Residents of a sizzling Spanish city, who have to suffer searing summer heat and are located miles from the nearest coastline, are being treated to a brand new beach of their own.
The beach will be part of the Madrid Rio project; a green belt that covers 300 acres and runs for 5 miles along the banks of the Manzanares River in the west of the city.
Local residents are thrilled with the project which has been seven years in the planning and construction and stretches from Arganzuela Park in the south, over to the Casa de Campo in the west.
The area includes cultural and sports facilities, shaded walks, 30km of cycle paths, a childrens playground, and cafes and restaurants. The new beach which incorporates three large, shallow pools, fountains and vaporised water sprays, is surrounded by relaxing grassed areas.
Temperatures in the Spanish capital can often reach 40°C in summer months and the recreation area will be a welcome and refreshing break from the heat.
Over 25,000 trees and thousands more shrubs have been planted, new foot bridges have been built across the river and some of the older ones restored.
The river itself has had its flow increased from what used to just be a muddy trickle and the water quality improved; swimming is unfortunately still not permitted though.
Despite the residents of Madrid being over the moon at the new development, environmentalists have condemned the fact that the M-30 road had to be rerouted and feel it was done ‘without an environmental impact assessment.’ This is not going to let the locals stop enjoying what one described as ‘a wonderful place of tranquillity’.