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To Madeira

Added: October 04, 2014

Tags: Madeira Portugal city photos
Have you ever attempted to fly on Friday 13th? Only cheap direct flight we could find from Vienna to Madeira was with Fly Niky/airberlin on Friday 13th, so we have booked it. Just one way, because return trip seemed expensive compared to "bargain price" of outbound fly.

We decided to go back with Tap Portugal through Lisbon to see also mainland Portugal. That turned more complicated than we expected. The first booking failed with Bad Request and repeated try ended up with web page asking us to wait for 24h or contact them. So I have tried Skype to tap.contact.center, but they did not authorize me for following 25 hours. No problem, 24h passed, I can book again, can't I? Wrong! Same message. OK, let's make phone companies happy. I have called to listed sales agent in Prague. She could not help me, she advised me to wait 24h, prankster, or call to Portugal.

Should I make that call? Not yet, let's try e-mail first. I received bad news next day - they simply don't do bookings or advice on price through e-mail. It looked like people who fly on Friday 13th don't need inbound flight anymore :-) I replied angrily, that I don't want them to finish booking, all I am asking for is to remove that damn lock on my reservation that should not be there anymore. To my huge surprise, I could finish my booking next day. Who would guess that?

What was I writing about? Aha, flying on Friday 13th. Here is the rest of story...

We arrived to airport nicely, 2 hours ahead. But during check-in we were informed that our flight is delayed by 5 hours. It would be less terrible if Schwechat had enough seats, but it is mostly standup gig (at least terminal for budget operators is like that).

Later, we learned probable reason why other flights of the same operator were delayed only for one hour - there were only 37 people on our flight. So they probably shuffled available planes in way that destination with least number of passengers will be delayed over 4 hours.

Together with long time spent at car rental company, we arrived to our accommodation after 10pm. So our plan to spend our first evening in Madeira to shop at local market was trashed.

Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico

Contrary to our preferred approach, we decided to stay at one accommodation whole time.

We have found it at House Trip. I was never so nervous before. I relaxed only when we accommodated there. I feared it could be a scam. Whole site and booking experience made me believe so (e.g. good price; no contact allowed with owner outside their messaging system and that is possible only after you book it; e-mail with "owner confirmed availability, but hurry, because there are 3 other requests"). Fortunately, I was wrong :-)

Rented flat is at ground level. Lino Henriques, the owner, lives upstairs, but we met him only a couple of times during our stay. He is very nice person.
Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico

Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico

Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico

Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico

Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico

It was nice place to be at, completely sufficient for our needs (sleeping, using bathroom, cooking, eating, drinking delicious Madeira wine outside, wifi). We did not try TV, but used washing machine once.

It also offers nice views of Funchal and we could not find closer location to botanical garden (Jardim Botânico) - its entry is at across the road. It is important to note, that Jardim Botânico is also station of cable car to Monte.

There is, however, one thing not mentioned at House Trip (could we miss it?). It is not visible from road, where it is located. There is tall wall next to road, with not very obvious gate and stairs up. I learned not to trust completely Google Maps regarding some addresses, but this one is correctly marked.

With elevated location comes huge advantage - nice views.

Cantinho Do Céu Madeira, Jardim Botânico


This is not actually view from the accommodation. It is photo from botanical garden, but it fits into text about elevated location.

Cabo Girão

Due to our ruined plan of shopping for supplies on the day of arrival we spent Saturday morning in Funchal center. Good thing was that Mercado dos Lavradores (market) is more colorful and full on Saturdays compared to other days. We have spent most of afternoon at botanical garden so only time left to us was for short trip to one of the highest cliffs of Europe.

It was the first trip and we have learned interesting thing already. Roads and tunnels are built and changed so quickly that navigators cannot cope with that. Our navigator got lost immediately after getting off the motor way. I am not sure which way it wanted to go, but we refused to follow it and we managed to get there.

That does not mean roads are bad. Contrary, they are very good and tunnels make traveling much shorter. They are just quite steep and curvy often. That should be expected on mountainous island.

Going up to Cabo Girão - a look back.
near Cabo Girão, Madeira

View of Funchal from Cabo Girão.
view from Cabo Girão, Madeira

Standing at glass viewing platform, about 580m above the sea.
viewing platform at Cabo Girão, Madeira

Another, more airy part of viewing platform at Cabo Girão.
viewing platform at Cabo Girão, Madeira

Looking down from viewing platform
a look down from Cabo Girão, Madeira

Eucalyptus forest at the top of Cabo Girão.
Eucalyptus forest at the top of Cabo Girão, Madeira