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Holiday report

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East Sussex, United...
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Holiday report

Just got back from Funchal yesterday. We had a lovely time, we`ve been in June before, so this was a completely different sort of holiday. We experienced all weathers in one week - summer sun, tropical storms, monsoon-type rains, gentle breezez and hurricane winds, cold and warm evenings! We had packed too many warm-weather clothes and not enough coats and wellies but we managed fine by wearing lots of layers.

We had a much more laid back holiday than usual, no rushing around with an itinerary of things to do, didn`t even bother to hire a car or even leave Funchal. The days were spent wandering around, drinking the fabulous coffee and enjoying the Madeiran cakes and just watching the world go by. The evenings were filled with lovely dinners!

We went to the Barreirinha Bar overlooking the lido by the fort a few times and basked in the sun. It`s an ideal vantage point for viewing the blue sky and listening to the waves break - so relaxing. On Saturday, a surprisingly hot and clear day between two rough stormy ones, the waves were crashing against the sea wall of the lido, drenching people who got too close whilst taking pictures.

My other half went on a horse riding outing at Quinta do Riacho, which he enjoyed. He was collected at our apartment and driven back, very handy as we had no car. He said he`d do it again next time we visit - always a good sign.

I treated myself to a spa package at The Vine hotel - it was fabulous and both the spa and the therapists were excellent.

We went around the Electricity Museum - really fascinating display of old generators, displays and the building itself is very atmospheric, with one room full of old dials like a set from a 1950`s sci-fi film.

We also did the Vintage Tour at Blandy`s, very good to see inside the private stock rooms, one with a safe containing the most precious and expensive bottles. As usual the aroma of maturing Madeira wine was intoxicating. We also had a taste of a 1968 Bual Madeira - very nice too.

The harbour works are very impressive, I look forward to seeing the new promenade when it`s finished. If it`s anything like the plans, it will be a much more attractive area with trees and greenery and walks away from the road. Also good to have a look at the cruise ships, some of which are giant! I saw a Little Egret at the marina a couple of days and we fed the little fish a few times.

As usual, we had excellent food and service at every cafe and restaurant and were remembered by staff at Estrella do Mar and Dos Combatentes. The coffee and pastel de nata at Cafe Teatro remain the best on the island that we`ve found and it was also good to try the new Ritz Bar opposite the municipal gardens. We were able to watch the football matches we couldn`t miss at the above two bars and as we (Spurs) won both matches, it was a holiday bonus :-)

It`s a shame to see that so many shops and businesses in Funchal have closed down (I suspect it`s the same all over the island) but some empty places are being fitted out ready for new ventures. There was a noisy demonstration through Funchal on Saturday, repeated across Portugal, against austerity measures and bailout terms. We did our bit to help the economy by spending more money than we`d planned(!!!)

Our flights were with Easyjet and were excellent both ways, bit of a delay leaving but no big deal. The crew were great and landings were smooth. We were a bit concerned about the airport being shut due to the storm but were lucky with the weather on Monday evening. There was a lovely double rainbow over the airport as we were boarding - a good omen for a smooth flight.

We did not see one mozzie and were not bitten once, although we were prepared with various sprays and creams!

So that`s another holiday in Madeira, with the flowers and the lovely people. Next time we`ll probably go in May but it was good to experience a winter holiday there, even if we did pick the week of a tropical storm!

Caroline

Edited: 05 March 2013, 17:32
Funchal, Portugal
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1. Re: Holiday report

Great to hear about your holiday. It made me quite envious as I have to wait till April to go back to Funchal as my daughter is getting married at Easter and there's lots of wedding work to do before then. And, yes, we are having Madeira wine at the wedding breakfast! Much as I love Blandys we've gone for a 10 year Barbeito Malvasia as it's such a special occasion.

Glasgow, United...
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2. Re: Holiday report

Thanks for the fine report Cags 63 glad you had a good holiday pity the weather was mixed was there in January weather excellent.As you say Funchal has many good cafes etc pity about the bad economic situation but it is the same all over.Anyway thanks for the report my next trip all going well June cant wait till i go

Old Portsmouth...
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3. Re: Holiday report

An excellent and informative holiday report cags63. Well done.

Wrexham, United...
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4. Re: Holiday report

Cags 63 - Thank you so much for your trip report .We love to hear about your experience whilst in Madeira .

Sorry to hear you had some not so good weather but that is what you expect in Madeira .

Pleased to hear you made the most of your visit . It sounded as though you had a great time .I felt quite envious .However I am going myself in May .

Thank you again for your excellent report .

East Sussex, United...
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5. Re: Holiday report

Hi all

I`m just filling in all my reviews for bars, restaurants etc. You are all so lucky to have Madeira holidays to look forward to, we will not be back until next year! And how lovely to have a wedding there!

As for the weather, well, we can take anything Nature throws at us, we`re true Brits :-)

I`m uplaoding a copule of video clips onto youtube, I`ll post the links here when they`re done

Edited: 05 March 2013, 19:05
East Sussex, United...
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6. Re: Holiday report

A couple of clips from the Barreirinha bar and lido last Saturday - glorious hot sunshine between days of the tropical storm. The sea was sending huge plumes of white spray up over the edge of the lido, very impressive to watch against the vivid blue sky

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6g5YbEQXHw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpGLIVNBQek

Wish I was back there now :-)

Bolton, United...
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7. Re: Holiday report

Enjoyed reading your very informative report Caz.I was trying my best to picture all the places & things you did.

Just keep thinking about your next holiday.

Rob

Wrexham, United...
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8. Re: Holiday report

Wow . Loved your video of the Barreirnha Bar .Makes me even more excited about going back in May Thank you .

Canico, Madeira
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9. Re: Holiday report

Great write up of your holiday, glad you had a good time.

The sea has been very rough along the south coast the last couple of days, and I was shocked to see all the stones on Praia Formosa have been washed away.

You certainly had a mix of weather. Loved your 2 videos as well, Saturday was a lovely day, it shocked us all even the locals.

Tobi in Madeira

England, United...
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10. Re: Holiday report

Great report cags63 and glad you enjoyed your spa package and all the other things you did. Shame about the storm but good to hear you still had a good holiday.

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