Resa till Madeira

Igår landade vi på den lilla vulkanön Madeira mitt ute i Atlanten utanför Marockos västkust.

Ända sedan jag var drygt tjugo år och hade en chef som kom tillbaka härifrån alldeles lyrisk över den vackra blomsterrika ön har jag velat åka hit. Nu blev det äntligen av tillsammans med min numera äkta make på en smekmånadsresa.

Det började lite olyckligt så till vida att vi kom till ett hotell som var allt annat än det vi önskade oss. Smutsigt, slitet och rent ut sagt sjabbigt. I morse ringde vi till resebyrån och förklarade att vi ville byta inte bara rum utan hotell. Pratade med en mycket tillmötesgående tjej som tog tag i det hela. Några timmar senare landade vi på den här platsen. Glatt överraskade. Någon har talat om att vi är här på smekmånad.

Smekmånad på Madeira

Nu kunde vi koppla av och bara njuta av varandra och en skön, avkopplande plats.

Utsikt från hotellets poolområde

Härifrån kommer vi ge oss ut på olika äventyr runt ön. Jag ska se vilka naturandar och naturväsen som ger sig till känna.

Honeymoon to Madeira

The surprise

The trip to Madeira was special in many ways. It started with us ending up in a hotel, which we had booked ourselves, which was under all criticism. You really have to look to find a shabbier place. We found most things that you don’t want to find in a hotel room and then you should know that it was marked with three stars. Normally, neither I nor my husband are particularly demanding. You don’t stay in a hotel room that much, it’s mostly a place to store your stuff and sleep in. We love to discover the places we go to. However, we moved to a five-star hotel the day after arrival, which we did not regret.

We have probably never been so surprised. My husband mentioned in passing to the travel company we went with that we were there on our honeymoon and wanted a better standard than what we initially got. If it costs us extra, it’s worth it. Most likely they have then told the hotel. What happened was the following; the hotel upgraded our room from partial sea view to full sea view, they had decorated the room with swans on the bed and rose petals strewn all over the bed and bedside tables.

In the evening, the room service came with a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries with a greeting from the hotel management. I would have liked to have seen the expressions on our faces. The next day when we got up from breakfast there was a bottle of red wine with a greeting from the girls who worked on site for the travel company. We felt very surprised and very grateful.

The excursions

As I mentioned above, both my husband and I enjoy discovering the place we visit so we tried a little bit of each. Asked around what to see and do both the hotel staff who live on the island and those who sell excursions locally. We were, among other things, on a hike quite high up in the mountains at about 800 meters above sea level. We walked about 13 km in sun, fog and rain. When we arrived at the end of the walk we were completely soaked and cold and just wanted to go back to the hotel where we warmed up in the hot pool and sauna.

There are two botanical gardens on site. One that is at a higher altitude, about 800 meters above sea level, and a slightly smaller one that is at half that altitude. Monte, which is at the top, was very beautiful with many ponds, small waterfalls and tropical plants. The lower one was not nearly as attractive. Both gardens can be reached via a long cable car, which is an excursion in itself.

Madeira which is a volcanic island consists only of mountains that go right down to the sea. One day we went on a jeep safari around the entire eastern side of the island and went, among other things, up to the second highest peak on the island, which is about 1800 meters above sea level. The highest peak on the island is just over 2,000 meters. As high as the highest mountain in Sweden; Kebnekaise. It says a lot about this small island that you can go around in a day. That tour also included rum tasting made from their own sugar cane plantations. Maybe not the best rum we’ve tried but still.

We were also downtown in Funchal, both the newer parts and the old town. There is much to discover and see here. During our stay, the city was lit up on the evening of December 1, as is done every year. The Christmas lights and decorations they have were absolutely amazing. We haven’t seen anything like it so far.

Last day on the island, we rented a car to look around on our own, places we hadn’t yet seen. One of these places was Nuns Valley, a small village located inside the crater of the volcano. The volcano has not erupted for a very long time, so it is completely cold, but the crater is no less conspicuous for that.

Nature spirits on site

True to my habit, I always try to get in touch with the place’s nature spirits to get a deeper feeling for the place and learn more about the history. I was a bit puzzled when I saw the island’s guardian spirit in the form of a feminine figure similar to the island. I feel that she is asleep and tries to wake up to answer me but can’t. And I didn’t get in contact with any other nature spirits on site either. At the same time, both my husband and I felt that there was an enormous peace over the island, something that permeated everything and everyone who was there, even us tourists. Even the city pigeons felt peaceful. They were not at all perched as they might otherwise be.

On our levada walk (hiking) I communicated with Mother Earth and asked her some questions about the island. She showed me that the island has always been like a protected zone. During the Cretaceous period when the dinosaurs lived, there were small, peaceful, herbivorous dinosaurs. Sometimes there was the occasional raptor-like dinosaur that found its way out from the mainland and kept the population down, but no one ever settled there.

Way back there was also a kind of people who lived there but only for a short time. When modern man learned to make his way across the world’s oceans, it happened that they stopped on the island, but no one settled there. Vikings have also stayed there, she said.

The most interesting thing, however, happened during the day up in Nuns Valley. As I walked on the edge of the crater and looked down at the village far below, on my way back to the car and my husband, I suddenly heard Mother Earth say clearly that this is an important place of power and that I must remember it as it will be significant for the future. Just that, nothing else.

It was a trip we won’t forget for several reasons. I will definitely remember the appreciation that was shown to us and above all I must remember Nuns Valley, the important place for the future, the only question is for what.

Trip to Madeira island

On Tuesday we landed on the small volcanic island of Madeira in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Morocco. Ever since I was in my early twenties and had a boss who came back from here quite lyrical about the beautiful, flower-rich island, I’ve wanted to go here. Now it finally happened together with my now wedded husband on a honeymoon trip.

It started off a bit unlucky until we arrived at a hotel that was anything but what we wanted. Dirty, worn and downright shabby. Yesterday morning we called the travel agency and explained that we wanted to change not only rooms but hotels. Spoke to a very accommodating girl who took care of it all. A few hours later we landed at this location. Pleasantly surprised. Someone has mentioned that we are here on our honeymoon.

Now we could relax and just enjoy each other and a nice, relaxing place.

From here we will go on various adventures around the island. Maybe, I’ll get in contact with some nature spirits as well.