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Published: September 6th 2019
CJ writes: Ferrol is a strange place. An important port since Norman times, it is now (apparently) the best equipped port in northern Iberia. It also hosts a large naval base, and the marina is stuffed with small boats - some clearly working boats, others rather fancier. Lots of employment and lots of money, you might think - yet the town is dying on its feet. Lovely old stone fronted buildings abound, yet a significant proportion are empty, derelict, collapsing or reduced to a heap of rubble. The main shopping street is tired, the bars in the main somewhat scruffy. (SC: Yes up in the corner of Spain it feels like European backwater.)
Thankfully, we found what has to be the best restaurant in town last night x and we’ve booked to go back tonight. It was fabulous! Small but smart, whoever is running the kitchen knows what they’re doing: carpaccio of beef dressed with sesame oil and crunchy seeds with finely grated manchego, then little croquettes made with what must be either beef cheek or beef shin, cooked for a week and pulled apart, followed by a picana of Black Angus beef - all raciones (sharing plates). We even
had dessert! sopa de fresa for Steve, cheesecake for me, served in small tumblers. Total cost: well under £40. Prices really are great around this area, despite the hammering that the GBP has taken recently.
Having pretty much exhausted Ferrol yesterday, today we drove out to A Coruna: several generations back one of my relatives fought in the battle of Corunna - or so I’m told. A darn sight bigger and livelier than Ferrol, but the old town - said to be both medieval and baroque - was disappointing.
SC adds...we did visit the Roman lighthouse (also but erroneously attributed to Hercules). While the basic structure is Roman everything you can see from the outside is 18th century. We did not climb it as it was too windy to go out on the top most platform.
CJ again.... So then we came back to Ferrol and took a ferry over the inlet to Mugardos, a small fishing village on the other side. Others were travelling the other way for some excitement ... not our most exciting day!
Still, we managed to bend the sat nav floosie* to our will, and drove back from A Coruna through
the back roads, seeing some of the stunning countryside. It makes a change from the autostrada, which are dual carriageways in excellent condition - and for the most part virtually empty of traffic. They run pretty well level, swinging across huge ravines in this mountainous country on viaducts which can be a kilometre or more in length, or boring straight through any mountain in the way. And so windy! raised above even very tall trees, they are prey to every breeze coming off the Atlantic just a few miles away.
* The sat nav floosie speaks only Spanish. However, by way of compensation, our Spanish is now coming along in leaps and bounds. I can now command you to take the 1st, 2nd! 3rd or even 4th exit from the roundabout with no trouble at all.
Tot: 2.875s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0388s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb