Madeira Day 3 – Tropical Bird Gardens

The Botanic Gardens is attached to a Bird Park. I’m not really keen on birds in cages, and these were no exception. However, the peacocks were roaming free. This white one posed beautifully – The Boy thinks he looks like a Christmas decoration.

This chap was squaring up to a tortoise for some reason!

Peacock feathers are just stunning aren’t they?

Madeira Day 3 – Botanic Gardens

The Botanical Gardens are up in the hills above Funchal. They are justly famous, and as you can imagine I took a LOT of flower pics. They’ll appear on my blog in due course, but I thought I’d give you a flavour of the place.

There’s lots of shade and shadow, which I enjoyed.

The cacti in a sheltered part of the garden, reminded me of the collection in Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture Garden (a place I love).

This dangly item reminded me of one of SueC‘s paintings.

This was inspired planting!

One of the best things about the garden was the amount of contrast – here between ‘wild’ and formal.

The bird of paradise flower is everywhere in Madeira. It’s quite amazing to see it growing in huge numbers. We managed to bring a stem home intact, nestled in The Boy’s golf bag.

Madeira Day 2 – Casa da Luz

I admit that I went to The Electricity Museum in the hope of adding another museum to my ‘crap museums’ collection. However, it was a super place – given Madeira’s geography, bringing electricity to the island, was an amazing engineering achievement.

It was fantastic to see electrical components displayed as ‘art objects’ (as Lorna would say :-)). Here are some cables.

It would be easy to believe that these had been made by an artist, rather than an industrial process.

And there was even an Easter bunny!

Madeira Day 2 – The Fish Market

In Funchal Old Town there are some lovely Art Deco buildings.

This includes the market – apologies for the light spoil, but this is my only pic.

I got to the fish market quite late, but this should give you a feel of the place.

Yum – look at the tuna.

This is espada – a deep sea fish. And it’s pretty yum too 🙂

Madeira Day 2 – More Street Scenes

This was taken in the Largo do Phelps – named for Elizabeth Phelps, who founded the Madeiran embroidery industry. The name made me smile, as my colleague, John Phelps, is one of the nicest men in the world.

Glad to see the studio has a balcony….

What SWEET little mermaids – I wish I knew the background here.

Madeira Day 1 – Street Scenes

We set off into Funchal Old Town, to investigate the cathedral.

It’s an amazing building, a mixture of Gothic and Moorish influences. The ceiling is beautiful – gilded wood, which reminded us of Granada. As it’s Easter week, lots of people were praying or queuing for confession. For the first time, in a long time, I felt like an intruder.
I loved this statue. Both Lorna and Graham have discussed glasses in art of late. This is a great solution I think, with them suggested.
Embroidery is a BIG thing here – I like the inherent feebleness of this Easter display. Let’s just add some chicks!

Cockerels are more of a mainland Portugal thing, but you can buy them in every size!

The newspaper kiosks remind me of Paris.

The Azulejos tiles are everywhere. This used to be the Chamber of Commerce, but it’s now a car showroom.

And there’s building work everywhere!

Madeira Day 1 – Funchal Harbour

As you can see Funchal is on a hill sloping down to the sea. This is the one beach on the whole island.

What a wonderful place to sail – straight out to the open sea.
Lots of races and ’round the world trips’ stop here – as you can see from the marina wall.
Cruise ships stop here too. This was from ‘Aida Line’ – as The Boy said, “does that mean it’s powered by Hebrew slaves?” I found the lips rather off-putting!
An interesting name for a boat!

It appears that this boat was built for one of the Vanderbilt’s and later belonged to The Beatles before ending up on the scrapheap. It was then rescued and turned into a restaurant.
Hmm lovely – we’re planning a boat trip later in the week!

And here is my bag man!