“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart” ~ Victor Hugo
The day has finally come! The day we leave Munich to discover Madeira! Like love at first sight, one day it just happened unexpectedly. I was in a big sportshop and completely by chance I took part to an exhibition about this beautiful island. I fell in love and decided I should have gone there and seen that paradise with my eyes!
They call it the land of eternal spring. Madeira is an island located in the Mid-Atlantic and is about 1000 kilometers south west of Portugal and 600 kilometers west of the coast of Morocco. The weather is described by the locals as being the most perfect climate in the world. It’s never too hot, never too cold, with temperatures between 16 and 25 degrees. It’s perfect for adventurous road trips that is what I am looking for and it is rich of contrasts between its huge rocky coasts, the green mountainous landscape in the interior part of the island, the blue of the ocean and the brown volcanic areas in the east.
Here, iridescent waterfalls crash over narrow roads, dreamlike flowers shine through a mist of rainbows and exotic fruits come down from ancient tree limbs. The flora is so exotic it almost seems you are not in Europe anymore.
We are flying over Portugal. The famous Lisbon bridge is below us. Ocean Atlantic is in front of us finally!
No direct flight to Madeira and we enjoy some delicious and tasty Portuguese sweets in Lisbon airport waiting for next flight. We don´t have to wait too long until we finally flies to our final destination. Oh…the immense ocean space… my eyes try to look as far as they can to find what they are looking for.
Here it is! Terra! Terraaa!! I can see the land!!! We can see the land after so much water below us! I feel a bit like Christopher Columbus that actually came around here some years before his most famous trip and married the daughter of a plantation owner on Porto Santo.
Getting closer to Madeira, the first thing you notice it is the striking scenery of Ponta de São Lourenço, a narrow, irregular and curved peninsula on the eastern side of the island. It is an impressive example of volcanic cones that have been shaped by erosion from the sea. The sky is cloudy and reddish but super brilliant sun rays come down touching the ocean like lightfalls.
The excitement is growing and growing at the idea of touching new exotical lands. It is 19,40, finally the plane gets ready for landing.
The landing is exciting! The airplane gets so close to the sea, closer and closer, wow! Someone close to me is a bit scared. I feel more excited than scared. With an unusually short runway, rocky hills on either side and a sheer drop into the ocean the airport is recognized by pilots as one of the most difficult to land. The runway is also susceptible to strong winds and turbulence and so the pilots must have a special training for landing in Madeira.
We touch the ground and we wait for our huge backpacks. No trolley admitted this time. Just adventure! We will explore by foot, taking bus and hitchhiking, moving from place to place all around the island. 4 nights in Funchal, 2 nights in Jardim do Mar, 2 nights in Porto Moniz, 2 nights in Sao Joao, 2 nights in Santana and we are considering to spend on the beach under the stars the last night before flying back to Munich!
We catch the aerobus direction Funchal and the first thing capturing my attention is the color. Wherever I look I see green and this color will be a constant for all the trip.
Madeira is the greenest thing I have ever seen in my life! Emerald lush forests contrasting beautifully with bright blue sky.
In 15 minutes we are in Funchal, Madeira´s capital. Walking in the city you cannot avoid to notice the beautiful Jacarada trees that originate a purple explosion with their flowers in May.
We head to the hotel that is very central, we rest not more than one hour. We want to go out and enjoy the local atmosphere. It is so peaceful, so relaxing and the air is warm and calm. It smells of spring all around. The lights, the ocean and us. It is just perfect…
We buy an icecream in an italian place and we sit in front of a pirate galeon in the harbour breathing the sea and watching the stars.
The beginning is so promising! It is just day 1 of a beautiful roadtrip in the island of eternal spring. The best has to come still!
“We all end in the ocean. We all start in the streams. We are all carried along by the river of dreams.”