One of the first places we wanted to see for ourselves was Parque Calderon. We hopped on the bus and got off somewhere in the city, thinking we had a little understanding of where things were. How hard could it be to find a park smack dab in the middle of the city? Well it was two hours walking in the hot sun, in and out of little grungy alleyways hard! Just kidding! We hopped off the bus, saw the beautiful blue tiled roof of the big Church next to the Parque poking out above the city, and were there in a few minutes.
It truly is a beautiful park, not just because of how it is laid out, or because of the palm trees and all the beautiful buildings surrounding it. Just feeling the culture of the place is beautiful. You see young families with their children playing in the spray of the fountain, elderly gentlemen sitting on shaded benches chatting, artistic people sketching characters, and musicians playing their tunes and singing their songs. There are photographers taking pictures for tourists, vendors selling popsicles, shoe shiners and many other interesting people to spy on.
One of the interesting things I enjoy about the park is how tranquil it is. You would think that with all the people bustling around it would be loud and feel crowded, but it doesn’t. It feels quiet and peaceful; at least it has every time we’ve been there. We often pick up a tasty treat and sit on a bench to people watch.
It’s nice to pop into one of the cafes or restaurants surrounding the park, or peruse the jewelry being sold in the shade across the street.
Sometimes you’ll be fortunate enough to see someone walking by with a gaggle of geese or a few goats. The first time we were at the park we heard a kitten crying but couldn’t locate where it was, it kept crying loud and long until we realized that it was in a wiggling sack slung over the back of a Cholita (what we’ve been told the ladies with the frilly skirts and long braids are called.) We’ve also seen men with their hands full of cute fuzzy little puppies, hoping to prey on the weakness of people like me. Don’t worry I didn’t give in, we had already done so at a local market a month or so before.
The parque is one of our favorite places to relax and soak in la vida (life).