I’m a city girl, there is no doubt about that. I like staying where there are tons of things going on at any given moment, lots of action, and lots of interesting people around that I can meet/watch (people watching = one of my favorite pastimes).
But sometimes it can get to be too much. This was especially true after a wild couple of weeks this past September spent schmoozing with other bloggers, travel industry reps, hostel owners, and myself between Porto, Barcelona, Girona, and Lisbon .
Though tons of fun, I was more than burnt out by the end of the month and craving some serious peace and quiet. Thank god I had a ticket to Madeira booked even though I didn’t know anything about the place other than that it was a Portuguese island in the middle of the Atlantic. An island with a massive UNESCO protected forest in the center of it.
Originally I had intended on trying to Couchsurf while there, thought it would be cool to stay with some locals, but by the time it came down to it I realized some privacy and tranquility was what I really needed. Like a knight in shining armor, Roomorama once again came into my life and graciously hooked me up with THIS.
My first time using their site I opted for a hotel; the second time around I was ready and eager to try renting a room or apartment. First one that caught my eye was “In front of the beach – Santa Cruz”. Perfect, I could totally deal with being in front of the beach for 5 days in Santa Cruz, so I sent a request. Within 40 minutes the lovely owner of the property, Katty, had approved my request and I was all booked and ready to go.
I had no problems getting there from the airport thanks to all the info Katty sent me prior to landing, and once I stepped foot on the property, I was in love.
Amazing view, sexy pool, comfortable room, strong wifi signal, cable TV with the Travel Channel, my own dog?! I really couldn’t have asked for more.
The fact that it was in Santa Cruz, the island’s third largest city, was just icing on the cake. While Funchal is pretty awesome for a capital, I was more than happy to be situated on a more sleepy part of the island where in a period of 5 days I would know the place like the back of my hand. The population there is around 30,000 but I’d swear it were 30 if I didn’t know any better as I kept seeing the same faces everywhere I went. It got to the point where it would have been rude if I didn’t say hello to a few of them because we had crossed paths that many times.
I haven’t stopped thinking about Santa Cruz since I left and it’s a place I definitely recommend a stop if not a stay in should you ever find yourself on Madeira. It’s super quiet and you can count on less than 4 fingers all the things there are to do there, but in the end that is what I liked about it most. “In front of the beach – Santa Cruz”, you were just what I needed indeed.
Thanks again to Roomorama for providing me with this piece of paradise during my stay on what I believe to be one of Europe’s most unique islands. Also thanks and congratulations to the awesome owners of the property who should be newly married by now :)