Due to recent covid-19 restrictions in Cataluna, aka gyms closed, to get my bike ride that would have been to the gym I cycled to Parc Ciutadella to see the ducks.
Cataluna for most of January closed gyms, shopping malls, restricted bar and restaurant hours amongst other covid-19 measures. As infection levels are dropping in Cataluna they’re easing restrictions this week (although I’m sure this has something to do with Catalan elections next week). I’m just happy gyms have reopened. I don’t always have the same motivation to workout at home as I do going to a gym. I’m happy too I can indoor climb again! Sometimes it was dark, other times I made it out in daylight hours to the park. Most of the time the ducks and geese were around for snacks. I was happy the park was open and I’ll for sure continue to drop by to say hi to the ducks and feed them now gyms are open!
I started around the end of December taking bread to feed them and the geese. A few geese were so polite, making sure they got front row seats with gentle sweet tiny honks asking for more. Any ducks that got close they just did a neck sweep. The ducks make a ton noise swimming across the pond as if to tell everyone there’s bread. When they get close a few chase away others but I’ve noticed the younger females are a little timid (can tell by size) and swim away if it’s too busy. I make sure to throw bread in their direction. When the seagulls are around it get crazy. Seagulls have amazing vertical aerial take off skills, are up in the air as soon as you raise your hand. They seem to know exactly where the bread is going to land, loads diving down at the same time. Both the geese and ducks close their eyes and duck out of the way as if to avoid getting stabbed in the eye. As the seagulls are so quick you can kinda fool them for a moment to give the ducks and geese an opportunity for bread by raising your hand as if to throw in one direction which the seagulls follow and then throwing it in the other direction. This only works a few times as the seagulls learn quick.
I swear the few times I visited the ducks without food, they bitched at each other she has nothing. Both the ducks and geese turned towards each other, swam away quacking as if to say, nothing this time, puh!
Back in June I shared photos from my morning phasing out of lockdown time slotted freedom bike rides to Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s most famous city park and my favourite park.
When the lockdown down ended, my gym still wasn’t open. To make up the distance there and back and to get some greenery and wildlife I cycled to the park after the beach in the afternoons (afternoon in Spain ends around 8-9pm)/early evenings. When my gym, climbing gym and zoo reopened I tried to make the park a few times a week. While I miss the quietness of the mornings the park’s back to being less busy in the afternoons now everybody’s at the beach, work or still staying at home. The early evenings during lockdown freedom hours it was the bar and pub replacement local hangout. It has now a different kind of quietness to the mornings. Ducks and geese are getting ready to nap with the water less busy. I’ve only just learnt ducks can sleep on the water, head tucked under a wing and are diurnal being active at night. I’ve even seen some rats climb up and run along railings.
Sadly the nights are getting shorter and soon my rides to the park becoming less as gyms have reopened after the 2nd lockdown (recommended to stay at home) ended. I still try to get there once a week to cycle around now around dusk for greenery, hearing birds sing, watching the ducks and geese, cycling with the bats (yep, nerdy!). Beach is first if I can get there before the sun sinks behind buildings. I can’t go before 15.30 even at the weekends as the sun’s too strong. I’ve now started snorkelling (In the sea, not in this mini lake! I’d get arrested! I wouldn’t want to anyway. It gets so dirty they have to empty it every now and then and refill). I get to see what the ducks, seagulls, cormorants see when they dive.
Most of the photos were taken in June and July when the light was nice and bright and of the boating lake. I used to like watching out for the ducklings checking the Mamas didn’t loose any. I don’t think they did! As usual, I’m a sh*t editor posting way too many photos. Enjoy!
The past few weeks during time slotted exercise hours I switched the coast for the park. As much as I love the sea I needed some greenery!
It was a little emotional my first ride cycling past the zoo and around Parc de la Ciutadella. After 7 weeks lockdown indoors, 2 week cycling up the coast, then being hit with greenery, birds singing and flying everywhere, I nearly burst into tears. I had missed what being outside surrounded by trees not just the sea felt like, how I missed being surrounded by nature. Now we’re in phase 2 the beaches are open to sunbathe and take a dip, exercise hours dropped save the over 70’s time slots, we’re allowed to go outside as many times as we want. That said the park only has it’s peaceful magic in the mornings. The afternoons and evenings the place gets loud with humans. When I can I’ll still take my early morning bike rides to the park for its quietness. I get to see the sea up close cycling there and back. That is until the zoo opens where when everybody’s at the beach if you time it right it’s like you have the place to yourself (my view on zooshere) when I can do both the beach and zoo. A little balance of both.
The ducks and geese early morning like to preen and sunbathe as do the turtles. Later on in the day I’ve noticed they either hang around the easy spot for food or take a nap.
I hope you’re having a great weekend! I can’t believe tomorrow is the 1st of June. May flew by compared to March and April. Don’t waste time by not doing things you want to do!
This week’s Weekend Friday Favourites is short and sweet. My world is slowly getting little bigger now we’re allowed out for time slotted exercise, it’s still tiny compared to pre March. Pre March I was around people almost daily. For the past 14 weeks I’ve spoke to so few people in person I’m conscious of over talking too much when I do. Anyways, things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week.
Aside from water one thing I start to crave daily as it gets hotter is a glass of cold orange juice. While I don’t like eating oranges I love orange juice. There’s something about a cold glass of orange juice that helps quench thirst, gives a boost thanks to its natural sugars, making you feel refreshed all at once.
I couldn’t handle the cuteness this week in Parc de la Ciutadella. Where I usually see turtles hanging out sunbathing, a family of baby ducklings were huddled tomando sol with Mama close by. I’d seen her earlier in the week out with her chicks and hoping she hasn’t lost one.
Firstly, I’ll never make being a magazine editor. How do you choose from so many photos and secondly, I get a little envious of my clients when they request training the park. They get to curse at me with their poker faces to the sound birds chatting away and I think they feel less conscious than being in a gym. One is actually a completely different girl training outside than inside. She’s more animated! I keep saying to myself to take my workout outside, train in the fresh air, not just run in it. My excuse, I need the heavier weights! To be honest, I haven’t really got an excuse. I can used body weight and easy to pack suspension trainer and resistance bands like I do for my clients. I’m too stuck in my ways!
Parc de la Ciutadella in the Ciutat Vella district is the oldest park in Barcelona and one of my favourite urban parks (which might have something to do with the palm trees). Formally a fortress and the city’s first public park, it was featured in the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exhibition (Exposicion Universal de Barcelona) displaying sculptures and contemporary art which is why next to the boating lake you find a life sized woolly mammoth. It’s also home to Catalan Parliament (blink and you miss it), Museum of Zoology, Museum of Geology, a very ornate waterfall, a bandstand that holds Lindy Hops dances at the weekends and yogis in the mornings, a boating lake and Barcelona Zoo. After classes I love cycling through soaking up it’s early morning energy before the tourists arrive. I get to see it through a tourists eyes as I normally pass through in the afternoons. Different times of the day can make the same place feel completely different! Some corners I’m transported to a tropical garden and there’s always something new to discover. Enjoy xoxo