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To Madeira and Home
We stashed a few things in a locker at Lisbon airport, and left for Funchal. A very vertical world, Madeira...
Here the journal ends. I was looking out over the distant sea from high above Funchal. As I now recall, the first day in Madeira I was very tired from walking up and down steep hills. By the next day, I was used to it. We stayed the first night in the cheapest, grubbiest accommodation of the entire trip. It was the upstairs of a restaurant that was really quite nice. We had a yellow cake that was drenched in, what else, Madeira.
Morning glories grow wild all over the island, forming dense canopies on the hillsides, blooming purple. We shopped and bought a painted vase. The second night we stayed at the beautiful hotel that was perched very high on the hill. Up and down, up and down we hiked.
In the harbor, where many fine yachts were moored (some so big that they were anchored well out to sea, and sent boats to shore), we found the following memorable graffiti painted on the harbor wall.
An English policeman
A German policeman
The flight going over to Portugal was horrible. It left in the early evening. The attendants spent hours trying to sell duty-free merchandise and bad movies, and then were unable to serve dinner because of turbulence. They did not serve dinner until about 4 a.m. Then they served turkey TV dinners. No one got any sleep. So we arrived in the morning exhausted.
The flight to Madeira was terrifying. It was packed to capacity. Everyone seemed to have brought everything they owned, and the plane seemed to lumber in the wind. The flight back to Lisbon was two hours late. Airport security, always more noticeable back then in Europe, was high because of Lockerbee. Craig caused a little rumpus by failing to identify his bag as expected. He was paged, and when I looked out the wondow, there was his lonely bag on the tarmac.
Before the flight from Lisbon to New York, I caused the security crisis simply by doing as instructed and reporting to the ticket-taker that a woman had asked me to watch her luggage and then disappeared, leaving an unattended suitcase in our midst. Once we got over that, it was a beautiful flight, with exquisite food and service. The landing was so smooth that touchdown was undetectable, and the entire cabinful of travellers spontaneously applauded the pilot.