Friday, January 15, 2010

Fun is to Funchal as Madeira Island is to Portugal!!!

It's early morning, and we're pulling into Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal, about 300 miles off of the coast of Morocco. Madeira Island is just about as beautiful as an island can be. After about a week in the cold and damp from England to Spain, Madeira promised to be warm and balmy.

Our first stop on our excursion into Funchal was at the top of the second highest sea cliff in the world...the Cabo Girao overlooking the fishing village and bay of Camara del Lobos.

Being one of the primary spots to visit in Funchal, the local merchants were there in droves to sell their wares...

These little caps are part of the traditional costumes of Madeira...

The roads were extremely narrow on the quite steep hillsides of the was unbelievable that two huge tourist buses could pass each other without scraping or one going over the edge!!!

Our next stop was the little fishing village of Camara del Lobos which is only about 5 km from Funchal.

Did you know that Winston Churchill was quite an accomplished painter? He did watercolors and particularly liked painting here in Camara del Lobos. On our first cruise, in the Baltic, we went to the art auction and found a painting that we really liked...turned out to be a signed lithograph by Winston Churchill!!! We got a great deal because we were on an Italian cruise ship and apparently the Italians don't get the concept of an auction, it's just not a part of their culture....the auctioneer finally gave up and just told everyone to see him later and offer him a price!!!

This little spot is the actual setting of the painting we's of several small boats in the water here in this little bay...

Next stop was by the port, at a winery. Madeira wine is fairly well's a sweet wine, similar to port. Unfortunately, none of my pictures from the winery turned, it wasn't because I had too much was just a tad too sweet for me!!!

After the winery, we walked along the street near the port...

Doesn't this colorful sightseeing bus just make you want to hop on???

Another couple and my hubby and I decided to accept a very industrious cab driver's offer to drive us up (way up) to the Monte Toboggan rides...and it's a good thing we did because he got us there just as they were about to close...we were the last ones who got to ride the toboggan...

Ok...are you sitting down??? The toboggan ride is actually a two seater wicker sofa on wooden runners...two Madeirans who were dressed a bit like Venetian Gondoliers, stepped onto the runners on each side of the "toboggan" and pushed off...Down we slid on the streets of the Funchal hills with the tobogganeers on either side of us pushing, pulling, and "steering"...the "toboggans" can get up to 48 mph, though I don't think we ever got going quite that fast...What a kick!!! We laughed the whole way down!!!

If today's posting makes you want to visit Madeira...our most industrious cab driver, Tony, will pick you up from the airport and take you wherever you want to go!!!

Leaving Madeira, the clouds were beginning to find us....

Next port....Fort Lauderdale!!!

Wait...that's after 6 days at sea... YIKES!!! No land in sight for 6 whole days!!!

For more photos and information about Funchal...check out Paulo Camacho's blog


  1. Did you hear that? That is the sound jealousy. But thank you for the pictures!

  2. Hi, Great blog and Photos of your short stay in Funchal. Hope your back to explore soon.


  3. I'm humbled AH!!! I absolutely know you would have gotten a kick out of the silly toboggan ride!!! And I know you would love the island...if you ever get a's wonderful!!! Love those United miles!!!

    Thanks Tobi and welcome!!!

  4. I just surfed all the way back to your Christmas post and loved each and every photo. It is quite a travelogue! You have wondeful variety and interesting subjects. What a treat to see them all!

  5. Thank you so much Kate!!! I'm certainly having fun with it...

  6. Dear friend,
    You made a great story about your visit in the madeira island. Good discretion, and excellent photo quality. Congratulations.
    Thank you for your kindness in putting a link to my photoblog at the end of the text.
    Paulo Camacho

  7. You're welcome Paulo! It was a pleasure visiting your city and posting about it!

  8. I"m loving a whirlwind tour in one blog post!! I want that tour bus. Oh and BTW, the over the cliff shot made me woozy, or maybe I've had too much wine tonight! :)

  9. I still haven't gotten past the fact that you got a signed lithograph of ... Churchill's painting?! Who knew?!

    These are BEEEEEEYOOOUTIFUL, Chieftess. I wish I could have tagged along with you guys.

  10. Definitely had to be the cliff shot V...made me woozy taking it!!! And the bus shot...we were right on the edge of the road when we passed with about 6 inches in between!!!

    Thank you Laurie!!! That's the highest of praise coming from the priestess of blog photography!!! And we'd love to have you join us on the next whirlwind!!!

  11. Chieftess always liked you best, Laurie.

    WV: Lesse. (Honest)

  12. Awwww AH...Ms Laurie helped me with my blog...I have to pay homage to her...she inspired me to do this thing...and then, by being such a hotshot photographer and inspiring writer, has inadvertently challenged me to strive to new heights!!! Your blog in a different league one can compete with the number of coffee spews in the mornings from reading/enjoying your writings and photos!!! You are awesome my friend!!!

  13. I really liked your blog. Whenever I can come here honors him. It will be an honor for us to have you on our blog.

    Brazilian art and culture


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