It was a bright sunny day when Nika, Lara, Audrius and myself decided to visit the Laurisilva forrest via Ribeiro frio. However our plans quickly went awry as checked the bus schedule. Instead of throwing in the towel we decided to make the most of the day and visit the Madeira botanical garden or Jardim Botânico as the natives would say.
We hopped on a bus that took us up the narrow streets of Funchal and in no time at all we were at the gates of the garden. A few meters from the entry we were greeted by the national flower of Madeira, the Strelitzia or bird of paradise flower.
There are so many diverse plants, trees, shrubs, succulents, cacti and flowers to see that we spend the rest of the afternoon slowly walking trough the narrow garden paths admiring the sights. Not only is there a lot to see but you can listen to the songs of tropical birds as well, which for me was the highlight of the day.
But that’s not all! The garden also has a natural cave, many ponds with frogs and lily pads and some with different types of fish, a typical old Madeiran house and a cable car leading up into the mountains.
At 5 pm it was closing time and we were escorted to the exit. If we had the chance to stay for a few hours we would definitely do that and enjoy the sights. Instead we walked our way down the narrow streets to Funchal and feasted our eyes on a colourful evening sky.
The streets were brimming with tourists and locals alike and so many artists playing music and singing, that there’s something to enjoy for every type of person. It seemed like the streets of Funchal never sleep.
On our bus ride back home there was a small mishap with communication and we missed our stop. Instead of going to Câmara de Lobos, we went to Estreito Câmara de Lobos but as the Taoists say “there’s something good in every bad situation”, the saying proved right. We had a wonderful view of Câmara de Lobos at night and just a short taxi ride later we were back in our town and in our comfy beds.
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Voluntary Service – Erasmus+
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en
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