So waaaaay back in March Kevin and I took a small trip to Madeira. And when I say small I really do mean small. I shall elaborate below.
Madeira has one of the most notorious airports in Europe, so on our maiden voyage we circled around it three times then flew straight back to Lisbon. FUN TIMES! However, Queasyjet put us up in a freaking 4 star hotel and because they thought Kevin and I were a couple (pah haaaa) they put us in a beautiful king sized bed. Kevin can correct me but I think there were even two showers. Either way we went for a midnight wander around Lisbon then stole two beers form the mini bar. Post flight trauma can sometimes only be settled by a cold, free Superbock. (Kevin – we should maybe consider applying for sponsorship from Superbock if we ever return to Lisbon..)
As hard as it was to give up our luxury pad and and move onto yet another plane to our crapy little hostel in Madeira, we did. Our hostel was right in the center of Funchal, and, while it was pokey and a bit dim with rude men at the desk who thought we were Spanish even though they’d seen our UK passports and tried to make us pay twice, it had a little balcony overlooking the street which was just small enough for two chairs and an 8 pack of tiny beers, so it suited us just fine. The name of the place escapes me, but it was very cheap and nice enough.
As is customary when Kevin and I are together we went on a funicular. The one in Funchal is pretty long but pretty fast. We passed the time spotting houses we’d like to like to live in or deciding at which point we were high enough to jump out of without dying in case the lift got stuck or something. The lift takes you up to a high point of the island (part of the reason why the airport is so dangerous is because of the wind changes caused by this mountain thing. But it’s nice while you’re on there). There is also another reason to go up there. The sledges. This became a sort of joke between Kevin and I because for a few weeks I begged him to do segways with me but he wouldn’t. So this was my revenge. It was hilarious, and, as Kevin predicted, pretty embarrassing.
I took a small video which I’ll probably throw on here at a later date but oh man. This was unexpected. First off, we went into a little church at the top of the hill which was really peaceful and beautiful. We spotted the wee men in their (fairly obvious and cheesey) uniforms and tried to pick our one. However a grey army beat us to it (excuse me, I mean a bus tour – for that was the main clientele of this particular adventure). But the guys we got were nice, and they pushed us down this mental steep hill. Seriously, it got fast. I think there was a speed limit even. It was mad. Once we got to the bottom and ahem, had another beer… we decided to walk back into the town center and try to get to a beach. It was absolutely roasting, and being Scottish and starved of sunlight we obviously got very burnt in the hour we were walking in the sun. Pro tip kids: wear sunscreen.
We did manage to find a lovely beach though (after an hour of walking and moaning). Madiera only has volcanic beaches, however they are beginning to create artificial beaches in the hope that it will bring more tourism to the lace, which is the main source of income for a lot of them people there. So when you walk along the main pier esplanade in Funchal and you see these things:
you will know what’s going on there! Fake beaches. Just to draw you in. And if you are there it probably worked. You should also hit up the market while you are there, because that is very impressive. Go early in the day to catch the best looking fish and to try all the fruits fresh from the stalks as they are cut! See the featured photo for an idea of what to expect!
A couple last things about Madeira.
- Our trip did not do it justice. We were only there for one full day. There’s a lot more to do than what we did (mainly eat and drink…)
- On the subject of eating and drinking you have to try Bolo do Caco. Get a garlic one and fall in love with it so that you don’t need anyone else afterwards with your garlicy breath.
- Get a Brisa. These drinks are pretty much only available in Madeira but they are like Fanta on steroids. They. Are. So. Tasty. for real
- And finally have a cute wee picture of Kevin playing risk with the waves on the beach that we found. Bless his tiny happy soul.
ps – those orange speks that you are ALL loving were hostel find. My boi Kev da Bev ain’t got no shame in his game. Or on my thieving, ehh I mean scavenging game.