More Views of Beautiful Madeira and Lisbon Portugal!


If you are just tuning in, this is the second post about my trip to Madeira and Lisbon, Portugal. Go here to read the first post.

A special thank you to the staff at the gorgeous Porto Mare Hotel! I have never stayed at any place as beautiful and luxurious as this one. Thank you, Marisela Pinto, at the reception desk for your helpful suggestions for tours. We took your advice and traveled to all points of interest.

This magnificent island was quite a treat for all our senses. Every where we went we found incredible views, fantastic food and plenty of places to tour. We toured the east and west and the mid-section of the island.

When we were in Funchal, capital of Madeira, we visited the old section of Funchal and were delighted to discover these works of art. We stumbled upon these amazing painted doors. It’s evident that this island has many talented artists. My great uncle who is my grandmother’s twin brother, John, was a creative and amazing artist. I wish I had some of his work today.

Check out these beautifully painted doors – you will be astounded by the variety of these unbelievable creations. There were several more but this is an excellent representation of their skills.

We took tours of the island with one tour group to see the colorful fishing boats and lovely views along the way. We stopped at a viewing site that has a glass walkway that hangs over a cliff. I stood on the grate part of it and then got braver and moved over to the glass but didn’t look down. It was a frightening view if you did look. I had to stand there to prove that I could do it! I did! Phew! My husband took this photo quickly before I changed my mind. Ha! Check out the photo showing the metal post and the drop from there! Yikes! Would you go on this? I did! I am in the middle of the crowd looking at the camera. I was afraid to look anywhere else!

We stopped for lunch at Cachalate which is a restaurant built around volcanic pools. It was an enjoyable time with our fellow travelers getting to know them better. We snapped plenty of incredible photos below of the volcanic pools.

The next day Angelo Gomes, our taxi-cab guide, took us for a trip around the island to see the houses and many gardens of vegetables the Madeirans planted since they settled on this island. We went up to Monte and the botanical gardens and saw the tramway from the top which traveled from Old Funchal at the bottom. Also, at the top of Monte are the famous wooden sleds which are pushed by two strong men down the hilly, winding streets. Unfortunately it was a Sunday and they did not run that day. John snapped a few photos of what they look like now and in the past 100 years.

The following day we traversed the island and went up into the mountains at 2,000 ft. above the clouds to see the gorgeous views with our taxi-cab guide, Angelo Gomes. He made us feel comfortable and told us to take our time snapping pictures and looking around at all the beauty of this magnificent island. We stopped at the painted a-frame houses that are still used today. In one of them a man greeted us and gave us shot glasses of a coffee liqueur that was tasty along with a cookie. It left me wanting more of this delectable liqueur! Some of the other painted houses are used as shops for tourists – filled with painted plates, cups, etc., clothes that are hand weaved, postcards, and many other items of interest.

We then stopped at the large statue of Christ which is a smaller replica of the one in Brazil.

In each section of the island you will discover some fascinating sights. We then traveled to Lisbon, Portugal by plane – 1 1/2 hours long. We arrived at our next hotel, Mundial Hotel, which is in the center of the city of Lisbon. We took some photos of the city from our room and one of St. George fort at the top of the hill.


The weather here was also cooler than we expected with strong gusts of wind – not a good hair day at all. I needed a sweater during the day and a jacket at night when it got downright chilly.

We visited my cousin, Birgit, while in Lisbon, Portugal. She met us at our hotel, Mundial Hotel, and took us to areas we had not seen on our last trip there in 2002.

Here’s a few photos of my beautiful cousin and her son, Fabian, and the fabulous out of the way restaurants she took us to with incredible ambiance and delectable food. I tried rabbit for the first time. It was delicious – tastes something like chicken! Ha! I also had some small fish called Carapau which were out of this world! I wish I could have some more in the states but we don’t have them here. I also enjoyed one of my favorites, sardines, which I haven’t had since our last trip there in 2002.

We went to a beautiful castle, stopped at a place that had houses, a school, a castle, a beer hall, restaurant, shoemaker, dentist, and many other places built in miniature. It was a quiet day there luckily for us because my cousin said it can get crazy busy and hectic with all the children who visit with their families.

We did purchase a few items but were careful how heavy they were. After all, we had only one carryon and had to lift and tote it from place to place in the busy airports. They are a few mementos of our marvelous trip that will always be appreciated later when our memories fade.

Here are the items we purchased. I also snapped a photo of the wrapping paper that the clerks used to carefully wrap our treasures. It depicted the area and items in the shops.

After a full day of traveling around and seeing sights in Ericeria, Mafra, Portugal and having a lovely dinner, Birgit drove us back to Mundial Hotel where we packed up and got to bed to rest up for the long trip home ahead. Sigh! All good things come to an end but we were beginning to miss home a little.

It was an unforgettable trip that will stay in our memories each time we look at our 904 photos. I couldn’t share all of them with you – you would have said – ENOUGH ALREADY! But I did share the best ones.

In 2002 on our first trip to Portugal I wrote this poem which I want to share with you today. To me it tells the essence of this beautiful and cultural country of Portugal, the home of my ancestors.


Beautiful country of my forefathers many

Who came to America in a flow

To find the land of dreams and plenty

So far from Portugal they would go.


Portugal exudes history, culture and beauty all around

As you walk over the cobbled stone streets

You can hear the language’s shushing sound

And the air is riff with the scents of delicious things to eat.

