Today we are going to talk about a different experience, our visit to a welcoming theme park, the Parque Reina Sofía (Reina Sofía Park), in Ferrol.
Ferrol is a Galician municipality in the province of A Coruña, located on the north shore of the estuary of the same name, which together with the Ría de A Coruña and the Ría de Ares form what is called the Golfo Ártabro.
The Parque Reina Sofía is located in the heart of Ferrol, separating the two most important quarters of the city, Ferrol Vello and the Magdalena Quarter, halfway between the city centre, the military arsenal and the marina.
It is an ideal urban park to visit with children, with services and children's areas, where you can find, among other things, a dance floor, a pond with a 19th century fountain and a didactic water garden, also known as AquaCiencia. But, without a doubt, what we liked best and called our attention were its famous tenants, those colourful and friendly peacocks that give character and warmth to the park.
This beautiful space, converted into a park, was formerly a friars' orchard, but today it maintains its essence, mainly because of the forested areas and flowerbeds.
The park has a large central square known as the dance floor, where different types of cultural activities are currently held. On the day of our visit, a hot August day, a film was shown in the square in the open air a little later, around 8:30 pm, as part of the activities of the Ferrol festival programme. During our experience, at that time of the afternoon, several children were taking bike rides, enjoying their skates or playing ball in the middle of the huge square.
As a decorative element, providing solemnity and character, in another area there is also a small square with a pond and a 19th century fountain, the "Wallace Fountain". This fountain is surrounded by the busts of eight distinguished people from Ferrol and was donated to the city by the industrialist and businessman Juan Romero Rodríguez, who bought it at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris for a thousand reals.
It is in its upper part where, in addition to a restaurant with a terrace to enjoy the views, there is the didactic water garden, AquaCiencia, an educational centre with natural attractions to learn by playing where we are sure that both young and old can have a good time.
As we walk through the extensive garden, of about 5,000 m2, we discover water in all its full extent, the energy, the properties of water and its applications, through curious and fun interactive activities in the form of panels, mechanisms or machinery. Among other things, you can see how an Egyptian water clock works, a pedal waterwheel, a hydraulic ram to transport water from one tank to another or even move around on a ferry using your own strength by pulling a rope to reach a tiny island with a lighthouse in the so-called "Lagoa do Faro".
At the end of our walk and visit to the park we were aware that we were lucky because of the day of the week we chose and that we could access this space, because on Mondays, as on Sundays, both the cafeteria and the AquaCiencia area are closed.
A stroll by the city?
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Their colourful and friendly peacocks
If there is something that characterises the Parque Reina Sofía, besides the multitude of plant species, it is the presence of beautiful and endearing peacocks that roam freely in the gardens and climb the branches of the trees. We found curious to see how they rise metres and metres high until they reach the top of one of the centenary trees.
These animals live together with pigeons, gulls and other species of birds that inhabit the park. It's beautiful to see how some females walk around peacefully looking after their young.
We could see how they walk around calmly in the midst of the people, strutting, at their leisure and flaunting some spectacular plumage (particularly in the case of the males).
Without a doubt, we discovered why this space is one of the most emblematic parks in the city and we left with the desire to return another day to enjoy it thoroughly.