Elvis and Ronaldo Sanctuary – an unexpected trip

As far as I can see there are two types of people. One who likes when everything is well organised and goes according to the plan. There are also those ones who love anything unexpected that happens in their lifes. I can definitely say I belong to the second mentioned group of people. When I bring back the most memorable travel stories of my life, most of them are connected with events occured to me incidentally. Surely, sometimes it takes some courage to get out of your comfort zone. Morover, you should have also a sense of opennes and flexibility to change your schedule, meet new people on your way or do something you haven’t planned before. Right, many times it can be stressful and more demanding but believe me, I haven’t regretted any of my spontanous trip decisions. As my friend says, there are only two ways – it can be a total disaster or the best experience in your life, so let’s take this risk!  

Photo by A.Szerejko

Last week we went on a road trip to the west part of Madeira Island. We saw beautiful views from Cabo Girao and we passed through the road waterfall in Ponta do Sol while heading to Paul da Serra. Suddenly, the weather changed and it started to rain heavily. Because of the road conditions we were driving quite slowly when we spotted some colorful place full of some old photos. At first we thought it’s a flee market. We passed it but then we asked ourselves: „Should we step in for a while?” It was still raining badly but we suddenly stopped the car to see this place. Imagine how shocked we were when it turned out that the place isn’t the flee market.  We were immediately welcomed by the owner playing on the guitar – very outgoing and hospitable man. He was born on Madeira Island and used to work as a sculptor. He moved here 2 years ago and since then he’ s been spending his retirement on sculpting the surrounding rocky wall and creating literally the sanctuary for relics both of the past and present. You can easily find here old photos of some legendary singers, actors and celebrities but of course majority of them present Elvis Presley or Cristiano Ronaldo – I assume both of them have special meaning for the owner. In addition to that, at every turn there are hidden owner’s souvenirs from the past like family pictures, old mugs or lighters. It seems like he also tries to recycle things and make them useful again, so you can spot for example plenty of old tires as flower pots. Literally you are surrounded by many plants and good music from the 50’s.

Photo by A.Szerejko

Personally, the most impressive of owner’s work for me is the rocky wall that forms incredible background and is fully manually sculpted and painted. That amazingly colorful art work consist of sculpted animals, plants or faces of famous people. At every step you take you can see the owner’s passion and small part of of his private life. What’s more interesting, he doesn’t want to make money from this place. His main goal is to meet new people and show them his little but such a beautiful and meaningful home for his memories.

As you can see – I am in love with this place!

So I really recommend you to visit this fantastic sanctuary and meet its extraordinary owner. As you can see, sometimes unexpected events bring lots of new experience into your life.

Aleksandra Szerejko
Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en

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