Madeira – first port after eight days at sea; with photos

blue pealing boat 5x7 smallMadeira is really a charming and modern place.  We had joined a group of five other cruisers to take a private tour of the center valley of the island.

Note to future cruisers; we found out about how to do a private tour from cruisecritic.com …Look in the Forums for your cruise line’s Roll Call section, and find the thread for your voyage. About a month before sailing, or earlier, people will start to organize private tours. You find these by just Googling, for example, “Gibraltar tour.” Also check TripAdvisor. You can organize it yourself, or for the first time maybe join someone else’s tour. You end up usually in an 8-passenger van, see more in less time, and can get dropped off for shopping or food on the way back to the ship. And it’s usually about half the cost.

Madeiravalley 5x7 small walking to village 5x7 small is a volcanic island that reminded us of Kauai but more populated.  The housing style was Mediterranean ( white walls and tiled roofs) and full of large trees and flowers.  The tour guide Lionel was informative about the island and its history.  As you can see from the photos we went up to caldera of the former volcano and looked down into the little villages that are isolated in the valley.  To get to those villages you needed to walk down a trail ( I took a photo of a man walking down the trail) I think you stay healthy with all the walking up and down the hills.

Our guide took us to an old fishing village as part of the tour.  The photos of the boats and the guard dogs ( lol) give you an idea about how relaxed everyone was.3 boats no restriction blue pealing boat 5x7 small brown dog corr - Copy working dog 5x7 small

The tour was 2.5 hours long and Lionel dropped us off at the center of the city’s (Funchal) main market place.  We went inside to a cornucopia of fresh fruit, vegetables and nuts.  It was beautiful.  Lionel had told us the every free space on the island is gardened and that the island is self sufficient for many food items.  They especially grow bananas.dave and coast 5x7 small - Copy mediera open market corr small

Dave and I walked through the city and came upon some young women all dressed for the flower festival that was happening that weekend. In the main square of the city there were stunning flower displays on the sidewalk.  If this is the preview the festival must be something else.flower girls 5x7 small flowers st 5x7 small

We each had a gelato cone and shared a steak sandwich and Dave had a beer at an outdoor cafe across from the ship.  Amazingly the total cost of the meal was only; 11 euros with tip ( at the current exchange that translates into about $12).

As we were leaving on the ship the sun started to send rays through the clouds to the sea.  Got one last photo to share with you.  god rays 5x7 small gray sun rays 5x7 small

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2 thoughts on “Madeira – first port after eight days at sea; with photos

  1. Hello Linda and David,
    I have been reading your blog and love to hear about your adventures. How exciting for you! I am living vicariously through your postings. I was in Italy and France two weeks ago, Had a wonderful time. I just love Italy and its people. That was my first time in France. Nice, Avignon, Cannes and French Riveria-Corte d’Azur was our favorite. Need to go back, Ddin’t spend enough time in Paris. Love the Eiffel Tower. Went up to the top at night and drank Champagne with Meghan. Even called Grant to tell him that he was missed and we have to come back together. Going to Bunco at Susan’s house tonight. I’ll let The Girls that you are almost to Rome. How long are you staying there?
    Arrivederci! Buona Fortuna! Alison

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    • We just got to Rome today. We have a small one bedroom apartment by the Vatican. We go to the Vatican Museum tomorrow. Looking forward to it but the lines and the amount of people. We bought tickets online last week, but it is still a zoo. Say hi to all the girls. The posts on the blog will be more detailed now with more photos. Miss all of you.

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