I spent on and off about a year and a half in Portugal. Compared to other Southern European communities, the Portuguese kind and laid back attitude is probably my favourite.
Maybe it’s not a chance my last month in this country was in Madeira. Being from an island myself, I like fantasising about living where I am surrounded by waters – one day.
It seems surreal that just 1-hour flight from Lisbon can reveal such different land. As soon as the plane doors open, soil, orange and mango scents will assault your nostrils. If you’re lucky to land at night, look behind. You will probably rub your eyes as I did, wondering if a precious show made of tiny lights and scattered ruins on rough cliffs can be so easy to reach.
Ronaldo’s motherland is popular as one of the warmest winter destinations in Europe, allowing t-shirts nearly all year round.
Madeira is certainly more than juicy exotic rememberings and well-known heights.
It’s the island of surprising, sophisticated Portuguese women, with high heels and lots of makeup. And yet, away from Funchal’s centre, they wander steep alleys in heavy blue pyjamas and dirty hairdos.
It’s where lush green and bananas pop up from every brick. A symphony of strelitzia, aloe and orchids.
During my stay, I was working on a deadline for my memoir. I hadn’t really much time to explore.
However, there are certain details I will never forget. Like the walks back at the hostel, especially after the sunset, only with the noise of dogs barking, echoing throughout the valley.
Or when the bus, driving fast on a narrow street with rocky cliffs on both sides, would almost hit me.
I loved waking up in silence, even when the hostel was full. Staring at the ocean beyond the kitchen’s door to tame my creative self-doubts.
Watching birds playing hide and seek through the lines of bedsheet and towels. Sharing moments with friends who will probably be for life…
Madeira can be this, and much more 🙂