Recap: We flew from Toronto to Lisbon, then to Funchal, the main city in Madeira. Purpose: Hike and run a half marathon.
Very strange! Between 2 tunnels was this waterfall. The strange thing was that the irrigation channel bypassed the water from the fall (?). Perhaps this stream dried up?
As stated before, Madeira is a young island (about 5,000,000 years old) so the mountains are incredibly steep. This picture does not show the steel stairs/ladders in the steeper parts. I was too chicken to take photos while trying to avoid plunging to my death...
Just outside our hotel in Tavira (in the Algarves) was the "Roman Bridge". I figure it was built before the 1950's...
The bike routes went beside salt flats. Tavira has hundreds of lagoons that are flooded from the Atlantic ocean and then dry up, leaving a salt residue that is harvested and sold. You might be able to pick out the salt pile in front of some 5 story buildings...
After Tavira we stayed in Cascais, about 40 minutes west of Lisbon. We decided not to run the Cascais half marathon as we only had 3 days and wanted to hike instead of rest, run a race, then recover. We hiked in Sintra, just north of Cascais, which has more forts, castles and palaces than in all of Canada (okay, not so hard to do).
Below is a Moorish fort, which in circa 1200 the Moores lost to the European knights in a poker game. Note that I am taking the picture inside the fort. It is big!
This is just somebody's home. Not really a palace by Sintra standards. Sintra was where the Portuguese royal family stayed, so this was likely some hanger-on's house...
The king had 2 palaces in Sintra. This was the summer palace. The picture was taken from the Moorish fort, so they are quite close together. It was painted red on the north side and yellow on the south side so that people would be able to orient themselves by the palace. One part (not sure which) is much older than the other. The new part was built in the 1600's. There are many similarities between the summer palace and my house in Creemore!
Okay, 2 more pictures, then I'll describe the exciting flight home... Lisbon has so many incredible buildings, it is difficult to pick just 2 for this post. Below is the "square" where mariners would return from exotic parts of the world and sell their wares. The vast square is surrounded on 3 sides by the yellow building.
Another building that we visited was ridiculously huge, which this "little" church tacked on one end. I took another picture near the end of the building, but from there it is difficult to make out the church!
If you are enjoying a meal, you might want to read this later...
Flying these days is a tenuous adventure, what with the pandemic making us question the prudence of rubbing elbows with people from all over the world. Imagine my dismay when 3 days before we were to fly home, I came down with a cold. With travel restrictions changing day-to-day, I wondered if I could travel without many noticing my sickness.
Wait! Let's make this even more exciting! Thursday night (our flight departed at noon Friday) my nose started to bleed. This is actually a common occurrence when I catch a cold. The problem was, I could not get my nose to stop bleeding. And when I say bleeding, I'm not fooling around. If I pinched my nose (what I usually do), my mouth would fill up with blood within 5 seconds. Not a viable situation when you can't breath through your nose! I would rush to the nearest sink and spit out the blood, release the hold on my nose and with a dry part of the towel, reapply pressure.
After 5 long minutes of this, I asked Lee Anne to call an ambulance. I had lost about half a litre of blood so far and my concern was that I could lose consciousness. I wanted to walk down 3 flights of stairs to the street before feeling any weaker. Lee Anne phoned the hotel owner, who in turn phoned the ambulance. While sitting in a chair on the sidewalk, waiting for an ambulance, my nose finally stopped bleeding. The ambulance drove us to a hospital that, at 10:00 PM, had a nose doctor onsite.
After a 2 hour wait, I was seen by the doctor. He realized I had burst a blood vessel and cauterized my nose. It is interesting to see smoke coming out of your nostril. His English was quite good and he explained that if I was a local, he would have sent me home. However, having learned that I planned to fly in 12 hours, he then shoved a tampon (his word) up my nose. It didn't hurt much, but wow, was it uncomfortable. My left eye started tearing from the pressure. We took a taxi back to the hotel, where the owners had already cleaned our room and the kitchen sink!
After very little sleep, we thanked the hotel owners profusely for their help, then headed to the airport. How is flying after minor surgery with a tampon shoved up your nose? I no longer enjoy flying. Most people can do without the airport hassle, but try breathing through your mouth for an 8 hour flight, with a terrific sinus headache. All flights out of Lisbon on Friday morning were delayed, due to fog, so we spent close to 10 hours on the plane. We got up on Friday at 7:00 AM (2:00 AM Toronto time) and landed in Toronto at 6:00 PM. The headache lasted until Monday.
I was late posting all this because I have started prepping maple syrup lines. That's my excuse!