Pouring cider

Travel diary: summer arrives in A Coruña

Summer is definitely on its way! This week we made sure to spend more time at the beach, and had our first (but certainly not last) caipirinha of the season. We’ve also started to think about our next destinations, which is always exciting. 

Monday 28/5: We seem to have lost our sleep pattern; I slept in (snooze is a dangerous option) then spent the morning working and talking to Chileans. We somehow didn’t find time for a long walk, but we managed a short one before I had to go to school. In the evening, Oliva came over for a language exchange and I succeeded in convincing her to spend even more time with us later in the week. 

Tuesday 29/5: Today really felt like summer — when we went for our walk after lunch, the beach was full of sunbathers, and Craig even considered taking his shirt off. Otherwise, it was a work day — I was at school for three hours and worked on ITP for the rest of the day, and Craig finished building a very pretty website related to board games. 

Craig at the beach

Craig at the beach

Wednesday  30/5: For some reason, I woke up in a bad mood, so decided to clean the house — it’s a good strategy for working through frustration because you end up with a clean house! After lunch we went for a long walk towards the tower, and discovered a sculpture garden, menhirs, and two tiny beaches. A Coruña continues to surprise us in delightful ways. 

Obelisks!

Obelisks!

On the way home we stopped at the supermarket to pick up a bag of lettuce and ended up buying caipirinha ingredients too, which we put to good use later in the day (delicious!). We also mapped out a possible plan for the next few months and years, which is looking very exciting!

Plans

Plans

Thursday 31/5: After a morning at school and lunch at home, Craig and I headed down to one of the small beaches on the other side of the isthmus. It’s a lot more protected from the wind than the large beach we normally walk along, so the water was calm and the sand packed with people enjoying the heat. Craig braved the iciness of the water but I limited myself to a short paddle. 

In the afternoon I experimented with microwave cakes for dessert the following day (we don’t have an oven) and failed miserably to produce anything worth eating. At least the strawberry caipirinhas were good. 

When I got back from my evening class, the Internet had died — we’ve been sharing wifi with our neighbours across the hall, but they were moving out and cancelling the Internet subscription. We’d decided on a company to use but hadn’t gotten around to calling, and when Craig tried to set up the account over the phone he hit a wall: you need a NIE to do anything in this country, and Craig doesn’t have one. Not for lack of trying, I should point out. I, however, do have one, so I had the honour of talking to various call-centre operators for 45 minutes or so when they called back. Unfortunately, this was when Oliva was over for a language exchange — I definitely got to practice my Spanish during that time, just not with her. 

Cider and cheese from Asturias

Cider and cheese from Asturias

Friday 1/6: Not having Internet works for me — I don’t get distracted into talking to people! Instead, I got quite a lot of editing done before heading to school for the afternoon. After that, I made a much more-successful microwave cake (banana) and some more strawberry caipirinhas, then relaxed for a couple of hours before Oliva and Guille came over for a Vietnamese summer roll dinner. They’d brought us back some tasty cheese and cider from their trip to Asturias, and entertained us by demonstrating the correct technique for pouring the cider into the glass (they also showed us the wrong technique; a mop was required).

Saturday 2/6: Ah, laziness. We spent most of the day doing not much at all: Craig played computer games and listened to audiobooks, I read and went to the supermarket. We went for a short walk into the old town after lunch, and were invited into a small exhibition in a large stone building — it turned out to be an exhibition of military miniatures. Some of them were really well done, and the exhibition was beautifully laid out. 

Military miniatures

Military miniatures

In the evening, we met Oliva and Guille and their friends Mauri, Javier and Alba for some tapas — we tried to go to the same place as last week but it was full. Instead we went to Tapa Negra, where the raxo was great and the croquetas disappointing. Afterwards we headed to 8 Luces for a cocktail, after which Oliva tried to convince us to go dancing — we managed to extricate ourselves, though. 

Sunday 3/6: Another lazy day. We slept in, Craig brought me breakfast in bed, and we both read for a while before heading out for lunch. We’d seen a place we’d liked the look of, but it was closed on Sunday and we had to continue for 20 metres or so down the road to find another restaurant. It was an experience — we were looked after by a grumpy old man who could only have been the owner, and who looked extremely unimpressed when he saw we’d left some of the enormous quantity of meat we’d been served. I think I won him over when I asked if we could have it to go, though — my dessert seemed larger than normal and he brought over an extra fork for Craig with a smile. 

Sundays are wonderful

Sundays are wonderful

In the afternoon we lazed at home, though I headed out the a cafe for a coffee and to attempt to publish this travel diary — no luck though. The server was down and I ended up spending all my time speaking to Luis the Chilean. Seems like the week wanted to end how it started!

After a tasty dinner (mmm cold roast beeeeef) we watched Julie and Julia, and really enjoyed it.  

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One Response to “Travel diary: summer arrives in A Coruña”

  1. loco2 June 6, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Sounds like a pretty eventful week. The beach is beautiful. Having no internet may have been very frustrating but then again it would be lovely to have a week with no internet and enjoy the world as it is :) What an interesting way to learn spanish at such a frustrating time! This was a great diary entry.

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