Stop by a table laden with all kinds of fish

Attended by a woman in a apron and kerchief

For something for you to make a tasty dish

Through the ice covered fish she does sift.

You can shop in the quaint little stores,

To buy a beautiful lace shawl,

Or to admire the detail of needlepoint artistry and more.

Then take a break and stop in for a cup of coffee at one of the sidewalk cafes,

On a warm summer’s day.

Watch other shoppers going here and there,

As you sit and sip your strong coffee without a care.

A visit to a winery to taste of the region’s wine

Will be a wonderful treat.

In a very short time you will be feeling mellow and just fine

 They line up more glasses of port wine as you take a seat.

You could rent a cabana and sit by the shore

Listening to the sound of the sea

And find that you only want more

Because there is no other place you would rather be.

Churches and castles are many you will see

And a visit to Our Lady of Fatima is a must

To light many candles for you and me

And your prayers in God you can entrust.


Beautiful country of my forefathers many

Who came to America in a flow

To find the land of dreams and plenty

So far from Portugal they would go.

Thank you for stopping by to read about my fabulous trip! I hope you will be fortunate one day to visit this enchanting island to experience its beauty, culture, food and lovely people.


Blessings & Hugs!


About jjspina

Janice is an multi-award-winning author with 39 books: 19 children's books for PS-Gr 4, 12 middle-grade/preteen, two young adult books, written under Janice Spina, and 5 novels, and a short story collection written under J.E. Spina. She is also a writer of poetry, blogger, avid reader, reviewer and a copy editor. Janice has always loved writing and started very young writing poetry, then stories. Her books have received 31 Book Awards and a few finalists awards. All Janice's books are available on, Kindle, B&N and other online book sites. One of her sports' poems was published in The Lawrence Eagle Tribune in October of 2008. She is currently working on book 2 of a YA fantasy series. There will be six books in all in this series. She hopes to work on a series of four books in a crime/mystery genre that will be offsprings of her thriller, Hunting Mariah. There are books in the works about an angel and another about a dog for ages 17+. Her hobbies are crocheting, walking to keep fit, hula hooping, tap dancing, going to the movies with her husband, and spending time with her five grandchildren. Janice loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. Sign up on her blog for a copy of her newsletters under Contact Me. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband who is her illustrator and cover creator.
This entry was posted in blogging, Madeira Island, Painted doors, poem, Portugal, sightseeing, vacation, Writing, book reviews and publishing, poetry, children's books, YA and novels and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to More Views of Beautiful Madeira and Lisbon Portugal!

  1. Mae Clair says:

    Wow, those are some photos! The painted doors are amazing, and the wooden sleds look like they would have been something to experience had they been running. Lovely poem too. It captures the essence of your photos. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • jjspina says:

      Thank you, Mae! I don’t know if I would have gone on the sled. It was a scary ride straight down these hilly and winding streets! I am a chicken! Ha!

  2. Wow, so beautiful. thank you for sharing Janice. The words are failing me. just beautiful, every one of them at every part. Must be an incredible experience.

  3. Pingback: More Views of Beautiful Madeira and Lisbon Portugal! – wolfpug

  4. robbiecheadle says:

    Lovely photographs, Janice. I enjoyed your poem too.

  5. ramasamy59 says:

    Very nice snaps. Awesome commentary.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing the 2nd part of your trip with us, Janice. I did the glass walkway over the Grand Canyon so I would have also walked (and looked down) the glass walkway you found yourself on. I know, though, those heights are not for everyone. My partner refused to look down when we did the Grand Canyon one.
    Your photos show just what a magical time you had.
    Hugs to you.

  7. Lovely Janice and so pleased you had an amazing time.. I have pressed the post to go out tomorrow afternoon.. hugs xxx♥

  8. Pingback: More Views of Beautiful Madeira and Lisbon Portugal! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  9. willedare says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share these stories and photos from your trip. I have enjoyed my vicarious mini-trip to Portugal very much on this rainy Saturday afternoon in New England. So much color… Even the motor boats are vividly painted! I love that the inhabitants have continued with the tradition of downhill wooden chair rides (although I am wondering if it was easier to push/guide them when there were — judging from the historic and contemporary photos — more cobblestones and less concrete). I wonder if the Madeira volcano remains active in any way — like what is happening right now on the Big Island in Hawaii…

    • jjspina says:

      Thank you for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I did ask about the volcanic activity- none whatsoever as long as the Madeirans can remember. Thank goodness for them. There would be no place to run to but the ocean. It’s a beautiful place! 😀

  10. dgkaye says:

    Janice I loved this. Thanks for sharing your beautiful trip with us. Madeira looks so quaint and colorful. And I commend you for standing on the glass, I know that took guts. I once stood on glass at the bottom of a boat and looking down was frightening, lol. 🙂 ❤

  11. macjam47 says:

    The scenery is gorgeous, but those doors really called out to me. Thanks for sharing your vacation. Love and hugs. 💗💗💗

    • jjspina says:

      Thank you, Michelle. I love the doors too! That’s why I had John snapping so many photos. I didn’t share all of them – too many. LOL! Hugs xx 💕

  12. Flavia Vinci says:

    lovely pictures, very interesting

  13. Pingback: Recipes from Janice’s Kitchen Corner – Portuguese Seafood Stew! | Jemsbooks

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