As I mentioned in my previous blog, Summer´s here, last Sunday was a perfect Sunday. After a hectic week at work a lazy Sunday was just what I was craving and, thanks to the glorious weather, it´s just what I got!
For months I´d been threatening to visit the Botanical Gardens. I figured, seeing as they´re located pretty much on my doorstep – well, if I´m honest they´re a twenty-minute walk but hey that´s still pretty close if you ask me! – it wouldn´t be all that difficult a task – how wrong was I? Almost every Friday I made a fairly non-committal plan to go to these much talked about gardens but, come Sunday morning, tiredness / laziness always outweighed my desire to go!
Not last Sunday though! I´m not sure what it was that motivated me to get my ass in gear and go. Maybe it was the fact I had been indoors all week or maybe it was simply because I knew that, if I kept putting it off, I would never end up going! Anyway, whatever got into me, I´m glad it did and I´m glad that I finally got there!
As I said in my previous post the gardens were not at all what I had expected – not in a bad way, they were enjoyable, just different from what I imagined. I don´t know what I had envisioned really. I think i had just presumed, given that the word garden is in the title, that i would find this large, cultivated garden filled with exotic species of flowers and plants. A bit naive of me really looking back at it! Especially seeing as I know full well that Botanical Gardens are primarily for educational and scientific use!
One of the best things about the Botanical Gardens is that they are well laid out which means you don´t waste any time trying to find your way around. When I think about it, it´s really just a long thoroughfare with a few squares, fountains and various themed gardens – by themed I mean that each garden is organised by species – spread evenly along it. Located at the end of this thoroughfare is a garden which is devoted to various different trees and shrubs, a garden which is appropriately named ” Un paseo entre árboles” or A walk between the trees.
Parallel to this garden is a palaeobotanical museum which is home to some 15000 plant fossils. Unfortunately, due to our Sunday morning laziness, the museum was closed when we got there. However, outside of the museum there are several fossils on display to give you a little taster of what lies behind the closed doors. These fossils are so well-preserved that I can only imagine how good the ones inside the museum must be. Who knows maybe the next time I go I´ll get to venture inside and learn a bit about them!
Sunday morning seems to be one of the best days to visit the Gardens. On Sundays the Gardens host their weekly market. When I say market, I don´t mean your typical Spanish market consisting of handbags, fans and hats but rather a plant and food market. It consists of various stalls selling cultivated flowers,handmade soaps, crafts and wine – something a little different to embrace on your Sunday morning.
While there you can indulge in a typical Spanish breakfast, a toasted baguette with olive oil, tomato and cured ham with a glass of orange juice and some coffee, in their beautiful café located beside the rose gardens. No better way to refuel after a nice stroll around the gardens and the market.
It´s an ideal way to spend a Sunday in my opinion. As you roam from garden to garden you find yourself unwinding and little by little you start to feel as though you´re a million miles away from a city. If walking´s not your thing then grab a book, find a nice spot under the shade of one of their numerous trees, relax and forget about all your worries as the morning passes you by!
So; while the gardens weren´t what I expected, they were relaxing and just what I needed to unwind after my week! However, while I do like them and believe they have a lot to offer, they do not, well in my eyes anyway, compare with my favourite park Vista Alegre. In saying that, I´m delighted I´ve finally got to see the gardens and, without a doubt, will be back there again! Hopefully next time I´ll get to see the museum!
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you ever been to a Botanical Garden? What did you think of it?