Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維 (webcowgirl) wrote,
Web Cowgirl 衛 思 維

Back from another busy vacation day

Whew! That day just flew by. We were up for breakfast before being picked up at 9 AM to go on a hike in the center of Madeira (or further away from the city): from a viewpoint overlooking the city of Curral das Freias (commonly known as the Nuns' Town) to the town itself. The ride put us in the middle of these stunning volcanic peaks, just completely jutting out of the valley straight up, then let us walk down them to a town sort of at the middle elevation. It was actually rather brisk, but warmed up afterwards. When we got to the bottom we went to the snack bar, where the tour promised us a cup of tea and some chestnut cake, but I went wild and added some chestnut soup on to mine as it was about lunch time and I was rather hungry. It was delicious, the best thing Iºve eaten since Iºve been here.

Then back to the hotel for a nap, then lunch and out again to the Botanic Gardens, which were utterly gorgeous. Yes, weºre getting the nice weather here, and I really enjoyed the sunshine and the ridiculous piles of flowering plants everywhere. The garden was especially cool due to 1) lots of cactus 2) a topiary garden (beware the Red Queen!) and 3) a parrot zoo, which seemed to be inhabited by peopleºs abandoned pets - no consideration to rarity at all.

Next stop was the Orchid Garden, which cost more but had less - it seems to be a privately owned concern. I picked up two orchids, one of which cost about five times what I was expecting (if it blooms it will be the craziest thing on the planet, but right now Iºm thinking I may have made a bad purchase). Then back home (again) to drop off plants and make a stab at eating the various weird fruits we bought at the market yesterday. We moved on to the armored apple (chemoya, I think, "custard apple" here, which was so ripe it was turning) and the mangos (amazing, had to wipe mango drool off the table).

Then suddenly it was dinner, and we took our now rather limping and sore selves to the center of town to find a restaurant highly recommended in the guidebook. Four billion restauranteers totally tried to lure us in, but when we finally negotiated the side streets well enough to find the one we watned - full house, of course! We killed some time and made it in, and, well, it was nice enough, but I am getting right tired of big piles of meat for dinner and could have probably just got some pasta to go with my deelish soup (garlic broth on toasted bread with poached eggs on top).

Finally we made it to Pan E Vinho for a little Fado - the place had been hard to find as all of the guidebooks mention it but the street itºs on is too tiny to map. We lasted through two sets, which I thought were far better than the ones I heard at the place I went to in Lisbon. Home now and itºs after midnight (thanks to the time Iºve spent on this post), so Iºd better get going if Iºm going to be on a boat at 10:30 tomorrow morning.
Tags: madeira, travel
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