La Coruña in February: Post-Zombie Crisis

La Coruña
Windows in La Coruña

Today randomly scrolling through Quora’s questions I found a topic, which brought other, than usual type of travel memories. As you all know I love to travel and I am super excited no matter on what type of journey I am. But I have to admit, that there is one place, that messes my travel statistics a bit.  And when today I scrolled through a question ‘Have you ever visited any destination(s) that you considered not worth the effort?‘, that one place instantly popped-out from my memory… So yes, I have visited a place that was not worth much of the effort for us1. It is called La Coruña and it is located in the Northern Spain.

Some of the facts

La Coruña
The Maria Pita Square

La Coruña is a port city in the Galicia region. It is the second biggest city in this department and seventeenth overall in whole country. Located on the peninsula and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, city looks magnificently from the sky.

Due to being located on the peninsula and surrounded by the ocean, La Coruña is known for its beaches and extraordinary landscape. I have to admit that basically wherever we went, there was an ocean just around the corner.  City even has a panoramic elevator to San Pedro Hill, from where you can admire all the beauty, that this extraordinary landscapes creates.

So what’s wrong with me for naming it the one destination, that was not worth our effort? I will answer that with a story!2

Some of our experience

La Coruña
There are a lot of abandoned buildings in the heart of the city

Before the start of our adventures in La Coruña, I want to highlight two things. Firstly, everything that I will tell you was our one day experience and it doesn’t mean, that the things we saw looks that way all year long.

Secondly, I have to admit, that I am a bit exaggerating..  The thing that we remember this city so clear and so emotionally means, that it really got to us. Well, in a bit unusual way, but still.

The thing is, that we were choosing between two options where to spend our night. One was La Coruña and another one was Santiago de Compostela3. And in terms of this decision, maybe Santiago de Compostela was worth more of the effort that day. In case you will have to make such a decision some day, Dear Reader, I am going to tell you what followed our decision to go to La Coruña in February. 

Sad time of the year

It was mid-February and we were travelling through Europe towards Portugal. After two wonderful days in the Northern coastline of Spain – in the cities of San Sebastian and Gijon – we were looking how to end our stay in Spain properly. After a small discussion about which city to choose, one dark and rainy February evening we reached La Coruña.

The sun was almost down, it was raining and we jumped in a heavy traffic. As always we haven’t booked a room in advance, so we stopped in a random, dark street to do that. Except the fact, that we made one bus driver angry by parking in a wrong place, we were kind a lucky in finding a good hotel offer4. Despite the difficulties we had while finding it, we finally reached our room, which, by the way, was really nice.

After P. watched a basketball game, which he was looking forward to see, we decided to go out to find something to eat. And here comes the first reason, why city was not worth the effort – we couldn’t find an open pub, restaurant or even a shop! Personally I become very angry or very apathetic5 when I am hungry, so imagine how frightened P. was6… 

I have to say, that that evening’s stroll7 could be named as a walk of hope With each and every kilometer we walked that night, we hoped to find life in La Coruña. In the end, after worthless effort we had to recognize the second reason – the city was abandoned for us. Several people we passed by in the dark streets only made us feel more uncomfortable. And, in addition to this, with all the old graffitis on the old shutters we started to think, that La Coruña was abandoned about 15 years ago. Probably, due to some kind of zombie crisis.

At some point even I had to admit, that the best choice that evening was to go back to our not abandoned hotel. However, the third reason – water everywhere – was persecuting us. As I mentioned before, La Coruña is a peninsula – Atlantic Ocean is everywhere in that city . So though the rain had stopped, the wind and ocean tandem wasn’t going to make us forget about bad weather.

To sum up, we got back to our hotel hungry, wet, cold and without any interesting discoveries. But we went to sleep with a faith, that we will discover La Coruña tomorrow.

Back to the 80s

La Coruña
Our hotel wasn’t so modern from the outside

We didn’t. However, next morning we were rewarded over and above for our hungry evening. The breakfast buffet was the best we had on our road trip! P. even declared, that he had the best muffin in his lifetime that morning. 

Over the night La Coruña decided that it was not right to greet us with the abandoned-face on – we finally saw people and the places in the city were open! Buuuuut… We were conquered by a strange feeling, which I will name as a fourth reason – it seemed that we were taken back in time. Back to the 80’s, to be precise.

Yes, we weren’t even born at that time, but we have internet and we see things. Some points of La Coruña’s architecture resembled a lot to the resort towns, which were at its peak in 80s and stopped to develop in 90s . One of the examples turned out to be our hotel. As it was dark when we arrived, we couldn’t see how it looks from outside. Considering, that it was modern and nice from the inside, it came a bit as a shock to see, that the outside haven’t changed a bit from the several decades back.

Moving on, we noticed that there were really a lot of abandoned buildings in the heart of the city. Many of them even overgrown with the plants, which enjoy humid air. We strolled through the city for a several hours. When we reached the main square and the rain started again, we decided that it will be enough. We gave up on trying to discover La Coruña.

Matter of perspective

To sum up, La Coruña was the only place which I couldn’t find charming no matter how hard I tried . However, the way how we see things is a matter of perspective and our perspective was shaped by bad weather conditions.

February is not a time to see this city, I am sure about that. All the wanderings around in that time of the year was really not worth the effort for us. And we did enjoy the previous cities and towns, that we have visited in a rainy February!

But how about you, Dear Reader? What do you know about La Coruña? I am very interested to hear other opinions and experiences about this city.

Yours, L. 

  1. For you, Dear Reader, it can be worth a lot of the effort. So read further, I will explain everything.
  2. I love stories!  
  3. We visited this city later. It is a very interesting and unique place.
  4. 40 Eur for 4 star hotel with a good location and breakfast included.
  5. Depends on a day.
  6. In the end this situation was managed! On our way back he succeeded in finding me a pack of chips and a beer in a small local bar, near our hotel.
  7. If my memory is correct, I think we went nearly 7 kilometers that evening.