Funchal, Madeira Portugal February 3rd 2012
We pulled up to Funchal on the Norwegian Jade early in the morning of February 3rd. I’m not much of a morning person but the sky was so beautiful that it was easier than normal to pull myself out of bed and get ready. I met Carlos the concierge and he escorted me and a few other people off of the ship early so that we could get to the city before the rush.
Two of the other people preparing to do a tour were two sisters from Ireland. We wound up staying together most of our day tour only separating to explore various parts of the city before meeting up again.
After walking through the main drag along the water front we head over to the Funicular (Gondola) that took us up to the Gardens. (Jardim Tropical Jardin – Monte Palace) In order to get there you actually take 2 gondolas up (and over) on the second ride, the one that actually takes you to the Gardens you feel as if you’re coasting about a rain forest. It’s a beautiful view. High up in the air swinging back and forth on an overcast day. Fun!
If you don’t want to take the traditional way back down the mountain, which is the Madeiran sled, you can always pretend you did by stopping by the coffee shop Cafe Monte and taking a picture seated in the sled there.
We spent time walking around the gardens we came back town and walked around the vicinity. The gardens didn’t wow me, perhaps due to the overcast day or just the fact that I’ve seen more spectacular sights elsewhere, but if you’re a horticulturist I’m sure that it’s an enjoyable tour. Give yourself a couple of hours to explore it. There’s also an area that houses tropical birds but I didn’t go to see that.
After heading back down we stopped by the Fish Market and Vegetable market. The sights and sounds there were spectacular. Fruits that I’d never seen before in eye popping colors. The vendors will offer you bits to try and as you can’t bring foods back on the cruise ship if you fall in love with a flavor or texture, remember to eat it there.
Walking along there were more sights to see, the famous church in Madeira as well as lots of shopping and beautiful little streets to meander down.
All in all it was a pleasant day and the next time that I’m back in Madeira I hope to see a lot more of the island, as it’s rainforest like setting must make it very lush throughout.
All Written Material and Photos © TravelXena.com 2012