L1602 – Early Doors

Today we are making our first port of call on the South America cruise, to Funchal the main port and capital of the Island of Madeira. If I was to do a count up of all the ports I have visited on cruises, and how frequently I have visited them (something I must do one day), I am sure Funchal would top the list for most visited. This is no bad thing as Funchal and the rest of Madeira are lovely places, and I find them much more green and attractive than most of the Canaries for example. Funchal is also a very clean and safe place to walk around and explore.

My original plan was to take to a cable car or two up into the hills overlooking Funchal, and visit both the Oriental and the Botanical Gardens there. I had been to the Oriental Gardens on a previous cruise, and knew how lovely they looked in bright sunshine. However looking at the low cloud rolling in over the hills, I decided that as I am back in Funchal for a couple of days on my next cruise in April, it was better to postpone that plan until then and hope for brighter weather.

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(If you look carefully at this picture, you can see the pillars for the first cable car running up the hillside in front of the viaduct.)

 

Instead I elected to just wonder around the town with my camera to see what I could find of interest.

In the gardens, despite it being January, there were still attractive flowers and plants:tmp_14208-DSC02236~01504839754

 

On the waterfront there was the old and the new – well the new paintwork to Balmoral which I am slowly getting used to:

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For once I was able to see inside the cathedral, which looks much more impressive than the rather plain outside:

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I was also able to explore inside the parish church:

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The other thing I was able to do this time was to see and photograph many of the painted doors in the old quarter of town. The designs on the doors vary a lot, and some are quite quirky. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye:

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So in conclusion, although the weather put pay to my original plan, it did mean that I was able to both see and photograph some interesting places and things that had eluded me on previous visits. I hope it is a sign that good fortune is with me on this cruise!

 

Postscript:
Around 6pm we set sail for our next port, Tenerife:

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