Stuif's Adventures

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Madeira, October 2008
The island of Madeira is located in the Atlantic Ocean, some 650 km off the North-African coast. It belongs to Portugal and is a popular tourist destination, noted for its famous Madeira wine, its flowers and its pleasant climate.

During my last trip back to Holland, my brother Pim and I decided to visit this Island of Flowers for a short holiday. When we arrived, after a 4 hour flight from Amsterdam, our hotel room in the capital of Funchal, was not yet ready, so we dropped our luggage at the reception and went out to explore the town.

It was beautiful, sunny weather, and we enjoyed our walk tremendously. A beautiful cathedral, an old fortress, palaces. And flowers everywhere, even in October. Of course we had our lunch al fresco and went back to our hotel, where they had free Internet..:-)
Later we went out again for dinner. The town is quiet and peaceful, we found a nice restaurant with a terrace where we had some local specialities like Sopa de Tomate e Cebola (tomato/onion soup with a poached egg) and Espada (swordfish), Vinho Verde and of course a glass of Madeira..:-)

The next days we have been walking a lot. Exploring the Levadas, characteristic for Madeira. Levadas are irrigation channels, often centuries old. You find them everywhere on Madeira, they have an estimated length of more than 2000(!) km. There is always a small footpath alongside the channel, perfect for walking. But you should not have fear of heights, because sometimes there is only a flimsy railing separating you from the abyss...:-) And you need a good torchlight, because you have to pass tunnels. Big fun.

The last day we visited the barren cape at the eastern extremity of the island, the Ponta de Sao Lourenco. A very different, fascinating environment with multicoloured rock faces and the mighty waves coming in from the Atlantic Ocean.

What a beautiful island. I like to come back another time.


The harbour of Funchal

The Old Town

The Cathedral (1514)


Bank of Portugal
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Small streets

Old town

Sao Lourenco Palace

Cafe terraces everywhere

Strelitza flowers

In the Sta Catherina Park


Quinta Vigia, the Governor's Residence

Chapel in the park

Sao Tiago Fort

Capela do Corpo Santo

Farmer's Market

Clams ?

Octopus & Espada

The tuna expert

One of the many Azulejos *

Funchal at night

Church of the Jesuits College

Our first dinner

Our first levada

Nice forests

View of Funchal from levada

More flowers

And more
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In a levada tunnel


Local handicraft

Just a nice countryside church

Flowers again

and more....

The coast west of Funchal

Levada walking

Almost in the clouds


Nice construction

Don't fall...

Almost domesticated finch *

Ribeiro Frio Levada

View of the North Coast from levada

The Cable Car to Monte

Monte church (18th century)


Monte, chapel

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Madeira's rainbow fall!

One more levada

Another view of Funchal


Good that there is a railing

Hmm a railing?

Typical levada trail

Picturesque terraces

Waves of the Atlantic Ocean

Ponta do Castelo

Multilayered rocks

Barren landscape

Struggling to survive
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My favourite pose

Another survivor
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The seahorse rocks

Lizards basking in the sun
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Our farewell dinner

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Can we call this blood flower. Fantastic !

wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Lovely. Those bottles for madeira? Was it Benjamin Franklin who said he wanted to be preserved in madeira after his death?

wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
I did not know that, but you are right! Click here for more info

wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Ooooooh....pulpo. Julian and I love this.

wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Then you would have enjoyed this dish, which I had in Sicily, a few years ago...:-)

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Monarch (Tiger) butterfly (Danaus plexipus) is an American migratory butterfly. This must be an occasional presence in this island.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Ya, I see what you mean. But looks healthy and beautiful.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Fantastic - never seen this type of flower before.

wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
They look like skinks to me, but I might be wrong.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
CHEERS to you and brother.

wrote on Nov 10, 2008:
Thanks KC...:-) We are enjoying "cataplana" here, a Portuguese speciality, kind of seafood soup

wrote on Nov 11, 2008:
I can't quite believe the story of the three flies though.

wrote on Nov 20, 2008:
excellent photos sir! I like the exposure on this one!

Liz wrote on Nov 21, 2008:
Wow, the whole page is so colourful when you open it. Nice pic.

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