Nearly 500 years old, Madeira’s capitol is one of Europe’s prettiest ports. There flowers everywhere! Funchal is named for one of the most fragrant native plants – funcho (fennel) was growing all over the coastal area when 16th-century Portuguese mariners arrived. The center of town is the landmark Se’ Cathedral, completed in 1514. (from HAL’s Port at a Glance handout)
We arrived right on time with the captain cranking up the engines to turn 20 knots, to allow us to rendezvous at 7:15 am with the port pilot for our sail-in– stern first.
It was a beautiful sail-in as the sun was just rising and the skies were clear and brilliant blue. We were the first of two cruise ships to arrive this day and as we slowly eased into our berth the inter island ferry departed. About an hour later the Norwegian Cruise Lind “Jade” arrived. She dwarfed our ship in size by we overshadowed her in beauty.
Unable to stay inside our cabin, we both exited to walk the lower promenade and take in the excitement that is always takes place during docking. I took this picture of Barbara with the port and part of the city as a backdrop.
The ship was cleared for passengers to depart, so we hopped on the first HAL provided free shuttle to the heart of the city along the esplanade. Our table mates, Flo and Aubrey, Bill and Robin had the same idea – let’s do the town on our own. We were soon on the “Hop On, Hop Off” bus to get an over view of the city, while they rented a taxi to take them around with one special stop up the hill so the ladies could experience the “basket ride”. The day turned out grand for all and we met once again for our 5:30 PM dinner on the ship. We leave port around midnight.
Let me close this short entry with a quote from Cesare Pavese, courtesy of HAL. “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
Next: A day at sea and laundry for me while Barbara does her hair.
2 thoughts on “Funchal on the Island Of Madeira”
I’m so enjoying your trip with you & Barbara-(on paper)–having been on one cruise w/you two last year, I can just imagine the wonderful times you are having. Keep ’em coming Jack. You should have quite the collection of “pilot boats” by journey’s end. Enjoy—Connie Palmer
PS: It’s been snowing in Corvallis all day!!!
I guess i’m a little behind. What a beautiful photo (Barbara too) Any photo is good when Barbara is in it. It has been beautiful the last two days, for a change. Weather people are telling us that is it supposed to be nice for the weekend. What is the name of the city you are in? A name I would recognize, I mean. The waterfront looks good.