In America, weekends have become somehow busier than weekdays. We cram a whole
week’s worth of errands into Saturday and then spend Sunday “relaxing” by shopping at the mall, often close to where we were the day before. In order to supply this demand, more of us are working on weekends. The result is that by the end of the weekend, we wonder where our time went and we return to our jobs Monday morning without feeling rested or rejuvenated.
We need a weekend after our weekend. One solution is to relax and have a leisurely pace on weekends. A novel thought, I know, but it seems that for more and more of us, weekends feel a lot like work.
Every trip needs some downtime. The breakneck speed of darting between cities and sites can take its toll, and travel can begin to feel like work. If the weather is pleasant, one of the best things you can do to relax and catch your breath is head to a park. With the quiet atmosphere and absence of shops, museums, traffic and restaurants that would otherwise distract, the mind slows down and so does the pace of the day, allowing you to take in all you have seen and done and enjoy it that much more. On Sundays, much of Spain turns to a ghost town as shops are closed and their employees are spending time with their families. As a visitor, this is the perfect opportunity to do as the locals do and take it outside. Parque Maria Luisa is Sevilla’s central park. The park dates to 1893 when royal gardens were donated to the city of Sevilla to be used as a public park. Many of the buildings in the park are from 1929, when much of the Ibero-American Exposition was held in there.
The park is filled with gardens, paths, fountains, benches and most importantly, shade. Spain is hot, and the sun is somehow hotter here. The shade makes the park popular among walkers, joggers, families and, well, everybody. Grab some picnic food from any bakery or grocery that you see, plenty of water (did I mention Spain is hot?), a book or a game and head to the park. After a walk around, find a shady tree and have your lunch, then start reading your book and promptly fall asleep. No worries-the park is safe and you are tired. When you wake up, consider renting one of those bike-cars you see everyone on. They are 8 euro for 30 minutes, which is just long enough. The park seems smaller when you are whizzing through it on your bike-car. After an afternoon at the park, you will be well-rested and recharged and ready to enjoy and appreciate every minute of your trip.
There are a few concession stands in the park, but selection is limited and pricey. Best to bring your own fare. And don’t forget the water.