Tag Archives: Funchal

F is for Funchal

F

Funchal is the capital city on the island of Madeira. It was the first stop after a transatlantic cruise from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Lisbon. And what a treat! After five days of watching the sea, we landed at a garden paradise. Here are some of my highlights of visiting Funchal.

One of the first things I did was take the cable car to the small village of Monte that overlooks the port.

At the top, there are several gardens, a church and an interesting way to get back down to Funchal.

Toboggans!

In the center of Funchal, there is the Mercado dos Lavradores. It is a market that has stalls for flowers, fresh fruits and vegetables, local crafts and one are for fish. It is a very interesting place to visit. The produce is very fresh, especially the locally grown bananas and very good wine. I had an amazing lunch at the outdoor cafe next to the market.

Here are more sights from Funchal. It is truly a beautiful place to visit!

 

2012 Travel in Review, Part 2

For the second half of my travelling adventure, I decided to include a transatlantic cruise that would also include crossing the equator.

Sao Paulo: I started the adventure in Sao Paulo. Nothing prepared me for the number of people, the traffic, or the language barriers! But, that is what makes travelling n adventure — learning to face new challenges and opportunities. In Sao Paulo, I stayed at the LimeTime Hostel, which was very close to the Metro and Ave. Paulista. Of course, my first day out, I turned the wrong way and got lost looking for the Metro and Ave. Paulista, but I finally started learning my way around — and using the Metro was a great help!  Want to do something different?  If you are up early on a Sunday — which can be difficult because there are so many cool bars in Sao Paulo — head to the Benedictine Monastery for 10 AM mass.  It is crowded, so unless you get there a little early, you may have to stand, but the singing is beautiful!

Casa de las Rosas
Casa de las Rosas
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Statue in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Lower level of the Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Statue in Sao Paulo cemetery
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Cat in cemetery in Sao Paulo
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Sao Paulo Cathedral
Placa de Republica
Placa de Republica

Santos: There is a bus that takes you from Sao Paulo to the beaches of Santos.  It takes about 90 minutes and will stop right on the beach.  I took the bus to the cruise terminal to join my ship, RCI’s Vision of the Seas. There were a few of us on the bus — and we all got a little nervous, not knowing the exact route the driver was taking through Santos.  But we made it safely and got a mini-tour of Santos in the bargain.  The beaches are beautiful!

Beach at Santos
Beach at Santos

Rio: It was really nice sailing into Rio — I sat ion my balcony and took pictures from a view many people in the city would never see! I was also very fortunate to hook up with a small group of people to “see the sites” and had an amazing lunch at a Brazilian BBQ place.  I also had a moment of panic when I thought my group had left without me. I would love to spend more time here — preferably with someone and not on my own.

Cat on the beach in Rio
Cat on the beach in Rio
Rio Beaches
Rio Beaches
Vultures over Rio
Vulture flying over Rio
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Sugar Loaf Cable Cars
Christ the Redemer
Christ the Redemer
Cat's photo at the tram
Waiting for the Tram
Sailing into Rio
Sailing into Rio

Salvador de Bahia: I loved the history and and experiences I had here in Salvador — and took one of my favorite pictures here as well.

Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Ribbons at Senhor do Bonfim
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Senhor do Bonfim Ribbons
Blessing
A Candoble Blessing

Crossing the Atlantic: I can say that I have not only sailed across the Atlantic, but I also sailed across the equator! This was 6 days of pure relaxation (when I wasn’t sick form a nasty cold).

Tenerife, Spain:  Our first port after 6 days — and I needed to get back into nature.  What a great place to experience the beauty of a volcano and this unique landscape. I want to go back and see more!

Rock formations near Teite Volcano
Rock formations near Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano
First view of Teite Volcano

Funchal, Portugal: I had such a lovely day in Madeira — this is another place I want to return to and spend more time (and one of the reasons I cruise — get a “taste” of different places to decide where to return to!).

Funchal Market Monte tobaggan View from Monte Swan Tobaggan ride Funchal Cable

Lisbon, Portugal: I love Lisbon — great food,wine, entertainment and beautiful architecture — so much to take pictures of! I stayed at the Living Lounge Hostel — a wonderful spot in the heart of the city. I never seem to have enough time in Portugal!

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A Charming Day in Funchal

It was a perfect day in Funchal on the island of Madeira. I started my day near the centre of town where there is a collection of buses and a cable car that takes you up to the town of Monte.  I decided to make that my first stop. The ride in the cable car provides a great view of Funchal and ends at one of the many formal gardens that are so much a part of this island.

Funchal Cable

 

A short walk on a cobble street brought me to one of the most important churches. There is a special festival celebrated on August 8th for Mary that occurs at this church.

Monte Church

This church is a very simple church that contains the tomb of the last Hapsburg Emperor. The views from this outside this church are also spectacular.

View from Monte

Next to the church was a wonderful garden that reminded me of a very special garden of a very special place in Sonoma, California. While I was wondering through the garden, I came upon a pond with two swans — and I got some amazing pictures of these beautiful birds.

Swan

Monte garden

Also near the church was one of the strangest ways I’ve found to travel down a hill — a toboggan that goes on pavement! It is a wicker basket that holds two people and there are two men that get it started then steer it down the hill. The ride takes about 20 minutes — and it a bit scary as you are steered through the streets.

Monte tobaggan

Tobaggan ride

Once back in Funchal, I got on a bus and took a tour of the city and headed to a little fishing community. We passed by groves of bananas, gardens (one dedicated to Santa Caterina), and churches. Everywhere was green and lush.

Once back in the city central, I headed to the main market where you can find fresh food, fish and flowers sold by women in traditional outfits.  You can also find crocheted handicrafts.

Funchal Market