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Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal January 31st 2015

Saturday 31st January, 2015. Funchal, Madeira (Ilha da Madeira) Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago located in the north Atlantic Ocean, just under 400 kilometres (250 mi) north of Tenerife, Canary Islands. The archipelago is one of the two Autonomous regions of Portugal (the other being the Azores, located to the northwest), and consists of 5 islands including the Madeira (the largest), Porto Santo, and the Desertas, administered together with the separate archipelago of the Savage Islands. It one of the outermost regions of the European Union. Madeira was claimed by Portuguese sailors in the service of Prince Henry the Navigator in 1419, and settled after 1420. The archipelago is considered to be the first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of the Portuguese Age of Discovery. Today, it is a popular year-round resort, being visited every ... read more
29 Jardim Botanico Classic View
19. The Botanical Gardens
10. Red Hot Poker Plant in Botanical Gardens

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal January 30th 2015

Friday 30th January, 2015. At Sea En Route to Funchal, Madeira We overslept and ended up having breakfast in the buffet. This was not a good experience. The sea was still very rough and, without waiters delivering the items to your table, was quite dangerous with hot tea and coffee all over the place and cups, plates and cutlery launching themselves across the room as the boat rocked. After breakfast we sat in our cabin and read for most of the morning as there was nothing going on that tickled our fancy. We had already missed the lecture and were not in the mood for Bean Bag Bowls or Jakkaio (whatever that is!). We would have walked a mile but it was too cold and rough. Some brave souls were doing it although the formal 'walk ... read more
D and Julie
Van Gogh Reunion with Julie Thompson, Amanda Jones, David Gleave, John  Richards Jane and Graham Roberts Roy and Wendy Pearce, Bill and Pat Burgess et al
Bill and Pat Burgess

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal October 29th 2014

Wednesday 29thOctober 2014 FROM BARCELONA TO FUNCHAL, MADEIRA On Sunday morning, 26th October, we strolled out in the early Spanish sunshine for coffee and croissants, after a good night’s sleep and a leisurely lie in; the clocks went back across Europe in the early hours. We got to the cruise terminal at 11.00 a.m. and by midday we were all checked in and aboard. We have a good cabin with a balcony on the starboard side, chosen on purpose, so that we can see the coast of Spain as we sail down the Med. After an excellent buffet lunch we joined the on-deck party. By the time we set sail, at about 5.30.p.m. the party was in full swing. Monday was an ‘at sea’ day. The Med was like a mill pond and we ... read more
This backpacking is hard graft!
Approaching Funchal harbour
NCL Epic taken from the cable car

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal October 29th 2014

Magnificent Madeira Woke early to the ship making different sounds which meant we had slowed down and were not far from land. Cup of tea with stolen cookies from the buffet yesterday while we watched the sun rise over part of the archipelago of Madeira, three smaller islands rose up over the horizon followed by the stunning sight of the lush green island of Madeira and the port of Funchal. The Epic docked imposingly alongside the Costa Delicioza and the MSC Sinfonia, Epic by far the biggest. A quick bite of breakfast before debarking and making our way onto the island. We hadn't booked a tour so grabbed a cab to thr cable car station and rode to the top of the island taking in the amazing views down to the port. We had planned to ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal October 18th 2014

After a night's rest the swelling on my ankle had receded and felt much better although it was still very tender. I was able to put weight on my foot but when walking I was still unable to do anything about the pronounced limp. My limp had reduced from the ‘Herr Flick' category to a Jake the Peg(without his extra leg) category!! I took the bandage off to assess the progress and gasped at the colour of the side of my foot. At first I thought it was just the dye from my cheap pair of Primark socks but as Roisin immediately testified, it was the fall out from my ‘fall over'!! I decided to give it as much rest as possible today whilst exercising the joint in the hope that it doesn't seize up altogether. ... read more
The ornate ceiling of the Emerald princess Piazza
Chris back at the scene of the accident!
The discoverer of Madeira

