I live close to the inmensely popular El Retiro park, so I often go there to take a walk, breathe some fresh air, and watch how the year’s seasons go by, as colorful foliage falls from trees and grows back again along with the smell of flowers invading your senses.
During summer, the park is overrun with locals and tourists alike enjoying the great weather. One of its most famous spots, the pond by the Alfonso XII monument, ends up being crammed with rowing boats. It’s quite a nice way to spend some relaxing time.
I did it once, when I was a small child, and my rowing skills weren’t any good at all, so whenever I took the oars, we would just sail around in circles. For a few years, I’ve been wanting to go back and see if I’m better at it now, but I guess the fact that it’s so close to my home got in the way. Not anymore! Last year I had a go at it again with my wife, and we deeply enjoyed it. It’s a lot of fun, including maneuvering around other boats and laughing at your own rowing abilities. And yes, I’ve gotten a bit better at it.
Before our stint in paddling, we spent the rest of the afternoon lazing about in the park, where there are some nice spots for that. For example, the Crystal Palace (check the Crystal Palace article) is one of my favorite places there.
Embarcadero de El Retiro | Relaxing | Boat rental +/- € 5.80
El Retiro park
10:00 – 20:15 daily