Mountains are not really my thing. I’m afraid of heights, for starters. And taking the narrow, winding road on the side of the mountain is not exactly my idea of fun. If anything, it reminds me of a roller coaster (which I also hate, by the way).
So, what was I doing, going to this mountain top?
While I may not like the mountains, Professor M loves them. And I love him. So, every time we’re in Madeira, we take the bus from Funchal to Eira do Serrado, snap a few photos and have lunch in the fabulous restaurant on top of the mountain.
Yes, the things we do for those we love…
In my case, it means first carefully selecting a seat on the right side of the bus (because then my window faces the mountain side; not the, you know, drop down the mountain…), then clinging to the curtains (yes, it was one of those quaint retro buses you see in old films…) for 40 minutes, my eyes closed most of the time. Except when I give Professor M furtive, borderline hostile glances meant to say something like ‘I’m only doing this for you, because I love you, but I really hate you right now‘. And like most husbands at the receiving end of such glances, Professor M puts on a concerned face, meant to convey sympathy, or gratitude.
Once on top of the mountain, we walk to the viewing point, snap a few photos of the scenery and walk back to the hotel/restaurant. What else is there to do?
Well, hiking of course.
Except that we don’t go hiking (we’re just not that athletic). So, we settle for lunch in the restaurant, instead. Usually it’s chestnut soup (delicious), Bolo de Caco (Madeiran sweet potato bread, also delicious) and either fish or meat with chestnuts (which I can never finish, even though it’s delicious). Yes, there’s a pattern here: chestnuts are the local specialty, and also available in the gift shop / deli in the form of cakes, liqueur, sweets etc.
Invariably, at some point of the day Professor M suggests we should stay in the hotel for a few days. I usually shoot this idea down either with a few sarcastic comments about neither one of us being fit enough for a hiking holiday or by simply ignoring it. Payback? You bet!
In spite of the magnificent views and the excellent food, we never stay longer than a few hours. For one, that narrow, winding road leading to and from the mountain top is bad enough in daylight; I absolutely refuse to take the trip after dark…
So, after eating too much (the portions are huge) and drinking enough wine to feel brave enough to face the trip down the mountain (me, not him), we head back to Funchal.
Have a great weekend!
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