Blogs from Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal January 10th 2020

Madeira Blog 8th January 2020 We left Southampton on the 4th January heading to the balmier waters initially of Madeira before we head across the pond to even more calmer waters. Four sea days to Madeira and the six sea days to our first Caribbean port of call of Barbados Having visited Funchal on a number of occasions its good to reacquaint to some of the picturesque areas of the Island. The island lies west of Morocco and north of the Canaries and the day before arriving we have already seen whales and dolphins as we head into warmer waters. As this is post Christmas and New Year, they still have the decorations up (they are up until Easter). Our last visit was during their famed flower festival, todays visit they are prepping all the gardens, ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal September 28th 2019

Bom Día! Vandaag was een culturele dag want we hebben heel de dag door de hoofdstad Funchal geflaneerd. Dus, rond 9:00 zaten we aan de ontbijttafel met z'n allen, natuurlijk om de buik te vullen maar zeker ook om de dag door te nemen. Hoe laat willen we waar zijn, dat soort zaken. Hartstikke handig. Rond 11:00u stapten we bepakt en bezakt en met de buik gevuld - en deze keer ook goed ingesmeerd met zonnebrand - met z'n allen de plaatselijke bus in en een half uurtje later zette de buschauffeur ons netjes af in de stad die we eigenlijk alleen nog maar vanaf het vliegtuig hadden gezien. Ik zeg wel 'netjes' maar kolere wat scheurde die vent door de vele bochten en straten! Deze, wederom zonnige dag, in de stad is er een die ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal September 26th 2019

Olá! Bom dia! Ons vliegtuig vertrekt dan wel op donderdagochtend - rete vroeg op donderdagochtend (?!) - maar dat neemt niet weg dat veel vakanties eigenlijk al vele uren (lees: dagen) daarvoor beginnen, en hoe! Er zullen om diezelfde reden meerdere vakantiegangers zijn die de vele spanningen van vakantie-voorbereidingen kennen. Of je nou een ervaren reiziger bent of niet, dit vergt een behendigheid die heus niet aan de bomen groeit! Wat neem je, waarin mee en als dit of dat niet in de koffer past, wat verliest dan zijn plaats op de definitieve paklijst. Intussen hoop je stilzwijgend dat je koffer geen overgewicht heeft terwijl je nog maar een extra broek op de stapel gooit. Ironie erachter is dat ik in de realiteit vaak maar de helft van alle rotzooi die echt per se mee moest, ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 14th 2019

As we cruised out of Bermuda on a stunning evening we were looking forward to a week at sea. To some this would seem daunting but there is so much to do on a ship. There is plenty of time for reading, lectures, crafts, blogging, paddle tennis, swimming, hanging with new found friends or simply gazing at the beautiful ocean. The most important factor in crossing the pond is weather. When the Voyager came from Europe last November, they encountered a strong storm and had to cancel stops in Madeira and Bermuda. They ended up taking a southern route across the Atlantic via the Canary Islands and the Caribbean. For folks like us, who want to be outside, we always hope for good weather. We were very lucky. Captain Stan said it was the smoothest passage ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal May 2nd 2018

A mix of sunshine & clouds. Yesterday the morning started with beautiful blue skies, there is a lovely sun terrace at the hotel with views of the harbour and the hillside of Funchal. A nice place to sit and relax, also a reminder of a previous visit when the terrace was open to view Funchal's magnificent New Years Eve firework display. Whatever time of the year Madeira is one of our favourite destinations. Catching up with some reading we relaxed around the pool, I took a walk on the 'beach'. Well cobbles more like but then Funchal us nit known for sandy beaches! Come the afternoon the sun had decided to hide behind the clouds, we took a stroll into the centre, the flower carpets are revamped every few days so the scene is forever changing. ... read more
Harbour & Hillside views of Funchal
Views around the hotel
Strong sea defences

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 30th 2018

The days are starting to tick away now! A mixed day of sunshine and clouds, mostly clouds so popped along to the Farmers Market, always interesting to see and I think every time I have visited Funchal I am drawn to the market. Unfortunately the smell of the fish gets you first ! By the time we arrived most of the days catch had been sold but there were still scabbard, tuna, snappers, and a variety of other fish still for sale. A group of local men were chatting away I'm guessing they were saying "What's that got to do with the price of fish'. It was soon time to move to more pleasant aromas, the choice of vegetables and in particular fruits on display were probably some of the most photographed produce in Europe. The ... read more
Farmers Market decorated for the flower festival
Such quality & choice
Pristine veg & cafe table design

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 28th 2018

SATURDAY Usually the children's parade is held on the day before the Flower Parade but due to poor weather last Saturday the event was rescheduled for this weekend I wasn't able to get a grandstand view this time and I had expected perhaps that the children would have dressed up. By the time I reached the municipal square, there seemed to be children with their parents, each child holding a flower that was to be placed on the Wall of Hope. I had read reports from previous years of a parade of colourfully clad children in traditional dress, never mind it was a lovely atmosphere, the square was full of onlookers as we listed to music and watched flower girls dancing. Plenty of barricades & police controlling the crowds, many like us tourists visiting Madeira. This ... read more
Hundreds of children carry a flower to place on the wall.
Wall of Hope
Colourful display outside a shop

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 27th 2018

The sun is shining - The flowers continue to give Joy! Yesterday there were 3 cruise ships in Port so it was a good time to avoid the crowds and chill out & relax around the hotel. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll early evening to the centre of Funchal, passing by a flower arranging competition test was taking place as part of the festival of flowers programme. Only 5 exhibitors but it was enjoyable to watch them work. A typical dish here in Madeira is Scabbard Fish with banana, so we both enjoyed this local delicacy sitting outside the restaurant watching the world go by. Most restaurants have floral displays outside to welcome diners, how's was rather strange with pincushion proteas and lobster shells! There is such a lot in the way of flowers to see ... read more
Impromptu flower arranging competition.
Impromptu flower arranging competition.
Impromptu flower arranging competition. Just 5 taking part

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 25th 2018

An easy day today ! On my tick list this trip - Santa Catarina Park All previous visits to Funchal have either been in Winter time or we have been out & about around the island so today was an ideal time to have a stroll around the park. It is a public holiday today (Revolution Day) & a huge cruise ship is in port so I was surprised that the park was not busier. It was quite early so I'm guessing the locals were enjoying a lie-in & the cruisers their breakfast on board. I entered the park next to the Presidential Palace Gardens, the gates of the park were closed so it was not open to the public today. Something else to add to my tick list for another day! The lake was gleaming ... read more
Santa Catarina Park
Santa Catarina Park
Santa Catarina Park

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 24th 2018

A break from Flowers - Tour of historic Theatre "Baltazar Dias" On February 9th 1882, The City Hall of Funchal made the decision to build a new theatre on the fields of the Old St. John's market. The project was commenced by the architect Tomas Auguster Soler from Oporto but due to his early death in 1883 the project was handed over to its fellow architect Jose Macedo de Araulo Junior. The theatre follows the typical Italian model based on the "Sao Carlos Theatre" in Lisbon & "La Scala Theatre" in Milan.The construction was completed in 1887 but the theatre was not officially inaugurated until March 1888.The theatre's name changed several times. Initially in homage to the Queen of the time "Theatre D. Maria Pia". Then came the Republican Revolution & the city hall thought the ... read more
Decorative ceilings on Foyer
Presidential box
128 bulbs!

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