When we moved to Chapala, we didn’t know it, but right across the street from our new home is a glorious city park. The Parque de la Christiania borders the malecon and extends around the lakefront, making almost all the lake shore in the city limits accessible to the public. I simply find that wonderful.
The park is well-used. On any given day, we’ll see soccer (or futbol as it is known here) practices taking place there either on the soccer fields in the park or ersatz pick-up games on the extensive meadows in the park.
Mostly though we’ll see families holding celebrations. Birthday parties, sweet sixteen parties, graduations, family reunions, or simply entire extended families enjoying the temperate climate here in Chapala.
Pay your five pesos (yes, there’s a small entry fee at one of several gates into the park) and begin your stroll along one of the many paths, some paved, some simply well-worn trails.
There are a limited number of vendors in the park, so refreshments are available without exiting. There is no re-entry. If you leave and want to come back, you pony up another five pesos.
The park is beautifully manicured and well-cared-for.
People come to the park to play, to socialize, the walk, to read, to be lovers or to simply lie in the sun or the shade.
Oh yes, there’s a full frisbee golf course in the park too.
There’s a lovely lane to walk along the lakefront, shady, with massive old trees lining the path. Lots of benches there too, to sit and watch the birds or to simply gaze of the expanse of the lake.
It’s usually quiet in the park. On the malecon part of the lakefront, music abounds. Marachi bands, individual, duo or trio bands, boom boxes and people simply singing for the joy of it.
The park is more for quiet contemplation, at least in our admittedly brief experience thus far.
It’s definitely worth a visit.