Three weeks have passed since my last gloomy post.
Since then, things have changed in Madrid, luckily for the better. We are now in phase 2 of the return to normality process. People are now going out more, bars and restaurants are open (with limited capacity) and the streets are lively again. Political tensions and street protests seem to have faded. Everybody still wears masks, but I get the impression that there is less fear of walking past someone in the street.
Since last Monday there are fewer restrictions for families as well so today, for the first time in more than three months, I went for a walk with my husband and daughter.
We decided to stay relatively close and we chose a park I hadn’t had the chance to explore yet: Fuente del Berro. The park is located on the East side of the city near the main motorway M30. At the entrance, I was concerned that the noise from the motorway would spoil the experience but actually, after 5 minutes I could not notice it.
The park is built on different levels and it is very well looked after, with many ponds, fountains, some monuments and peculiar buildings. It is possible to enter from entrances situated on different streets and then to take many different paths. This helps to avoid overcrowding, which is so important in this period. It was nice to see children running around again.
From the park is possible to see El Pirulí, the TV tower, which is one of the symbols of Spanish public television and it is located just on the other side of the street.
Fuente del Berro has been a good discovery and I am looking forward to coming back to explore more. It is another addition to the list of the parks in Madrid worth visiting and another good place to spend time with kids (there is also a playground in the park).
After spending time in the park we headed to a bar for our first post-lockdown family tapas. At the moment bars can only offer a limited number of tables to ensure the social security distance. I have been told that in the city centre there are now long queues to access the bars, even though there are no tourists. I am not surprised: ir de terraceo (spending time with friends on a bar terrace) is probably the favourite social activity of madrileños. In our neighbourhood, there are no big issues with queues, although we were told by the waiter that most of the tables had already been reserved. The croquetas we ordered tasted very good after so long without having them.
My disillusion with Madrid seems now over and I hope it stays like that. In July the country is opening to tourism again. I understand that the country tourism industry is in desperate need of oxygen, but personally I feel it is probably too soon. The relatively good situation we are in now is still fragile and it could always be reversed in a moment.
At the same time, I hope and believe that the authorities and the health services are now more prepared than before to deal with any new wave of infections.
Let’s wait and see, I’ll keep you posted!