Return to A Coruña 14 Years Later

When I was 8 years old, I traveled to Galicia with my family. It was my first time out of the country, and the whole trip, I said that I would rather be at the Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Waterpark in Kansas City. In A Coruña, I saw the ocean for the very first time in my life. 14 years later I have returned, and honestly, it seems just about the same.

November 2:

Ourense to A Coruña – Renfe Train 1 hour 10 minutes

When I stepped off the train platform, Brooke and I found each other. We had gotten on the train at different times, Ourense for me and Santiago for her. We walked straight from the train station to Koh Lanta, a delicious Thai restaurant in the heart of A Coruña that I had discovered on Google Maps.

Pad Thai for me, veggie dumplings & matcha tiramisu for Brooke.

Following lunch, Brooke and I met our friend Natalie who is also a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and was letting us sleep at her apartment. Natalie’s roommate Janey is also teaching English in A Coruña but as an “auxiliar of conversation” through the Spanish government.

Natalie took us on a long walk around the peninsula of the city of A Coruña. The views of the ocean were amazing.

We walked until the Tower of Hercules, a famous Spanish landmark, once an ancient roman lighthouse, and the place that I first saw the ocean.

Our friend Farrah, also a Fulbright, met Natalie, Brooke, and me to climb the tower.

There were SO many stairs, especially because I had done a serious glute workout the day before and was actually ready to collapse when we made it to the top. As I walked out onto the balcony, I realized that it looked familiar… I had been in this exact spot before.

I documented this “full circle moment” with a photo-op, and then many more photo-ops.

Following the tower, we finished walking around the peninsula until we found ourselves all the way back into the center of the city.

We made at mandatory stop for ice cream at Galicia’s best: Bico de Xelado. I got chocolate chip and dulce de leche.

Following ice cream, we stopped by a grocery store to buy some wine, bread, and brie to serve as a before dinner appetizer. Brooke, Natalie, Janey, Farrah, and I hung out and chatted over a bottle of wine before we headed out for dinner at a traditional Galician restaurant in the heart of the city. We ordered pulpo (octopus) & tortilla (spanish omelet with potato) to share.

At the end of dinner, Janna our Fulbright Regional Mentor joined us. Together we headed down the street to a very popular bar La Bombilla. My friends enjoyed some Galician beer before we called it a night and headed home.

November 3:

Brooke and I headed out in search of breakfast and antibiotics to heal Brooke’s sinus infection type illness that she had been battling all week. We walked straight into a pharmacy, I asked the pharmacist for a z-pak and Brooke bought it! It was so easy, no doctor’s note needed. We headed to breakfast relieved that Brooke could start feeling better.

For breakfast, I had more spanish omelet (tortilla) and Brooke had toast and jam. We both had some fresh squeezed orange juice and a latte too.

Post breakfast, we began our second day of adventures around A Coruña. We found ourselves in the beautiful main plaza and walked past many gorgeous buildings. It was our goal to go to the science museum and go shopping this day. We kept a slow pace all day, enjoying seeing the city in the beautiful brisk weather.

When I planned this trip to A Coruña, I had one main goal: El Corte Inglés. El Corte Inglés is like a Nordstrom & Nebraska Furniture Mart combined, plus there’s even a fancy grocery store, bodega, and cafe in the basement. In A Coruña, El Corte Inglés is somewhere around 10 floors. IT IS A DREAM.

So Brooke indulged me, and we walked all the way across the city to El Corte Inglés. Then we walked through every single department on every single floor. I bought some Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume 50% off and had my first ever Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. We left the mall and walked back to the center of the city for a short coffee and snack break. On our way back, we walked through a gigantic park in the city. For the first time this year, I saw autumn leaves.

After recharging, Brooke and I embarked on a long walk around the entire other side of A Coruña that we had not yet seen. The area that we walked around is called Monte de San Pedro and revealed a wonderful view of A Coruña! It is possible to go up to the top on a little ride, but we just walked around the mountain/cliff on foot.

We spent about 2 hours walking there and back. We happened to time it perfectly to reach the best point of the walk right at sunset. Once again, proving that Brooke and I have wonderful luck as travelers!

Following our beautiful sunset walk, Brooke and I strolled back to Natalie’s apartment. The three of us went to eat Thai food again, and then met up with a large group of Auxilliars (English teachers from abroad) to celebrate a girl’s birthday and head out to fiesta. We ended up at a club called MOOM right on the beach and danced the night away. (We actually followed the Spanish going out schedule: the club OPENED at 4:00 a.m. and we left when the sun came up! sorry mom!!)

The next afternoon, Brooke and I headed to the A Coruña train station went our separate ways. Brooke back to Santiago and I returned to Ourense. A Coruña was a WONDERFUL weekend. I had so much fun spending time with friends and exploring at chill pace. I will most definitely return to go to beach when it’s not so cold!

Once again, thank you for reading along! Until next time, ciao!

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