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Madeira 1995



Photos of, and from, the Hotel, and of Funchal Town, Market, & Harbour.

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Photos of Funchal Botanical Gardens, the Monte Gardens, and various locations on the "West of the Island" Coach tour.

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Immediately we arrived on Madeira, we were struck by the pleasantly warm climate, the lush vegetation, with flowers everywhere, the spectacular mountain scenery, and the friendliness of the islanders. Funchal town centre was a 10 minute walk from our hotel, past a park, and near to the harbour.  Funchal is a charming and fascinating town, with a Cathedral, the Museum of Sacred Art, the Market "dos Lavradores", together with Shops, Restaurants, and many Gardens and Parks. It does however, have a very severe traffic problem; walking is much quicker. At the time of our visit, elections were taking place, and the streets were decorated and much noisy but good natured political campaigning was taking place. Funchal is also a popular calling point for Boat cruises, a Russian ship stayed for a day or so. But we did encounter continual problems with Begging Children and Timeshare Touts. Probably our most enjoyable pastime was just wandering round Funchal. The shops, the market (in particular), the gardens, and the harbour area, stopping for a coffee or two. We went on several coach excursions, the first being the "Introduction to Funchal" tour, which took in the town, the Botanical Gardens, and, of course, Wine tasting.

The weather during our stay was excellent, Around 70 to 75 degrees, sunny with light breezes. A full day "West Madeira" coach excursion was splendid, taking in Cabo Girao (the highest sea cliff in Europe) , Camara de Lobos, Ribeira Brava, and Porto do Moniz, before turning eastwards to return via Sao Vicente and the Paul da Serra plateau. Another coach excursion took us to the Monte Gardens (Quinta Nossa Senhora da Conceicao) to the east of Funchal. Just below the steps of Monte's church is the start of the Toboggan ride, a quaint form of public transport where you can ride down into Funchal in what looks like a wicker basket. We also explored, by foot, the exclusive hotel and Lido area to the west of the hotel, and also a pleasant wooded ravine immediately to the east.


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