I can’t believe we’ve been living up north (Ponte de Lima) for over a year already. As we are still in rented accommodation and waiting for our new house to be built, our traditional September getaway is restricted to just a couple of nights away. Of course, the whole point of living up north is the ease of travel to Galicia so it is no surprise that we chose to spend a couple of days in the Rias Altas, near A Coruña.
On the way to our rented house, we stopped for lunch at Betanzos, which according to the guidebook is “renowned for its welcoming taverns and well-preserved medieval old town that harmoniously combines galleried houses, old-fashioned shops and monumental architecture”. As it was a Sunday it was quite busy so we took Betty for a stroll around the old town before leaving her in the car for a snooze as we searched for somewhere to eat. We found the Meson Morris down a side street and the friendly staff served up just what we were after – Galician seafood. We had a seafood salad (salpicon), small squids, (chipirones) and Padron peppers (of course) washed down with Estrella Galicia beer, far better, in my opinion to Portuguese lager.
Before going to the rented house we stopped for a beer at the beach and had planned on popping into a supermarket to get some goodies for tonight’s meal at home. We never learn! It was a Sunday in Spain and all the supermarkets were closed. However when we arrived at the village we were staying we popped into the local bar and they sold a few (very expensive) food items so we got some cheese, ham and a bottle of wine for the night.
The house we had rented was perfect with a large, walled, escape-proof garden for Betty to run around in.
The following day we set off early and had a typical Spanish breakfast in Mera a small beach resort which was the start of a walk around a small peninsula: The Costa do Dexo. We were a bit worried about the weather but it was a glorious sunny day and surprisingly un-windy. We also managed a few Geocaches which is always a bonus. Apart from the fact we love walking, one of the main reasons we do a long walk in the morning is to tire Betty out which leaves us free to do some sightseeing in the afternoon.
We headed to A Coruña which was a much bigger city than we expected but we easily found the big underground parking in the centre of town and headed off into the pedestrianised old quarter. We soon found what we were after, not a cathedral or museum but an atmospheric restaurant where we could order a huge platter of seafood washed down with a bottle of the local Albarino wine. O Tanagra fitted the bill perfectly. We were a bit surprised that there was a wide sweep of beach nearby with plenty of surfers, so we followed this round to the peninsular north of town to the very impressive aquarium.
For our last day, we headed to the Parque Natural Fragas do Eume, the best preserved Atlantic coastal forest apparently where we had a pleasant walk following the Rio Eume. From here we went to Pontedeume for lunch. This was another attractive medieval town where we found more seafood – this time sardines at a tiny street side eatery called Martis. However our lunch was disturbed a great deal by a local festa, or rather by Betty who is terrified of fireworks. I can never understand why they let off extremely noisy and colourless fireworks during the day. Anyway it meant we had to beat a hasty retreat to the car. Exploring Pontedeume will have to wait for another day – we were off home.
More photos here