18 October 2022 Funchal, Madeira (Portugal) By Barbara Cummings
The ms Zaandam started docking at Funchal, Madeira about 7am with loud shuddering throughout the ship. According to the Captain, the weather had something to do with it. The TV bow camera showed only lights in the dark.
I moved fast to go up to the Lido deck and outside by the Sea View Pool. Still dark with the bright lights of the city.
Big breakfast in the Lido buffet. End Benedict, sausage, pineapple, watermelon, Empanada Filippine pastry, orange juice, and coffee. I watched the sky come to life, while enjoying emails. Beautiful sunrise.
Returned back outside to photograph the port in the wind and rain.
The ship was cleared for passengers to go ashore at 8:15. Disembarkation was deck one, midships starboard. Showed room card and carefully walked down the gangplank. Photographer Connor took my photo, and I boarded the shuttle bus about 9:30am to explore on my own.
Jack and I were here in 2012. Today I wanted to return to the Mercado dos Lavredores market, but we were dropped off in the heart of downtown near a lovely fountain. The driver pointed east toward the market. Outside on the sidewalk a local girl was kind enough to mark where I was on my map.
My trusty walking stick was a big help today.
Came to the impressive Se Cathedral. Today it was open, so I got to go inside. It was commissioned by king Don Manuel I 1493-1517.
Several impressive statues along my walk. Photographed some of the local foods. Harley Davidson had no local shirts. Rain would come and go. I sat and rested several times.
After an hour of walking, I found the market about 11am. The exotic flowers, vegetables, fruits and huge fish market are fascinating. Local souvenirs too, but I already have them. Bought exotic flowers to put in my room. One lady sold me E6 (6 Euros) white flowers and a E1 mystery flower. Another lady in costume sold me E1 bird of paradise and E1 dark flowers. They should make a nice bouquet. The husband used his good English to welcome me and was thrilled that I had returned to his shop.
My original plan was to return to the cafe where Jack and I had enjoyed lunch and get a glass of Madeira wine. Too far for me to walk today, so I sat at a table in the market. Nobody offered to serve me wine, and it probably wasn’t such a good idea anyway. I thought about taking a taxi back to the shuttle bus stop or even to the ship, but thought that I could do the walk back to the shuttle. Sat down on wet benches several times. Said “Bom dia” many times today. Another hour walk through increasing rain. Saw unique ducks down by a canal. Red flowers in a tree. The market had a bougainvilla covered gazebo. Sidewalks were the Portuguese patterns out of contrasting black and white rocks. Finally reached the shuttle bus stop, which is near the Palacio do Sao Lourenco.
The shuttle returned us to the ship about 1pm. Show room card to enter port area, climb gangplank up to Security entrance to the ship removing mask, showing room card again, and passing things through X-ray machine.
Not hungry because of my big breakfast, so could leisurely hang clothes to dry. Wrap up in the HAL bathrobe, and try to improvise a flower vase. Heard voices out in the hall, so looked out and spotted Room Steward Bo. He insisted that he was not yet going ashore and could find me a vase. He returned with two heavy vases half full of water. I needed only one and thanked him profusely.
To show you how different Room Steward Roy is, he happily noticed, “You got flowers!” He is looking forward to seeing what they look like. Not sure what work he does.
I am enjoying a lazy afternoon writing in this journal, etc, etc.
All aboard is 4:30 and sail away 5pm. I am glad that I have reasonably priced tours in the next three ports.
Before 5pm dinner, I went out on deck 3 Lower Promenade to take a few more photos of Funchal. Now the city is bathed in sunlight.
Happy dinner group tonight. Dave & Jan took the Monte cable car up to ride the toboggan downhill. Bill & Charlotte had fun too.
My dinner was the Portuguese Fish Cake, fresh Black Scabbard Fish “Madeira Style” with fried banana, Sacher Torte, Beringer’s White Zinfandel, and decaf coffee.
No special entertainment tonight, so I will relax in my room and send emails. Had to see KC at the Front Desk to get the 10/17 to go out. I showed her how trying to access Jack’s blog ended up with a “blocked” notice. She said this is not HAL. It is something about the blog that will not accept me?
Back to the room.
Might even have time tonight to enjoy reading blogs and Cruise Critic.
Next : Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
2 thoughts on “Grand Africa Voyage – Funchal Madeira Portugal”
Greatly enjoy following your adventures. Thanks for sharing. We admire your bravery at setting off on your own and walking so far to find the places you remember from previous trips.
Look at you hiking through the rain to the market. Great photos. You be careful.
Stay dry don’t need to catch cold. Like your completed necklace.