the sounds produced by this “seashell” was totally inspiring and really remind me of my childhood when I used to put my ears next to the seashells to listen the sea…

A Coruña is a peninsula so there’s sea everywhere you look!

After such a detour to be closer to the seashell sculpture which way should we go now?

Another interesting corner of the city.

These menhirs are not for real because, as you can see, there are holes in them…

But the sights are even cooler when seen through their holes. 

A note of humour. 
 Loved loved loved the full-figured marmaid!

And there you go, the glass balconies. At this point they weren’t reflecting the sun anymore, creating the “kaleidoscope effect” I mentioned before, because the weather was going back to it’s normal in this part from the north of Spain. 

Of course that Maria Pita, the female hero from the city, the personification of the women’s power, deserved a statue in the main square of the city. 

Plaza Maria Pita. Another Plaza Mayor from Spain?! Well, not quite. And this is actually something that I love. Every medium/big city in Spain has a main square and they’re all known by Plaza Mayor, despite the homages they might pay to their local celebs, but they’re all completely different. In San Sebastián is all made of wood balconies; in Barcelona has a fountain in the middle, beautiful arches bellow which you can find several bars and restaurants (for tourists); in Madrid has drawings… and in A Coruña has the “trade mark” glass balconies. 

The balconies...

And my so deserved lunch after several hours walking. Octopus is my favourite food in the entire world but I must say that the way they do it in A Coruña doesn’t convince me so I decided to try something else: muscles with béchamel. Yammmmmy!

2 comentarios:

  1. Aunque no he podido acompañarte por mi tierra, veo que te has sabido manejar muy bien.
    "Vivir na Coruña que bonito é, andar de baranda e dormir de pé..." ;)

    P.D: El único detalle a corregir es el de la calabera que hay en el escudo. No se debe a la presencia pirata en la ciudad, sino a una leyenda que habla de la lucha que mantuvieron Hércules y el gigante Gerión. Este último fue aniquilado en el combate y sus tibias y cabeza fueron enterradas bajo la Torre de Hércules.

  2. Hehehehe, que guay el refrán Lore. Muchas gracias por tu aclaración, nada como una verdadera Coruñesa para explicarnos las leyendas. En algunos días pondré algo de cuando estuve en tu otra ciudad, Palma de Mallorca. Atenta! ;)