Madeira and its landmarks

Madeira and its Landmarks: part 8

Our Lady of the Mountain

Home to a beautiful set of botanical gardens, Nossa Senhora do Monte is found North West of Funchal in Madeira, Portugal.

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View of Madeira from the church at Our Lady of the Mountain

My last post on Madeira featured some of the sights around the park that is found at the foot of the main church. You can take a look by clicking {here}.

We took the cable car up to this beautiful vista on this occasion. Earlier in our trip, we walked the streets on Christmas Day in Madeira. This made for a quieter, secluded, and much more romantic tour of the area as very few people were around.

This second visit was taken closer to the end of our trip- when the days were becoming half filled with rain. Fortunately, we arrived to the Mountain after the rain had passed.

The main purpose of our second trip was to explore the gorgeous 19th century white limestone church located at the top of the mountain. This church has significance because it is the resting place of the exiled Hapsburg King Charles I (nephew of Franz Ferdinand) and his wife Zita.

 

The flight of stairs leading up to the church was exhilarating!

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Statue of Charles I

We did not stay for the church service that was about to begin. I was happy to have climbed my way to the top of the mountain to enter the church vestibule, but I would have fallen asleep if I tried to sit through a church service at 8 months pregnant.

So we enjoyed the views from the courtyard, and just admired the beauty of creation from afar.

 

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It is easy to see why I left my heart here in Madeira.

Read more stories and photos from Madeira, Portugal by Stephanie by clicking the following links!

Madeira and its Landmarks Part 7

Madeira and its Landmarks Part 6

Madeira and its Landmarks Part 5

Madeira and its Landmarks Part 4

Madeira and its Landmarks Part 3

Madeira and its Landmarks Part 2

Madeira and its Landmarks

 

 

Madeira and its Landmarks

PART SIX: FAVOURITE VIEWS OF MACHICO, MADEIRA

Away from the busy capital city of Funchal Madeira is the third most populated city of Machico. In this smaller town, the population of about 20,000 residents are mostly older and so the streets are much quieter.

Lovely and secluded alley ways show glimpses of the mountainside.

Favourite views of Machico

In these side street views, it is easier to imagine the day to day lives of the people who live here.

Favourite views of Machico Favourite views of Machico

Standing on Rua Banda D’Alem I came upon picturesque views of island life.

Favourite views of Machico Favourite views of Machico

Storm windows are very popular here, and nearly every window I have seen has one. The aesthetic effect is quaint and furthers the island life feel.

Favourite views of Machico

The door knocker is a hand- I am unsure of how new or old this is, but I love the originality it provides for. My own home in Canada features original door knockers, and I have always felt that it adds so much character to any home.

A Machenesque street dog saying hello. Never fear, the dogs that roam these streets are friendly and do not bother people.

Favourite views of Machico Favourite views of Machico

Last but not least of the views of Machico: an alley way that leads to the unknown. My imagination ran wild with this one, because I can only dream of how many lovers have met secretly in this tunnel, and how many more will meet again in the future.

Next: Part 7 Structures of Our Lady of the Mountain (Nossa Senhora do Monte)

Madeira and its Landmarks

Part Four: Final Shots of Ponta Da Sao Lourenco

Another land form that inspired awe and mystery during our visit were the Deserted Islands or Ilhas Desertas on the south end of the Island of Madeira. There is no fresh water here, no human inhabitants, and probably very little weather on these deserted islands. As far as we know, only Monk Seals, birds and insect life live here year round. There is a research station, but nothing to support day to day modern life. While gazing at these mysterious islands, I wondered if anyone tried to live here at any point in history, and whether they are buried there, or not. Either way, the sight and mention of Ilhas Desertas stirs eerie feelings within.

Ilhas Desertas

A few parting shots…

Parting shots of the ponta Parting shots of the ponta Parting shots of the ponta

NEXT: PART FIVE A VISIT TO MACHICO

Madeira and its Landmarks

Part Three: FAVOURITE VIEWS OF DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO

Our visit to Ponta de Sao Lourenco was an inspiring one. There were many sights to see that photographs cannot pay justice to them all.

This North West mountain peak resembled a human face. One with a thick brow and ancient features. I am ambivalent toward inanimate objects that resemble human faces.

Favourite views of pointe da Sao Lourenco

There is a odd feeling that I get from seeing something with relatable features, because I instinctually assign emotions and a made up back story from my imagination.

Favourite views of pointe da Sao Lourenco

Perhaps this face formed in the mountainside upon the first landing of humans to the Isle of Madeira. The Mother Earth was aghast to discover that her secret virgin paradise was now seen for the first time by humans at the point da Sao Lourenco, and the secret would no longer be kept. The storyteller within me continues on with the allegory that I will spare you from for now.

Favourite views of pointe da Sao Lourenco

A land formation resembling a pirate’s cove is another image that I captured on our trip. My imagination is further titillated to think about who may have first been there, and what other stories may have taken place as a result of this inlet from the ocean.

Favourite views of pointe da Sao Lourenco

Favourite views of pointe da Sao LourencoFavourite views of pointe da Sao LourencoFavourite views of pointe da Sao Lourenco

Next: Part Four Final shots of da ponta

Madeira and its Landmarks

Part Two: A Visit to DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO

A brief visit to the area of Machico on the East end of Madeira led us to da Ponta de Sao Lourenco, a vista filled trek with soul stirring views of the ocean.

The volcanic rock is rumoured to contain various fossils of ancient plant life that has now been extinct for thousands of years. As we explored, we tried to discover some fossils of our own, but breaking rocks apart proved to be too tedious.

DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇOVolcanic rock in Madeira

Some of the paths were challenging, and best left to the more experienced hikers and thrill seekers. We climbed what we could, and were happy for the views.

Next: FAVOURITE VIEWS OF DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO.

Madeira and its Landmarks

Part one

This December holiday, we decided to leave the country to a sunny destination. My Partner is Portuguese, so among the list of possible destinations was the beautiful island of Madeira, a territory of Portugal.Skyline: Funchal Madeira- Sao Joao Neighbourhood

While examining what specific areas and towns to visit in this exuberant country, we had considered two places: Funchal and Machico. These locations are very popular for tourists, as well as being locations where my Partner has family living. When possible, it is enjoyable to see a foreign country as the locals do. I know that this is not always possible, but it offers a nice change of pace, scenery, and general attitude toward life for Western born people.

Skyline: Funchal Madeira- Sao Joao Neighbourhood2

We decided to chose our top option and stayed in Funchal, Madeira. This capital city is home to a comfortable condominium apartment in the neighbourhood of Sao Joao, which served us well as our accommodation for our trip.

Our rental car from Madeira Rentals was a sporty car equipped with GPS.

We wisely chose to spend a little extra money on a European Roaming Package for my mobile phone. It cost an extra 90$ on top of my monthly fee, but the amount of headaches that were alleviated by having access to Google Maps was well worth the cost.

NEXT: OUR VISIT TO DA PONTA DE SÃO LOURENÇO