Thursday, 24 March 2011

Madeira 2011, part one, getting into relaxation mode!

After narrowly avoiding the floods last year; ( )
by opting to go to the Isle of Arran instead, we decided to go back to Madeira again this year. There's a web cam there called 'people cam', and it's one that you can stand in front of and pose for the poor folks shivering back home. Last time we tried to do it, there was a malfunction, so it didn't work. This time it was fine, and that's Sue (pretty in pink) and me ('riding' the statue in the pool). Some folk never grow up!
You can see this camera here;

Anyway, to backtrack a little, we had PERFECT flying times really. We had to be at Manchester at 6:00am, which meant no rush hour driving. We decided to use a different parking service, as last times service had hiked prices. The one we used was 'value parking', and it certainly 'did what it said on the tin'. I have to say, the driver was very chirpy and amusing, but the 'mode of transport' was, shall we say, 'a bit rough'!
I'd still use them again though, as they were VERY cheap.
Last time, we had clear skies, and could see cruise ships in the Bay of Biscay, but this time almost ALL the way was shrouded in thick cloud below.

We were looking forward to the view of the 'runway on stilts', but as we approached the coast of Madeira, it was obvious that we were going to land from the opposite direction to last time. If not, it was going to be a BLO**Y tight turn!!!!

Now we knew for sure, as we passed this small spit of land off the S/E end of Madeira.

We flew past Machico, and made our final descent.

In no time at all, we were bathed in sunshine and looking out over Funchal from our perfectly positioned room. We'd asked for the same hotel, and the same room, if possible, as last time. We got an even better one, on a higher floor, with this great view over the city.

That big pink block is Reid's palace, where Sir Winston Churchill (amongst others) used to stay.

But we were more than happy with this.

The cruise ships were queuing up in the harbour.

The sea was twinkling with sunlight, and had a little action in it. We decided a walk along the front was in order. Usually, we'd head for the prom', but today we went North instead.

As usual on Madeira, flowers abounded as we walked along the road.

I just LOVE this regimented plantation of palms. I don't usually like trees in a pattern, but somehow these look right.

We saw this perfect English rose, at its most perfect as we passed.

THIS was what Susie was yearning for - a bit of sun on her back (or. front, as the case may be).

Me too, and on the patio of 'the Paradise' bar, that's exactly what it felt like.

We did all the 'must do' things (shopping, getting bus tickets, etc) and went back to the hotel to this peaceful, but cloudy, view over Funchal. We went out, but took the umbrellas (just in case). It was a good move, as it was very showery as we walked, but still warm.

The Funchal prom' at night - that mosaic paving just blows us away.

With the lights, a super stroll in anyone's book.

Even the side streets were lit with cheerful strings of light.

Later, there was a DVD show at the hotel on all parts of the island. As we had planned to go further afield this trip, we thought it would be a good show. We got back to the hotel at 8:30, and shortly after, the rain POUNDED on the roof - we were SO glad we weren't out in it!

Later, just before we retired, it looked a lot calmer. Goodnight, Funchal.


  1. it looks lovely at night! My mum loves Madeira, I haven't ever been. Maybe one day!

  2. A magical sight we never tired of at night Louise. Don't let it be a dream, GO there, it's amazing! Wait until you see the rest of the this space!