Thursday, 21 February 2013

Gulliver's Bed.

The Parque Jardín del Turia is the dry river bed left behind when Valencia's authorities diverted the river Turia to avoid the regular flooding. It is now a 9km sunken park providing residents and visitors with footpaths, cycleways, sports facilities, cafés and much more. 

For this post, I'm going to showcase one of the most striking facilities in the whole park. Meet Gulliver...

Chica contemplates a steep slide (tobogán) through Gulliver's hair.

The Parque de Recreo Infantil Gulliver is a 50m long (10m high) fibreglass model of Jonathan Swift's famous character. Located between puentes (bridges) Reino de Valencia and Ángel Custodio (nearest metro, Alameda), it offers children (and a lot of their parents) an opportunity to scramble up ropes, slip down slides and get themselves lost in the tunnels and caves that make up his sleeping body. 

'Give us a hand.'

I was there on a sunny February Saturday and it was pretty busy. In the summer months they limit access to 450 people. If you have pre-teen children and you're planning some time in Valencia it's a must. Although you might want to detach your usual 'elf 'n' safety antennae for the day; Spaniards seem a bit more free and easy when it comes to clambering around giant statues. It was free when I was there but I understand a small admission fee is charged in the busy months. 

My only gripe would be the lack of a small café for parents to sit while supervising their children.

But then, I didn't see too many parents sitting on the available benches. Most of them were up on Gulliver, having a whale of a time alongside their kids.

Now be honest, who's having the most fun?
No, I don't have extraordinarily long legs, so I didn't take this last picture.

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