Funchal – capital city of Madeira. We eagerly set out to do a bit of exploring and get our bearings on day one of our holiday.
It was a bit strange, almost like a dream. There was a slight mist, or was it cloud, up in the hills which came and went as we walked along the black & white stripes of crazy paved stone. This two tone stonework appears everywhere in Madeira in many different patterns.
We passed the sea port, then the marina following the coastline.
The sun had broken through by the time we reached the cable car station. The cable car station called ‘teleferico’ is right on the sea front and takes you up and over the terracotta rooftops of Funchal, in wonderful silence, to a place called Monte. It’s a popular trip.
So having reached the teleferico it was really time to get a map out. Actually we had three. One which we had bought online before leaving home, the second that our holiday rep had handed out and the third that the hotel reception staff had given us. Too tired to bother we wandered over a road drawn towards an impressive bit of artwork. We stood and stared for a bit.
A working art gallery was open right next door so we did a bit more staring as we strolled from one end of the building and out of the other.
By chance we had found our way to an area called the old town and onto the oldest street (dating back to 1430) the Rua de Santa Maria.
I made the classic mistake of taking a photograph without checking the background and it looks like a giant parasol is part of Tims hat. Actually this would have been quite useful later in the week when walking in the mountains, but that’s another story.
This rather narrow cobbled street has recently seen an attempt to revamp it by way of an invitation to artists to decorate doorways. The ‘art of open doors project’ was set up in 2014 to draw visitors in and along and it certainly seems to do just that.
Here are just a few of examples of the art.
This building appeared to be abandoned but the artists had been at work here too.
It is also now lined with small cafes and restaurants and has a really colourful atmosphere.
By now we were feeling a bit tired after our 11 hour journey the previous day so we decided to retreat as quickly as we could to the hotel pool. This initial exploration had given us a great taste of things to come on this trip.