Friday, 23 June 2017

Madeira // market place & last days

This post is long, long overdue. I have a billion (valid) excuses, mainly involving exams and the fact that I have to go through 2 extremely outdated computers in order to make one single coherent blog post. This will all soon change, thankfully!

My final couple of days in Madeira were strange. They were incredibly casual in many respects- we went into Funchal for some light shopping (I found wonderful gifts for my family) and had to pack up the house. We saw a final few things that my friends had not shown to me yet. I felt surprisingly sad about leaving. I had been in Madeira for just over a week, but organising my suitcase and watching the dehumidifiers being set up felt really final. I didn't want the beauty of the island to come to an end for me.

We were chased in the market by all kinds of merchants who wanted us to taste their fruit, sweets, and try out their wares. Some of them tried to serenade us by shouting "hey ladies! I like your style!". What especially didn't cut it for me was when an Australian man, getting  us to try some exotic fruit called me a Paddy when he found out I was from Ireland- his marketing techniques were unsuccessful to say the least!

After the trauma of market rush-hour, we stopped to try out a bakery/café which was, truthfully, still in the market walls. We picked out our treats and took them to a bench to consume. Delicious though they were, they were flaky and sticky and messy- not ideal for eating on the go. We ended up looking for a tap to rinse out hands under.

I've now been back home in Ireland for months. I still think fondly back on my time in Madeira. It was truly an amazing experience to travel with such a close friend, and see all kinds of things that I'd never seen before. I think it's safe to say we avoided any tourist traps. I saw all kinds of natural beauty (which I'm really yearning for now, after half a year of studying at home) and experienced what it's like to be in a climate where the most tasty, fresh fruit grows. Island life was different to the way I'm used to living (also on an Island...) The pace, the calmness was so different to my busy life. I definitely felt a sense of calm there, that I hadn't felt in a long time. For that, I'm incredibly grateful, and glad to have gone.
 The travel to and fro was very very long and complicated involving two planes which didn't connect with each other and a long waiting period. Only for that reason, would I be hesitant to go again. However, if there is ever a direct flight from Ireland to Madeira, I would totally recommend that people go. It's a small island, full of mystery, things to explore and food to try. It's hilly and steep (not my favourite things ever) but nothing seems so hard there once you try. I had a wonderful, wonderful trip, with some really sweet people. These photos are ones which I hold close to my heart.

What's your favourite place you've ever been to? Do let me know! This travel bug is intense...

Love, Anna

P.S. Please check out the rest of my Madeira series here for more information

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