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal January 9th 2014

Elk land heeft tradities die jaren, eeuwenlang in ere worden gehouden en op gezette tijden uit de kast worden getrokken. Vooral tijdens de dagen rond kerst en oud en nieuw. In de westerse wereld hebben de meeste van die tradities met geloof (heidens of christelijk) en kerk te maken. Er zijn natuurlijk uitzonderingen, en die hebben meestal iets met eten van doen. Vroegah, toen de mensen zichzelf nog konden bedruipen met hun moestuinen, kippen en konijnen, en de boer op gingen voor vlees en melk, was het hier (net als in Frankrijk en Nederland) op het platteland gebruikelijk om tegen het eind van het jaar een varken te slachten. Dat beest was uiteraard diervriendelijk vetgemest, mocht de hele dag in de modder spelen en was nooit met honderden soortgenoten tegelijk in een vrachtwagen gepropt om met ... read more
Canja!
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Europe » Portugal » Madeira December 2nd 2013

Portugal was one of the earliest colonising nation of Europe, starting with Ceuta (1410), Madeira (1419), the Azores (1439). In 1498, Portugal reached India, and discovered Brazil and claimed it for Portugal. The Portuguese Empire would rule over Brazil, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Daman, Diu, Kochi, Malacca, and Macau. Most of the African colonies were granted independence in 1975. Macau, the last Portuguese colony, was handed over to China in 1999. Madeira is a portuguese island but it’s closer to Africa than to the European continent. It’s located in the atlantic ocean, 520 km of the african coast and 1,000 km from the european continent.The New Year celebrations feature the largest fireworks show in the world, as officially recognised by the Guinness World Records, in 2006. Madeira Island natural ... read more
Europe 11-13 Trip 628
Europe 11-13 Trip 630
Europe 11-13 Trip 676

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal November 19th 2013

We zitten hier pas 3 weken, maar het lijkt alweer maanden, zo zijn we bezig. Waarmee dan? Met ons hier wat meer te nestelen. Het vakantieappartement waar we nu zitten, ligt in een rustige straat, maar in een erg gehorig gebouw uit de tijd dat men muur- en vloerisolatie nog niet zo belangrijk vond. Dus zeiden we tegen de huisbaas dat het ons wat tegenviel. Hij moest toegeven dat het gebouw gehorig was, de buren boven ons geen viltjes onder de stoelen hadden en bovendien ieder weekend de kleinkinderen op bezoek hadden en dat er ook wel veel honden in de tuinen om ons heen waren die bij het minste geringste aansloegen. Bovendien zijn wij natuurlijk, anders dan de gemiddelde toerist in zijn appartement, meer thuis. Dus hij vond het jammer, maar wilde ons niet tegenhouden ... read more
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Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal October 19th 2013

We have 2 days at sea now before we hit land again. It's time to sit back and enjoy the ride. Life at sea, however is not all plain sailing (sorry about the pun!) It's time for another 'incident'. Kaye related to us that as she and her husband Charlie were getting in to the elevator last night. It was pretty full. The elevator stopped at a deck and the doors opened. A man and his wife pushed their way in to the dismay of some passengers already in the elevator. ‘We're full. You'll have to wait for the next one', someone cried. ‘Of course you're not full!', the newcomer said shoving other passengers as he tried to enter. In order to protect himself and his wife, one of the passengers shoved back. The newcomer took ... read more
The Casino, Royal Princess
The Royal made from thousands of smaller photos
The bank of Funchal

Europe » Portugal » Madeira » Funchal April 1st 2013

Easter couldn't have come soon enough with the lack of sun and slow appearance of spring in London. We had originally booked this trip to Madeira with Adam and Myles, however they were back in Melbourne enjoying the sun there. It was an early flight, departing Gatwick at 7.10. Unfortunately the spare seat next to me was taken by someone else as easy jet had separated a family. Oh well, got the spare seat on the way back. The flight was just under 4hrs given there was a strong headwind. This of course paid dividends on the way back with just over a 3hr flight. We were staying up in the hills surrounding Funchal at a place called Choupana Hills Resort and Spa. It offered amazing views out across the Atlantic Ocean and down to Funchal ... read more




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