On our way to Malta, we had to make a transfer in Madrid. If we were already there, it would be a shame not to see the city. We decided to stay two days. We managed to catch a Halloween in the capital of Spain.
To see something in such a big city with two small kids, it’s not an easy task. They experienced the metro for the first time, but only the first ride was enjoyable for them.
I like to walk in city centers. It’s the best way to take in your surroundings. Kids didn’t agree: “What is so fascinating? There are houses everywhere, that’s it. Can we go somewhere interesting?”
They did surprise me in the museum though. We visited Museo de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. We were lucky; it was Wednesday when it’s a free to enter. They walked with me from painting to painting, waited that I read the note next to it, and then listened to my summary of a story behind every art piece. They asked so many questions to which I didn’t have a proper answer. They were transfixed in front of Jesus' crucifixion image: “Poor guy! Why would anyone do such a thing to him?” Explain that to the four and five years old, without too much of religious ideology and without presenting the world as a shitty place. It was a challenge, and I am still not sure how well I did it.
Place where kids enjoyed the most was Retiro park. There are playgrounds and the lake where they were able to row the boat on their own. It was a warm sunny day, with leaves turning in a colourful palette: lovely.
But, how to get them to some other part of Madrid, let’s say to Royal Palace, for example?
“Kids, do you want to see the palace where many kings and queens had lived?” I suggested.
“Are they still living there?” Lejla asked.
“I think they live in another palace, but they do come to that one as well sometimes.”
“Are knights there?” Erik questioned.
“They have guards, yes...” I was afraid to lose his interest.
When we finally arrived (not without complains from kids that everything is just too far apart), they realized they were tricked.
“Where are king and queen?” Erik required.
“Well, you cannot see them. They probably aren't here right now,” I answered.
“Why did we bothered to come here then?” he squeaked in disappointment.
Leo was secretly smiling on the side, agreeing with kids. He is also not a big sightseeing fan. They went to hide in the labyrinth, and I gained some points when I showed the sculptures of kings who ruled long, long time ago.
Anyhow, there was a time, when children didn’t have troubles walking around the city. When? When they were dressed in a witch and a vampire. We randomly found a group of kids with a couple of adults as guardians walking the streets and asking for treats. Of course, we joined them as part of the team. Nobody seemed to notice. We walked and shouted: “Truco o trato! Truco o trato!” We stopped at every open shop, barber, hairdresser, whoever, to give us candies. And they did. Everyone had a bowl of sweets prepared for little monsters. Lejla and Erik were so proud when they collect enough courage to go to the store with other Spanish speaking kids. If you ask them, wandering the streets with other small witches, vampires, and zombies, was the best experience in Madrid.
It truly was memorable.