Spain has been on a strict lockdown since March 14th, because of the COVID-19 virus, with strict laws designed to keep people inside and to enforce social distancing. We knew it was serious when Valencia cancelled Fallas… but even then, we weren’t expecting to endure seven full weeks of quarantine. Spain has been among the most-affected countries in the world.
Since mid-March, we’ve been cooped up, allowed to go outside only for grocery shopping. Those trips became the highlights of our weeks, an adventure we’d eagerly look forward to. But now, finally, we’re starting to see the end of the tunnel. On May 2nd, the government began a phased approach to de-escalate the lockdown. And for the first time in 48 days, we were allowed to go outside for a walk through the city!
Our First Walk Outside After the COVID-19 Lockdown
May 2nd, 2020, will go down in Valencian history. It was the first day the citizens were able to leave their houses, and take a walk, or do individual sports. This date fell on a Saturday, which happened to be the year’s most beautiful day, so far. So we knew the Turia River Park was going to be packed with runners and walkers, and wanted to avoid that.
We began by walking down Calle La Paz to the Plaza de la Reina. Then, we made our way past the Micalet, toward the Plaza de la Virgin, which we were eager to see. It had been over two months since we last saw our favorite plaza!
We’ve never seen a Saturday morning this busy in Valencia. Luckily, most the people were wearing masks, and everyone was keeping their distance from each other. After passing through the Torres de Serranos, we couldn’t resist looking over the Turia Park from the bridge. We knew the park would be crowded with joggers, but still, we were shocked by how many there were!
Before heading back home, we took a quick detour to the Mercado Central. Apparently, everyone else in the city had the same idea… it was packed full! If people are allowed to walk until 10am, it’s not too surprising that they’ll all go shopping immediately afterwards. The market was forced to close the front doors, facing La Lonja, and have people line up at one of the side entrances. We’ve never seen a line for the Mercado Central before!
More pictures of our COVID-19 de-escalation walk in Valencia, Spain: