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3rd May, 2017

La Coruna

La Coruna was rather busy with passenger ships, so we ended up round the corner, as it were, from the usual berth close by the town centre. That wasn’t a problem as the port had laid on a large articulated shuttle bus to get the folks to the passenger terminal. The tour buses though were brought close to the gangway and once the morning ‘business’was out of the way we joined the excursion to the walled city of Lugo, a UNESCO world heritage site.

The hour plus drive through the rural countryside was a delight, but it wasn’t until we had driven through the outskirts that we came to the magnificent walls where some 70 of the original 85 round turrets still stand. Built in Roman times the city within, called then Lucus Augusti, encloses some 85 acres, has walls up to 40 feet high and well over a mile long. Ten gates, one or two original, penetrate the walls and from the local bus station across the road outside we continued on a walking tour through one of the less ancient ones that allow something larger than a horse and cart. Inside many of the religious buildings date from medieval times including the Romanesque cathedral, the earliest parts dating back to 1129 (not quite sure how they can be so specific).

Our excellent guide took us through the narrow streets at a gentle pace, because of the economic problems over the past few years there were several buildings all shuttered up and covered by graffiti. Sad to see in this special place, but work is being done and the walls have been restored so that it is now possible to walk all the way round the top. We were told that they have now become very popular for locals who wish to keep fit. Being siesta time some of the shops were closed, but bars and restaurants were quite busy. After leaving the impressive cathedral, much added to over the years, we took a break for some tapas, sitting outside in the warm sunshine before starting our return journey.

Lugo is delightful, a very acceptable alternative if you have ‘done’Santiago de Compostela.

Captain Philip Rentell

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