European Odyssey - La Coruña a big hit for the boats participating
by Cornell Sailing on 12 Aug 2014
Following a successful crossing of the Bay of Biscay, La Coruña was a big hit for the boats participating in the European Odyssey. There was much to enjoy.
European Odyssey boats docked at Marina Coruña Cornell Sailing Events
First of all, Marina Coruña was a comfortable, convenient home for the boats during their stay in La Coruña. Access to the marina was straightforward, just beyond the large breakwater. The docks were sheltered yet open to a cooling breeze. Facilities were excellent, and the Casco Histórico (old town) was a short walk away.
Lorena Cenamor at the marina organized several activities to introduce the sailors to La Coruña: a guided tour of the old town, admission to the Tower of Hercules, the oldest working lighthouse in the world, plus a Welcome Cocktail featuring local wines, delicious empanadas, tortillas and sausages.
The marina staff and marineros (dockhands) were very helpful. As a thank you, I (Kathy Parsons), gave them a copy of my Spanish-English phrasebook 'Spanish for Cruisers'. They were very happy about it!
La Coruña is famous for its fresh seafood, and the sailors took advantage of the very reasonable prices. Some of our favorites: pulpo (octopus) with gambas (shrimp) in a garlicky sauce, grilled chipirones (squid), and zamburiñas (small scallops) on the half shell. Plus, melt in-your-mouth sardines, rape (monkfish), and many other fresh fishes.
From tapas bars to Michelin one-star restaurants, there were many opportunities to partake. All accompanied by the local wines and beers.
There are lots of festivals in La Coruña during the summer. Those arriving early were able to catch the last weekend of the Feria de Maravillas (Medieval Festival) with regional foods and wines, crafts stalls and traditional music. For several boats, a folk concert in María Pita Plaza topped off the week.
Other activities depended on the needs and interests of the boats: beach days for the children, technical help from mechanics, wanders through the shopping districts.
And when the boats did finally set sail from La Coruña, headed toward their next big stop in Porto, they had their choice of picturesque rías along the coast to break up their voyage.