Photography. Travel. Spain.

48 Terrific Hours in Madrid

Turning a miss into a hit

Diana Lotti
8 min readFeb 2, 2022
Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash

We can agree the COVID pandemic changed the way we travel.

What used to be a slightly complicated process, now it’s just mean. We would pick our travel dates, buy airline tickets, book the hotels and tours, make reservations, and pack our bags. All before we even get to the airport.

Now, we need to check COVID travel restrictions, isolation/quarantine rules, complete PCR or Antigen tests within a travel window, and ensure we have all the documents, such as the vaccine card.

Back in August, we thought we had all the documents. Then, our negative results arrived 30 minutes after our flight connection left the terminal in Madrid.

The next available flight? Three days away.

We were stuck in Madrid without our bags. Those made the connecting flight. And so the fun begins.

We’ve had travel issues before, but never to this extent. We spent a few hours at the airport until we resolved our issues and received one free hotel stay for the night and a free meal.

Then the next morning, we got into planning mode.

Day 1 (Day after our missed flight)

We booked a hotel in Madrid's downtown center and took the train. We arrived in time for our early check-in.

The first order of business afterward was to go shopping. Remember how our bags made the connecting flight? Only the husband had his clothes thanks to his carry-on bag. Mine contained my camera gear and walking shoes.

First lesson: Always have two changes of clothes in your carry-on bag.

We decided to do shop at Puerta del Sol.

Puerta del Sol translates to Sun’s Door, and it is one of the busiest public squares in Madrid. People were out and about doing shopping and musicians were playing in different corners of the square. We immediately loved it.

Fun Fact about Puerta del Sol: A famous clock sits atop the Casa de Correos building (headquarters of Madrid's regional government). During New Year celebrations, it is a tradition to eat 12 grapes with…



Diana Lotti

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