Gunderson Experiences

Doing all the things

Portugal - Mostly Madeira

Jun 18, 2023

The View from our AirBnB, The Indigo Star House

June 19, 2023

Portugal, here we come! We drove from Hossegor, France to Bilbao, Spain. We ate an insane amount of SUSHI. Not kidding - 20 plates to be exact. We dropped the car at the airport and flew to Lisbon. We stayed at Le Jardin in Lisbon, near the airport, quiet, clean. Would stay again. The next day, we toured the university distract in Lisbon - which comprised of finding different play structures - Giant rope structures, trees to climb, fitness parks, etc.

We then found Honey and Pops in the Lisbon Airport, and we all flew to Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. Once there, I took 45 minutes getting a rental car, only because the Madeiran man was so nice and wanted to chat US sports. (of course, I know nothing about)

Off to our Airbnb at Ponto do sol, appropriately named the Indigo Star House. The Eugene Gundersons were there to greet us. Each room had a name, the kids were in the water room. Jansen and I had the Earth room. This house had ridculous views, sea breeze, solar powered heated pool, hammocks.... Paradise.

Madeira offers it all - adventure, peace, good food, fine smells and a really salty ocean.

Day 2 - Honey, Pops, Fisher, Soren and I hiked Vereda da Ponta des Sao Lourenco hike, ate lunch at Quinto do Furao in Santana and burned off the BBQ with another hike at Queimadas.

Day 3 - Jansen, Fisher and I rode bikes with Radwall, We did a few sections of the World Cup Enduro Race and other trails going from the top of the mountain to the sea. We descended over 5000 feet. And I am pretty sure we only ascended 200 feet! Thank you shuttles!

Day 4 - Whale watching on a catamaran. We saw pilot whales in a huge pod. The kids jumped in the freezing water. I drank a Poncha, traditional Madeiran rum drink. That night, we asked Fisher to watch kiddos while the adults ate way too much fish at Restaurant Sol Poente. Note the sunset pictures. Obrigada Madeira for your beauty!

Day 5 - The gals and kids visited the pools of Porto Moniz. Anna paid way to much for a significant amount of cork products! But they are sooooo cute. The boys went canyoneering with Epic Madeira. They do not know where they went..Ha! But they jumped in a bunch of cool pools along a steep river cutting through the volcanic island.

Day 6 - The Eugena Gundersons trekked home and Fisher stayed with us. He is now our 3rd and highly skilled child. We stayed in Funchal at Residencial Colombo. It is cheap and perfect for a one night stay with too many people. It is in the heart of Funchal. I really loved the cobble streets, the endless gardens and bustling nature of a city coupled with the coolness of island mentality. We missed the really delicious restaurants because kids do that. I guess I have to visit again!

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”Portuegese proverb

Easy Jet, only way to travel in Europe. Not really, there are thousands of options, but this was my Favorite.


Soren exploring mini replica of traditional homes of Madeira

It hard to tell but the driveway is 30 degrees and our rental car is tilted about 20 degrees. Madeira has insane roads

The view from our AirBnB, Indigo Star House

Vereda da Ponta des Sao Lourenco hike

Mountain Biking

When you forgot your key to your AirBnB

Restaurant on Ponto do Sol

Porto Moniz

Crazy mix of natural and man-made pools. The water had fish swimming in t and the rocks had crabs crawling around. the ocean would crash into the pools

The most beautiful playground in the world.

Back in Lisbon or Bilbao... who knows it was all a blur

Lisbon playground

Jump roping through Lisbon.

OREOS in Duty Free. They are big and guess what?!? No taxes!

Soren loved Le Jardin in Lisbon. Jets flew right over us, all night! Later he wanted a white noise that was "jets flying over me". Too bad, Siri could not find it.

The puppy in Bilbao, Spain. We ate 20 plates of sushi, ran across town to see the puppy, then hopped in the car, then hopped on a plane.

Pretty things. I have seen a lot of ridiculously pretty things on this trip.