It's been a crazy busy week after the bank holiday Monday and there's so much to write about and not so much time (because I really really should be sleeping at this hour) and I'm almost worried that I'll forget a few things in all of the rush but for now, it will just have to wait. It will come soon. But first.. SAB'S FIRST VISIT TO CORUÑA!!!
She flew in on Friday evening and of course I took her to Pulperia de Melide for her first dinner. I've come to realise that the menu (aside from the pulpo and calamari and salads) changes each week. Or perhaps it changes everyday but so far for each time I've been, it's had a different plates each time. This time, there was a lobster salad and so HURRAY to not needing to take a risk and make a stab-in-the-dark order (!!) because I knew exactly what that was and yes, that was exactly what we wanted. But somewhere somehow over the noise of the restaurant and perhaps (ok, maybe just this) my pronunciation and my accent, the waiter mistook "bogavante" for "tomate" and so out came a tomato salad in five seconds flat. Kind of a bummer after we were salivating over what I had tried to order and I felt so stupid but we tried the tomatoes and holy moly it might have been the best tomato salad ever! Covered in truffle and cheese and all vinegary and olive-oily and just so super duper tasty. And it was a third of the price of the lobster so I guess that worked out well. And with the pulpo and the bread it was actually enough for a dinner so late (seriously, it was 10pm already and I know that's not late at all for the Spanish) for both of us.
On Saturday I took her to the food market and we (ok, I) spent a whole lot more than I was planning to. Food just looks more enticing when the vendors and bakers and butchers are dressed for Halloween festivities and there are giant pumpkins everywhere. We took our feast back home and after lunch we went into town, getting ice-creams along the way, to shop. Well more for Sab to shop and reap the benefits of my employee discount. We (she) spent over an hour in ZARA and suddenly I had the greatest sympathy for Mumma and Pops for whenever they ever came shopping with me. It was EXHAUSTING. By the time we got home for a siesta we decided to pass on dinner out and cooked up what we had bought from the market in the morning.
On Sunday we took the train to Santiago de Compostela, the main tourist site in Northern Spain, famous for being the final stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Only 30 minutes away from Coruña, it was the perfect day trip for a little change of scenery. And we had the BEST weather. In fact we had the best weather all weekend! After checking the forecast on BBC twice a day for a week, it had gradually changed from heavy rain storms to sunny and warm all day long. It was the best of luck. We picked up a map from Tourist Information and took the route towards the cathedral and then to the museums. The Museo de Pobo Gelgo (the Galician folk museum) was free on Sunday but since everything was written in Spanish, we got bored pretty quick. Next door was the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo which had a couple of photography exhibitions on. It was so beautiful - the photography and the space. The whole reception area was floor to ceiling marble but not intimidating at all and the curation was so clean and minimal and quiet and calm and everything made sense. I want to go back again for the next exhibition for sure.
After lunch we walked back in the direction towards the train station and stopped by Parque de la Alameda, recommended for it's beautiful gardens and panoramic views of the city. Like a cross between Hampstead Heath and Kew Gardens - it was a dream. The most beautiful eucalyptus trees all around, broken up with palm trees (?!) and smaller trees and plants and all atop a hill so you can pass the viewpoints looking out upon the city below. There were larger pathways lined with grand oak trees and maple leaves decorated the floor in the beginnings of autumn's colour palette.
It was so perfect. The weather was so perfect. The light was everything. Sunday was the best day.
With everything closed on the bank holiday Monday, we had the laziest of all mornings and finally got dressed in the afternoon. We made peanut butter* and tapenade and made a small mismatched lunch for ourselves before heading out. Obviously I accidentally bought the olives with the stones still in so we sat and bonded over pitting a whole can of olives together and in the end I gave up in frustration and just ate the rest straight up. It might have made the tapenade a little more salty with the smaller proportion of olives to the rest of the ingredients but whatever, we wanted our tapenade and no can of un-pitted olives would stop us.
*It's become apparent (after extensive in-store and internet research) that finding peanut butter here in Spain is about as hopeful as finding the lost unicorn. Unless I buy the crappy American brands for 10€ a jar (no thank you) I have to pay 20€ on Amazon for shipping alone! The other day I noticed how cheap the peanuts were in the grocery store, just plain roasted with nothing else added, so I bought a bag and just blitzed it into my own magical butter because how is a life without peanut butter a life at all??
I took Sab to the other side of Corunã to walk along the beach and she spend the first 10 minutes gasping at the the prettiest views and taking photos of the shore line and then the next 2 hours picking shells out from the sand. I wanted to take her up to the famous octopus sculpture but we couldn't even make it that far before our tummies rumbled and we headed back for dinner. Except that the restaurants were all closed of course at such an early hour so we binged on snacks at home and then headed back out and just around the corner of my apartment to a restaurant for Sab's last meal.