Sunday, April 20, 2008


A beautiful place to visit all year around, but lucky me - when I was there a few days ago, the Jacaranda trees were blooming.

Had a delightful day soaking up the ambiance of the island; strolling through flower strewn Funchal, enjoying a meal at a lovely outdoor cafe, and partaking of the famous basket ride that sends one (or two in our case) down a steep two kilometre road in a wicker settee with crude skis attached; two straw hat-clad Madierians run behind, pushing this unlikely vehicle until it achieves quite a clip before jumping on the back of the skis to steer, and brake (by dragging their feet and leaning waaaaaay back) - an unusual thrill ride made even more so by the odour of burning wood (the friction against the skis!) and the cars and buses sharing the same road and zipping along cross streets!

An enchanting end to the day was seeing a replica of Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria sail across the harbour.

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