Madeira travelogue # 8
Experience Madeira – Full of contrasts
Text and photos: John Steffensen
For many people from other nations the island Madeira become the ultimate resort. Therefore, many of them visit perfect Madeira again and again. First become hooked on Madeira, an almost equally good thing to do is to move there first as last. And just that severals are doing.
Madeira is a good place to stay, not least because the temperature is experienced as pleasant. Not stifling hot – nor cold. As a good Norwegian summer all year round … Madeira, for that matter lasted up with snow, but we need to go well up in height. For Madeira has high mountains – just a few hundred meters lower than the highest Norwegians.
On the island’s south side, in the lee of the mountains, it is dry and mild. This is where the main tourist sites are located. Both large and small hotels.
It’s perfectly possible to visit the island without having booked anything in advance. It may still be advisable to pre-book your first stay. Later there is no trouble moving from hotel to hotel. Others prefer to stay at the same hotel the whole time.
Porto Mare, Madeira – a fantastic hotel that impresses us
We stayed at the Porto Mare, a fantastic hotel that impresses with its wonderful pool area and a park that is breathtaking. Everything is clean and tidy no matter what time of day one makes its entrance.
The large rooms have stunning sea views, and the hotel is centrally located in the Lido area, a few kilometers south of the center of Funchal.
It takes only fifteen minutes to walk into the center, but if you are not using the Apostles horses, it’s super easy to get a taxi. They are everywhere – and are affordable.
A number of bus companies are available as well. In the same way as at home, the companies have the license for their respective routes. The buses have different colors depending on where on the island they have their domain.
Madeira is very hilly. There are very steep slopes everywhere. The roads are narrow and winding. It also runs fast, so this is not a road for the faint-hearted. Those who live by selling brake pads and/or repair the same, might have a good source of income. At least if motorists can afford to make use of their services.
On highways it goes away… Here it is particularly unusual with road shoulders. There is no place for acceleration field. Suddenly you are on the highway, and that’s it. The drivers that already are located on the main road, are taking no appreciable respect to those who want to join them. It must be on everyones fortune; but if there is a gap between the vehicles, then stomp on the gas …
The unemployment in Madeira is relatively high, and it is clear that some locals are not living on the sunny side of life. Even at the Lido area, where there are numerous luxurious hotels and a wealth of cafes and restaurants – not to mention tourists, some of the «houses» would hardly be described as residential in the Norwegian standard … The people of Madeira are open and friendly. You feel welcome – and wanted. In the case of insects and animals, there are none of the dangerous or nasty kind. No mosquitoes or likewise. Madeira is perfect for those who are not particularly fond of such creatures …
Madeira. The Atlantic bouquet of flowers
Certainly it’s rampant, but there are still some areas that experienced more barren and scorched. Especially you see this when driving from the airport and towards Funchal (about 10 minutes). When viewing you can see places that are not particularly flowery. Yet the landscape is very fascinating and exciting! The drive from the airport is nice; there is much to look at all along the way. The many terraced gardens, small houses clinging to steep slopes, exotic plants, banana plants, wonderful jacaranda trees with a sea of blue flowers, grape plants, camouflage trees, strelitzies (Madeira’s most famous cut flower), and so on. ….
The list is long and endless… The impressions are many at exciting Madeira.
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Read more of the Madeira travelogues by activating these: # 7 Coincidence lead to the Madeira Wine # 6 Nun’s Valley. The place God hidden. # 5 Do Forte – An unforgettable evening at the Atlantic shore And this travellogue: # 8 The impressions are many at exciting Madeira