Yesterday we finally went to Castrelos Park, the old "pazo", or stately home, on the other side of Vigo. The house stands in the middle of the park and has formal, English style gardens behind. We like to go there every time we come to Vigo but for one reason or another this time we had not managed to do so until yesterday.
After a dull start, the day had turned very hot and sunny. At this time of year mist often rolls in off the Atlantic, up the estuary, climbing like a strange sort of living creature over envy thing that gets in its way. We once had it come down on us during a visit to the Islas Cíes. Everything disappeared in the mist and our granddaughter was rather concerned about how the boat would find its way back to Vigo. It's rolling over the A Guía promontory as I type - 7.15 in the evening. Strange weather!
Anyway, yesterday, late in the afternoon we caught a bus up to Plaza de America. The bus weaves its way back and forth through just about every street possible. Forget about the tourist bus; just get on the C4 and you'll see most of the city. As a result of all the to-ing and fro-ing the bus takes a good thirty minutes to get up to Plaza de America.
As we got off the bus, the heat hit us. It was noticeably hotter than at our end of town. So we walked on the shady side of the street down the Avenida de Castrelos to the park. Lots of people there. The playground, in shade now, was full of children and parents. Amazingly some people were jogging round the park. I fail to understand jogging in the heat. Is it some kind of masochism? Some were doing stretching exercises on the railings of the bridge over the river. The suspicious bit of me wondered if they had actually run or were just posing!
In quiet, shady places of the gardens, some people just sat on the grass and enjoyed the cool places. Others had abandoned their bikes across the path, with total disregard for those who might also want to use that path.
The box hedge maze behind the "pazo" is still being treated with something or other to improve it. This has been going on for at least two years now. The treatment is either very thorough or very slow. Or perhaps they have just forgotten to remove the notices.
Having checked that the roses are growing nicely (they are), we found that we could not go and stand under the oldest eucalyptus trees in the area. At any rate, that is what a friend told us about them the first time we saw them. And they are pretty impressive. But they are taped off with a notice about "Perigo de caida de palas", danger of something falling, possibly branches!
So we headed back towards the "pazo" again and eventually to the point where you can leave the park and walk along the path by the river Lagares. In the other direction, starting from the other side of the park, the path takes you eventually to Samil beach. We were walking back towards our end of town. The path is quite nicely maintained, with notices every so far along telling you which birds you can see along the way. We saw none, although we heard a few. We did see a lot of cyclists. Mostly without bells to warn of their arrival!
At several points the path goes past or through industrial parks, where we saw some impressive graffiti. It picks up again until it finally runs out close to the Avenida de Madrid, one of the main highways into Vigo. Crossing this huge dual carriageway is a little frightening to say the least. But we managed it, in several careful stages!
Then we had to weave our way back towards our end of the city, following a route we planned carefully a year or two ago and always have difficulty sticking to. Street names have a way of disappearing when you need them most!
timed our return walk: an hour and a half from leaving the park to
going through our front door! Just in time for some interesting sunset
skies from the balcony of our flat.