Traveling is still really difficult in Europe, but as soon as the large travel ban was lifted, we booked plane tickets for the following weekend and took off to Spain! We only have 2 months left in Europe, so we don’t have time to wait for the perfect scenario.
If you’d like to watch the video of our trip, here you go! Don’t forget to subscribe 😉
Covid Restriction Fun
So there were a few things that were more difficult with Covid restrictions, mostly with the travel. We all had to have covid tests (except Aaron) within 72 hours of traveling. There were MANY extra forms to fill out to get the QR code to be able to board the plane. The airport was pretty empty which was nice! Everyone was in masks of course, but the kids didn’t make it very long with theirs on, but no one seemed to mind.
After our trip, we had to fill out a passenger locator form with the Belgium govenement and then wait for a text to see if we were required to quarantine… lame! Belgium likes to make everything as hard as possible. We did end up getting a mandatory quarantine for 7 days with testing again on day 7, but Madrid was a Red Zone at the time so that was really no surprise. For us, it was worth it. The kids all ended up coming down strep throat during our quarantine so antibiotics for everyone! It all worked out though.
Madrid Temple – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
If you’ve been on the blog before, you’ll know that we like to base our family travel around our church temples that are scattered across Europe! Covid has really put a damper on our goal to see all 14, but we’re still trying to check as many off the list as possible. They are one of our favorite places to visit.
Visiting the temple is usually never easy and often quite off our beaten path, and this time was no different. I always learn something new from our experience visiting the temples and I’d like to share our experience.
Even though we weren’t able to go inside, there were many tender mercies that we experienced. It was a 40 minute metro ride out to the temple. It was also raining CATS AND DOGS! By the time we got to the temple, we had already been running the kids around Madrid for multiple days, we were soaked, tired, and hungry. As soon as the temple came into view, I think all of us felt the peace and comfort of the feeling of being “home”, even so far away. The gate was open enough for us to enter, and we found shelter from the rain for a few minutes under the eve of the temple. There was a baptism at the church building next door, otherwise the temple ground are closed. We spent about 10 minutes under the temple eve before we were asked to leave, but I was grateful for the few moments of peace there!
We met up with a friend from our SHAPE church branch in Belgium who had moved to Madrid about a year ago. It was lovely to see her and after a few pictures by the temple and enjoying every second of the feeling there, she took us back into the city for dinner in the main square!
Geraldine speaks spanish so she helped us order a fantastic dinner of many traditional Spain dishes! It was so much fun.
Muesum of Optical Illusions
We found an awesome little muesum! When we first found it, we had to make a reservation and come back, but it was worth it. By the end Nick and I were a little motion sick… but the kids loved it!!
Simon on a plate
That’s ALOT of Tolmans!!!
Good thing he’s cute!!! Colidoscope Hyrum
Who’s the big brother again?
“We can finally beat up dad! He’s so small!”
The best competition in life is with yourself… or something profound like that 😉
Walking on the ceiling!
Walking Photo Tour – AirBnB Experience
One of our favorite things to do is hire a local tour guide/photographer from AirBNB (discount using this link here). We get a tour of the city, AND some amazing family photos. This tour/photos, although rainy, did not disappoint.
Sunday morning, we stopped by the famous Madrid Flee Market! It was right outside our AirBNB actually. Simon LOVED this! A place full of cheap junk and trinkets… that’s his kinda jam! We picked up a couple things to remember the city while we walked around. So much fun.
The graphity in this city is incredible. It was very rarely ugly or vulgar (also, I don’t speak spanish.. haha!), but usually it had a very artsy vibe! The whole city was extremly colorful and fun. I took a walk one evening with Aaron and took some photos of a few ones that caught my eye. The boys also loved posing in front of of “awesome” ones.
The OLDEST resturant in the world
Nick and Simon went on a little evening date to have dinner at the oldest resturant in the world! Sobrino de Botin was founded in 1725 and has been open for almost 300 years! For some prespective, that’s older than the United States! The earliest reservation time was 8pm, so I stayed home with the littles and the big boys got to enjoy some suckling pig and filet mingon.
This trip was Aarons first time on a plane, and we utilized all kinds of transportation on this trip. Drive to the train station in Jurbise, train to the airport. Plane to Madrid, metro to the AirBNB, metro all over the city, and lots and lots of walking! We wore masks, hand sanitized and washed hands, and did our best to find things to do outside away from people as much as possible. Aside from the air travel, the covid restriction were quite easy to navigate.
We’re exhausted! Movie in the AirBNB 🙂
Until the next adventure! ~Tolman Travels~