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Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Glasgow Scotland
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Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Having been to Madeira many times, I decided that as a retirement treat I would take a longer holiday in Madeira. I have already written reviews, but this post is about the things that don't fit easily into the reviews. I spent three and a half weeks on my own and my husband joined me for the last two weeks.

The trip started on Friday 20th Sept on the 7.15 train from Glasgow Central straight to Manchester airport. It arrived in plenty of time to catch the Jet2 flight to Funchal. During the entire holiday I loved the same things I always love about Madeira; the climate, the scenery, the feeling of relaxation and the genuine warmth of the people. I'd just like to add a few extra things I really loved this time; I'd never been in Sept/ early Oct, and I will definitely be back at this time of the year. I saw some fabulous sunrises and sunsets. I loved the fresh smell after the rain. I loved watching the almost daily changes in the allotments on Estrada Monumental and I hope they become a permanent feature. I loved Funchal downtown on a Sunday morning, quiet, peaceful and great for photo opportunities. The gift shop where I found lots of old postcards was a real treat. I met some wonderful people, both Madeiran and tourists who helped make the holiday the memorable one it was. Many of the other things I really enjoyed are in the reviews section.

Apart from trips to Santa Cruz I spent my time in Funchal, more especially the Lido area. When I went into town, the seafront works are still ongoing. I found them quieter than previously, but, still dusty.

Inevitably, there had to be problems, and the major one was the sudden and unexpected 'death' of my IPad half way through the second week. This virtually cut off any means of communication with the outside world. Thanks to Claudia from the hotel reception, a nice man from a car rental office and a little shop in the backstreets of Funchal the problem was diagnosed as a dead battery, one was sent from the mainland(possibly by banana boat) and IPad was restored for a very reasonable price.

On 28th October Madeira airport was the busiest I have ever seen it and I now know what it meant by chaos. I think it was probably caused by the bad weather that day in Northern Europe. For anyone travelling soon the large cafe on the top floor is closed for work to be done. It has been replaced by a much smaller one at the other side of the stairs.

The return train journey seemed much more tedious than the way down and for that reason I'm not sure that I'd travel this route again.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots but these are the things that I will remember for ever.

I came home really relaxed.

Would I do it again? Absolutely, in an instant!!!

Edited: 07 November 2013, 10:42
Glasgow Scotland
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1. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

I knew I'd forget something; I loved the Black Dog Blues band in the Eden Mare on Wednesday nights, and as ever the Porto Mare gardens.

Wrexham, United...
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2. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Calderglen - Congratulations on your retirement . What a lovely long holiday you had .I am quite envious .Pleased to hear you enjoyed the Black Dog Blues band and the wonderful gardens ,which are what draws us back to the Porto Mare every time .

Do they still allow you to view the planes at the airport whilst the work on the café is being done ?

Thank you for sharing your holiday experience with us all .

Glasgow Scotland
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3. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Yes Mike, you can still get out to watch the planes.

England, United...
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4. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Great report Calderglen and glad to hear you had such a fantastic long break. I found it very interesting reading your reviews especially of your museum visits but as you say many of the great things about Madeira are the climate, scenery, feeling of relaxation and the genuine warmth of the people....I almost felt like I was there.

A big thumbs up to the Black Dog Blues Band at Eden Mar. I also enjoyed seeing Sangre Latino there and as you say the gardens at Porto Mar are beautiful.

Well done to everyone involved for getting your iPad fixed....how did we ever live without them? :)

Bolton, United...
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5. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Hi Calderglen,

It was lovely to have met you while we was on holiday.

What a great time of the year to holiday late Sept /OctWe are changing our holidays round next year.7 nights early July/11 or14 nights very late Sept,early Oct.Been 2 years running now early Oct & weather been superb with a very pleasant climate.

What about the Bella Ilah Calderglen.Superb place to have a coffee or beer in total relaxation.

Rob

Ps...Guess what i have picked up from Royal Mail depot this morning.

Will open tonight when at home.Fingers x

Glasgow Scotland
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6. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Hi queen_mary, until the IPad stopped working I hadn't realised how much of my life was on the IPad, but, all's well that ends well! I was really pleased to have it fixed.

Rob, I have written a review of the Bella Illha. I spent so long sitting in the shade there reading my book I'm surprised I didn't get a bill at the end fore the hire of the table. I think their coffee is really excellent.

Other things I loved; I had a fabulous manicure and pedicure which was really good value, and tangerine Poncha.

Edited: 07 November 2013, 15:26
Glasgow, United...
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7. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Hi Calderglen glad you had a nice retirement holiday enjoyed your reports and congratulations on your retirement.

Funchal, Portugal
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8. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Thanks, Calderglen, for sharing your holiday with everyone.

I was interested to see that you spent a large part of your holiday on your own, as my husband and I spent about 20 years trying to find somewhere we could enjoy both on our own or together for quite long periods. We eventually settled on Funchal 3 years ago and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. Although having said that we've not yet got round to travelling separately but we do go out and about on our own when there, and I have to say I always find the city feels so safe - even at night - although obviously one needs to take care. And everyone is always so helpful and nice, and it's never a problem eating or drinking alone.

I also agree about Funchal on a Sunday. Although I love the city at all times I think Sunday is my favourite day, when everything is so much quieter than the hustle and bustle of the week., and you really have the chance to look at all the lovely old buildings and pavements. It reminds me of what we've lost in the UK with Sunday trading, which I hope never comes to Funchal.

Glasgow, United...
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9. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Thanks for a great report Calderglen.I am glad you had such a good time and wish you good health and much happiness in your retirement.

Although I have been on holiday to Madeira with family and friends in the past, I am completely comfortable when I go alone. The locals and other tourists are so friendly.

I agree about the return train journey from Manchester - a bit tedious. In fairness the actual journey was fine and the train was very punctual. It was just a very long day from checking out of hotel till arriving home.

My retirement gift from myself to myself was a cruise of the Eastern Med. a couple of weeks ago. I shall shortly be posting a report on the Cruise Forum.

Glasgow Scotland
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10. Re: Holiday 20th Sept-28th Oct.

Roseandvine, I had previously travelled solo to Funchal a few times, but, only for a week at a time. I agree it feels very safe and as you say eating and drinking solo is no problem. In fact I was surprised at just how many women on there own I saw.

Laptop, I felt totally comfortable and at ease the whole time I was there.

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