Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Parque Juan Carlos I Madrid

If you want an escape from the city some afternoon, grab a book and some snacks and head to Parque Juan Carlos I.  I went there for the first time this afternoon, and really enjoyed the green and the quiet.  

How to Arrive

Take the pink line 8 as if you were headed to the airport, but get off one stop early at Campo de las Naciones.

You should be able to easily follow the metro's green exit signs (look for "Parque Juan Carlos I") to leave out of the correct exit, but once you're above ground I didn't see any signs telling which way to go.  Go left!  Well, first follow the sidewalk straight ahead when you exit the metro and then take the first left.  Walk straight for about a block and a half, and soon you should see this in front of you:

Parque Juan Calos I (note the pyramid on the left side)

When you see a pyramid off to your left or a red sphere up on a statue on the right, you're nearly there. 

Parque Juan Carlos I

Juan Carlos I Park has 13,000 meters of paths, 21 hectares of olive trees, and features 19 sculptures.

Parque Juan Carlos I

Lunch by the Riverside

It felt so good to kick off my flip flops and walk through the green grass.  I found some shade under a tree next to the river, which is where I ate my picnic lunch.  

Where I ate my picnic lunch and read in Parque Juan Carlos I

The three little waterfalls nearby peacefully drowned out any possible sounds of other humans, so I felt as though I had the park to myself.  It helps that I only saw a handful of other people while I was sitting in this spot.  They biked past on the path alongside the river, and then I was "alone" once again.

After eating I pulled out my kindle and read for a while there in the grass, listening to the water.

A few chapters later I rested my eyes some.  And then I got myself up to walk through some more of this ginormous park.

The Elderly's Playground

Near the central square I came across a playground for the elderly.  That's what it was called, no joke.  Here's some of what it had:

Practice wrist movement

Practice turning of the wrist

Shoulder wheel

And my personal favorite:

Stairs and a ramp!

Yup, I had fun making a fool of myself as I tried many of the exercises inside the Elderly Park.  No one else was there exercising!  

Olive Trees

In the olive field there was a sign saying that this was a brother field to El Bosque del Olivar in San Isidro, Lima.  That's where the first olive trees of America were planted in 1560, as ordered by General Don Antonio de Rivera.

A few last pictures

Here are a couple more pictures of what else I saw this afternoon, though the park has even more to see:

What: Parque Juan Carlos I
Where: Glorieta S.A.R. Don Juan de Borbon y Battemberg, 5
Metro: Campo de las Naciones (Line 8)
Hours: June to September: Friday and Saturdays, 7am - 3am;  Rest of the week, 7am - 1am
October to May: Fridays and Saturdays, 7am - midnight; Rest of the week, 7am - 11pm
Price: Free!
Tips: A good place to bike, jog, walk, read, and picnic.  There's not much shade while you're walking along the paths (wear sunscreen!), but if you want to sit for a while you can definitely find shade under a tree.  There are public bathrooms, and they had toilet paper!

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