Archive for March 5th, 2017

March 5, 2017

A Coruña, La Coruña, Galicia a huge spot of green in Spain

Here I am on a Sunday catching up on my latest trip abroad. I did a round trip in reverse really do to airline pricing. La Coruña is a nice place, each time visited it makes you come back already, this time I venture into the city center and it was magical.

I went from Nantes to Porto (see previous post); and then drove around in Portugal , finally doing the run by car from near Porto to La Coruña and leaving from it on Transavia to Nantes.

The airport at La Coruña LCG is here:

I was driven there by friends so no public transports this time. And of course I stayed in my usual hotel, Attica21 in Matogrande neighborhood. A great hotel with friendly service, modern facilities, and good breakfast food all you eat. More on it here:

the airport at Nantes is here:

And flying with Transavia a low cost of AF is easy and good, even if first time using them.  More here:

The official tourist office is here:

By car crossing into Spain was marvelous with viaducs, mountains and old castles hanging on cliffs overlooking the road A1 into the A3 and then the A55, A52 to N120, and the corridor CG 2,2 ! great ride! We reach the town of Sarria.

From Sarria we end up in A Coruña to check into the hotel and then out to eat and walk the Plaza de Bombilla with the great obelisk or Obelisco de los Cantones. The merchant’s assoc has more on the area known as Obelisco here in Spanish:

Nearby we parked on parking los Cantones , very nice size ,secure and easy walking into the old town area; more on the parking here:

There is an area around it call Cantones Village, and here in Spanish is more on it:

We went by the famous La Bombilla restaurant in old town, this was told is a classic all visitors to La Coruña should come (A Coruña in the local Galician language). They do have a facebook page here:

We had some tapas with omelette and chorizo here and the local beer Estrella Galicia. Just great and good friendly service.

We moved on to a more sturdy meal at Alma Negra restaurant, where we had a Racion full of cold cuts, cheeses, and cold meats all wash down with a great Juan Gil red wine from Jumilla.  This one is in Calle Barrera,13 and the webpage is here:

Just wonderful indeed and friendly service, excellent food and good ambiance.

We finish the night at Alquimia for some small tapas and red wine from the house, quick and easy nice the way things are done there, easy does it life is beautiful as we say La Vida es Chula!! no webpage but here is their facebook page:

And this time was the hour to head to the hotel for some minimum rest ::) before taking off for Lisbon where my flight on TAP by White Airways was so late missed my flight and had to stay one night in Lisbon (see previous post) ,and come back on TAP next day early.

In all another great visit to a great place in Spain, nice and easy. Now back to work…. Enjoy your rest of Sunday. Cheers

 La Coruña  La Coruña  La Coruña  La Coruña  La Coruña  La Coruña  La Coruña Lisbon Sarria

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March 5, 2017

Oporto, Lisbon, you know it’s Portugal 1-2 punch!!!

Well just back from another short and wonderful trip to a very nice country still a lot to find out about it, this is Portugal. I know it well as I speak fluent Portuguese and grew up in their communities, my oldest son’s godfather is from Faro. In all ,I have written a bit on it in previous trips .Enjoy them!

This time, I took my flight from Nantes to Porto (Oporto) on Easyjet, first time using it , ok but still will go for the bigger name airlines there ,just me. I landed a bit late,and went out easy taking a taxi for 17,25 euros to my hotel in by the center in Boavista.

The airport site is here:

The airline Easyjet is here:

The ride was nice and even if there are cheaper ways to reach the center, if you can, take the taxi. Nice guy on the ride very talkative, and I was complemented on my Portuguese !!!

The hotel was right by Boavista,nice area, the Fénix hotel , bear in mine there is another Fenix next door call Tuela ,3 stars. I was on the Fénix Porto which is 4 stars ::) ; the site is here in English:

All they said is true, big rooms and bathroom, nice views over the city, and centrally located to see many. I went by the Casa da Mùsica, a nice center. Here it is home to the  Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Orquestra Barroca ,and the Remix Ensemble. Many musical events for all tastes; more here:

As I wandered around the Rotunda da Boavista, you can see the Casa da Mùsica and the wonderful Obelisk of the Portuguese fight vs the French imperial invaders ::) It is ,also call by locals the square or Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque.  It is 45 meters or 148 feet high and highly decorated on four sides with events in the history of Portugal.

The shopping Cidade do Porto , is just around the corner from the hotel, and you have several high end stores here. It has been preserved by modifiying several aspects of it after its construction in the 1990’s. You have now several stores and restaurants such as Pizza Hut ,McDonald’s etc and four floor all name as Piso Lazer (-1), Bom Sucesso (0), Gonçalo Sampaio (1), and Mouzinho de Alburquerque(2). It’s an alternative to kill some time in the city, but I won’t make it into a shopping center per se, that I am used to. More on the shopping here:

In the back of the shopping center , there is a nice small Chapel, Capela de Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso, it dates from  1748, last renovated in 2005. It is done in a rectangular shape with two story façade. Stone staircase that give access to the balcony. Neo Classical in the façade with a portal with tympanum curved interrupted by windows.  More in Portuguese and couple photos here:

The hightligh of my stayed in this area, was the Mercado de Bom Sucesso market. This is just turning right from hotel on about 100 meters, excellent ambiance, great food, and friendly staffs with full of locals. The site is here:

I went here for a tour walk around one night as had friends picking me up, and then came back to eat a wonderful seafood rice and scallops on shell with a good local red wine for less than 14€ , this was at the Mariscaria Bom Sucesso. More of it here:

Of course, the market is more than just restaurant, bars and seafood stands, there is also some shopping stores and souvenirs of local craft inside. Worth a visit on any given night.

Then, took the road a bit, and stop by the vinyards of Bairrada in near Murtede, while having lunch at the wonderful local restaurant Cabana do Pastor ( priest’s cabin).  Had a great pourco preto with chorizos here and more local red wine to kill for. This is the black feet pigs famous in the region.  Being so local , there is no webpage but you can find it here: Rua Estaçao 5, 3060-407, Murtede, Tel +351 231 416 350. More info here in Portuguese :

Then, it was on to Lisbon. Actually this on my return trip to A Coruña but that is another post. Coming back to Lisbon ,even for a day was great. I was able to stayed in one of my favorite hotels in the city, for the food ,service, and location; taxi only 7 euros with luggage from the airport.

The airport is here:

Again, easy in and out, coming in on TAP Portugal airline.  Their webpage is here:

I actually left Lisbon for Nantes on Transavia the next day with a free navette bus from hotel to airport. The airline site is here:

The hotel was the Radisson Blu at Campo Grande; just wonderful facilities, great service, excellent food (try that pourco preto and chorizo again with red wine sublime).  More here:

I came back to my Nantes airport to get my car and drive home 1h30. The airport is here:

Another great stop in Portugal, and always enjoyable. You know the other country in the Iberian peninsula, land of conquistadores, and great food/wine as well as the Fado music genre,and nice beaches.

Have a great Sunday ,and do come visit, it is all worth it. Cheers

 Porto  Porto  Porto Murtede  Lisbon

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