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21 01 2016

Madeira, fast winter trip


Have you heard about Madeira? It is a small island that belongs to Portugal. It is just a 2h flight from Lisbon and in low season you can get pretty good deals for about 40 euros go and return. Me and my 2 friends decided to go there last January for just 3 days. I can say now that it is perfectly enough to see the island (unless you want to hike, then you should add another 2 days). We stayed in some kind of shitty, ridiculously cheap guesthouse. It was supposed to be a room with 3 beds, it was 2 beds and one camp-bed. Well, for the price we got we could not complain too much. Anyways, we didn't spend much time there.. and the central location was perfect.







 You want a fun fact? It seems like the time has stopped there! You can see so many old buses, trucks and cars it is amazing.







The best way to see Madeira is to rent a car and that's what we did. I gotta say, its so damn scary to drive! Rented cars have really weak engine and most part of the time we had to drive on 2nd gear, hardly never a higher one. One time we got stuck on the hill, we wanted to turn around but the car kept going down and we were almost falling in some hole. Finally a nice lady came and helped us, 3 people had to push the car! If you are not an experienced driver, better use public transport... The second day it got easier and we got used to scary hills and cliffs and wherever we would drive we would get to see some amazing views. On one side ocean and cliffs, on the other side mountains, mist and loads loads of exotic greenery. 



What we were most scared of was going to one of the highest peaks, terrified that our car would get stuck somewhere on top. Surprisingly it was so easy! Moreover, it was the best part of the trip. We took some stunning pics in different places, with cloudy city views and mountains covered with mist, slowly revealing the beauty of this island. While we were getting closer to Pico de Arieiro, we had to drive in between sheep! It was so much fun, they were all around, hundreds of them just wandering around... 









Finally on top of the mountain! Clouds were covering everything, but all we had to do was to wait just a few minutes to see them moving and the mountains to appear. Well, I can't say too much about it. You have to see it yourself. 




What shocked us most, was how people live there! Most of the houses are located on very steep hills. Sometimes impossible to park a car nearby, or sometimes cars parked on a rooftop of the house! I sincerely admire inhabitants because for me it is some dark magic! Also, you have to know. Madeira is not a party island. There are mainly old German/English couples. Not so good beaches and not many. So if you are going there, prepare to more sightseeing and driving around than actually resting on exotic beach. 











 In spite of travelling in January, it was pretty warm. Most of the time sunny, just with some mist and clouds in the hills. The best period is to go in may, it is blooming everywhere! Also due to winter time our days were shorter. It was getting dark by 18 and we really didn't want to drive at night. I am sparing the details of the trip because it is a not a guide book and I don't want to make boring posts! Pictures do the thing!