Blogs from Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, Europe

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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
"THE FLOATING GARDEN"
GONDOLA TO THE TOP
MONTE CATHEDRAL

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!

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 23rd 2018

Sunday 22nd - Flower Parade - Part 1 Well the skies were a little bit cloudy but the clouds didn't look to be full of rain, a good sign that the Flower Parade would be going ahead. We have plenty of time to enjoy Funchal during the Flower Festival period so spent a leisurely morning at the hotel. The Flower Parade gathering point was close to our hotel but we decided not to peep but wait for the parade to arrive at our designated grandstand spot. The roads were closed about 12.30pm as the crowds gathered to line the route. A great atmosphere with so much more to come. We set off around 2.30pm taking a slow amble along the promenade and finally came to our spot for the afternoon, not far from the cruise terminal. ... read more
Great carnival atmosphere
Smiles all around
600 Springtimes 1st Float

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 23rd 2018

Flower Parade - Part 2 It is difficult to imagine that all the hard work & effort is preparing for yesterday's parade was all over in 3 hours. As we left our seating area, hoards of people were returning to their cruise ship for dinner, others like us found somewhere en route back to the hotel. As we walked back, participants of the parade were still wearing their beautiful costumes and many still grasping their bouquets. The carnival atmosphere was still going on and for some probably well into the evening. We had an enjoyable meal overlooking the Marina, then back to the hotel fir a nightcap and an early night. Here are more images of the parade so sit back and enjoy the rest of the parade. Last evening and today all of the static ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 21st 2018

Saturday 21st We woke to find cloudy skies & raindrops! The big question was 'Will The Children's Parade still take place.' Following breakfast we checked with the reception staff & sadly the Children's Parade and the Wall of Hope mural has been cancelled, hopefully to be rescheduled for next Saturday. I'm guessing with all the rain & lots of bedraggled little ones it would not be good for their health. For the past three decades hundreds of children, dressed for the occasion parade the Main Street each carrying a flower to be placed in a beautiful flower mural symbolically named 'Wall of Hope'.The initiative combines childhood innocence and the delicacy of flowers calling for peace in the world. I hope we are able to witness this spectacle next week as the ceremony usually culminates with the ... read more
Well watered promenade displays
Inviting entrance to Flower exhibition
Colourful displays




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