Blogs from Madeira, Portugal, Europe


Europe » Portugal » Madeira May 18th 2019

May 6th 2019 – 18thMay 2019 It was a bit of a chaotic start to the holiday as we had Chris’ sister Wendy 70th birthday bash in Oxford on the Saturday. Two nights hotel booked in Swindon, a day sightseeing around Malborough and the bluebells at West Woods, then a drive on the Monday morning to Birmingham in our new car, where we were flying out at 3.30pm. Arrived at our hotel )Dorisol Mimosa) about 7.30pm, quite impressed with the room (903), as it has a kitchenette and a small balcony overlooking the sea and bay at Funchal with the morning sun! Beautiful! Tuesday 7th May 2019 Out by 9.30am and after walking to the seafront and discovering that there wasn’t a Paseo into Funchal, we decided to get the Big Red Bus ticket for the ... read more
Camara de Lobos
Chris inside the Cable Car

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 February 11th 2019

In Portugeuse, Madiera means "wood". The first settlers named it so, on account of the island that they saw covered in trees. On the approach to airport, the plane had descended through the clouds towards Ponta De Sao Lourenco at the very eastern tip island. It seems the first settlers did not approach from this direction. Trees? No trees here! We had been up early to catch a public bus at the SAM terminus in the centre of Funchal. It was all quiet. There were only a few tourists similar to ourselves, all heading to walk something other than a levada. The Service 113 bus was there, but no sign of the driver. He eventually appeared from the office before the departure time of 9 am. There was no difficulty in explaining to the driver the ... read more
Ribeira Brava
Camara De Lobos

Europe » Portugal » Madeira February 8th 2019

As I had been looking forward to my football, the Other Half had her eyes fixed on a Funchal institution - afternoon tea at the Reids Palace Hotel overlooking the bay. I was somewhat doubtful that it would live up to the Claridges experience, but she knows her own mind where afternoon teas are concerned. A booking was duly made for the Wednesday afternoon. The grounds of the hotel feature some renowned private gardens - only available for hotel guests who have paid a princely sum to enjoy an indulgent escape - or as a complementary freebie for those who have booked their afternoon tea on a Wednesday or a Sunday. The afternoon tea is a bit of a steal as these things go - 36 Euros - and if you add in the garden tour ... read more
CR7 Museum
Fort de Sao Tiago

Europe » Portugal » Madeira January 29th 2019

The plane dropped a couple of thousand feet, but was still well above the cloud level. In the distance, a small spec of land poked above the cloud. It looked like a tiny island above the the sea, but it was in fact the very tip of the island's highest peak peeking out of the constant cloud. Welcome to Madeira! "Can you please return to your allocated seats?" The flight attendant repeated her request over the tannoy. An indignant group of passengers reluctantly agreed to the request, leaving loads of empty seats scattered around. The flight attendant explained for those who queried the request further. "We need to redistribute the weight for landing". I suspect the majority of passengers were totally oblivious to the fact they were circling to land at what is well recognised as ... read more
Funchal Port
Funchal Cathedral
C S Maritimo v Rio Ave FC

Europe » Portugal » Madeira May 31st 2018

The Portuguese Island of Madeira was a perfect getaway for the wife's special birthday and to escape the English weather in February. It's quite a small island but very mountainous and the only decent way to get around is to hire a car, although navigating Funchals windy and hilly streets was made easier thanks to GPS. We also took up an Airbnb about 10 minutes walk away from the main centre of Funchal which was ideal for the length of time we stayed. Our first stop was Pico deAiero where you get some stunning views of the deep gorges. We were lucky to have gone that day as it was the only day where the peak was only partly covered in cloud. There are a few walks you can do from the top which link to ... read more
Pico de Aiero
Sao Vicente
Night Out

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

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