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My Escapes Portugal Madeira Escape to Lush Green Madeira Streets and Residential Areas of Funchal

Streets and Residential Areas of Funchal

January 23, 2014

I dedicated plenty of time to wander around the living quarters of Funchal. Not necessarily beause I was curious about how people live there, but because I wanted to get to certain attractions.
I did love what I saw, it was quite an urban adventure!

First, I attempted to get to the Monte by foot, after visiting the São Tiago Fortress (naive me!). It's not just the distance that stopped me from reaching up there... That would have been about 5-6 km walking across streets (if I would have known the best shortcuts), climbing from sea level to above 1,000 m altitude (again, tiring, like mountain climbing, hiking).

But that wasn't the only issue why I had to return to my hotel over-exhausted and dead-hungry...

The streets are beautiful anyway, so I started exploring the residential areas.

Old street in Funchal

Not sure where exactly, but it felt like northwest!

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The infrastructure of Funchal makes it almost an impossible labyrinth to comprehend.
Small and large hills and valleys, gorges criss-cross here and there irregularly.

You can't just get from one point to the other! I looked at the map and thought "I'm going to get from here to there", but on location everything was different!

Cute house in Funchal

The tiles are so stylishly put, love it!

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Several kilometers-long wide valleys cut my way. Quite often there were houses down there and up on higher ground as well, but no bridges, roads to get across.

Yes, there are lots of bridges, even huge viaducts and tunnels in Funchal, but they too were either inaccessible from my location or too far away or, leading to totally different locations or, only for cars!

Hilly Funchal

Quite hilly...

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As a pedestrian, I found getting around in Funchal quite complicated. The the irregular terrain makes your walk exhausting and time-consuming.

But, besides not being able to find easy access to the further located hotspots, attractions, I was able to see how and where people live...

Funchal - houses on the Monte

Lots of quality modern houses in the Monte area...

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That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy walking... but because I had only 4 full days there, I had to spare my time.

There are buses of course, but they operate rarely. It often takes 20, 30, 45 or 60 minutes or more for a bus to take you from one spot to the other!

Monte homes

Through the fence...

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It's not just the local Madeiran Portuguese that live in these houses... lots of Germans, mainland Portuguese and others have bought vacation homes and even permanent homes on the island. Machico and Funchal are just some of the most beloved places where foreigners buy homes.

Living on this cute island must be lovely, but I must underline that I did find the weather rough. Rains and storms can appear suddenly and the mountainous areas often swim in clouds, myst often falls down upon even the lower areas and the dense water vapor-containing air can be hard to breathe.

Funchal outskirts

Suburbs of Funchal viewed from Pico do Barcelos (southwest Funchal)

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Escape Hunter

About the Author:

Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...


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