my guide book called coruna the most underrated city in spain. interesting, i thought, how can something so old and established be underappreciated? either something has changed in the sands of coolness, or there is some barrier stopping people from loving this place as it deserves.
and in the end, i can't say i found either of these cases to be true, and coruna is indeed one of the best cities i've visited in spain. maybe having santiago close by but infinitely more famous keeps the city slightly hidden in plain view?
it reminded me of san sebastian: modern, surrounded by water, with a kick-ass beach right in the middle. it reminded me of san francisco: can any city surrounded by water on three sides not be stunning? it reminded me a little bit of new england: the fishing boats sitting sleepily in the harbor, a breakwater you can walk along, even a building that is an avatar of one in boston.
but ultimately, coruna was completely unique and seemed perfectly appropriate for its location. you were never more than a few steps from the water in every direction. seafood bars and restaurants lined those windy medieval streets. cathedrals and plazas appeared gracefully, without seeming dominating or imposing. if a place can be energetic and laid-back at the same time, coruna is it