Spending a day in Funchal

While in Madeira, we stayed in the capital —  Funchal. Funchal boasts about 110 000 citizens. Staying there over Christmas and New Year, the city was decorated for the holiday season. In addition, there seemed to be some local celebration going on with a mini-market set up in the middle of town where people were selling various types of craft, dressed up in traditional clothing. It was a nice addition to the holiday; it gave a good idea of what Madeira used to be like.

We didn’t have a very specific purpose when in Funchal. We wandered around, observing the town and its little cafes and shops; just enjoying the quiet buzz of  a not too big town. Visiting during the financial crises, it was disheartening to see the amount of pawn shops and jewelers buying back gold.

A couple of traits I noticed in Funchal, that I haven’t seen other places, was the bag of bones  (fish and meat) left outside doors and gates at night. It was left for cats and dogs. Having lived in London for a while, I immediately thought of rats; but to be fair, I never saw a rat for my entire stay on the island.

The other thing I noticed, was what can only appear to be a door-fetish;  door after door was painted or decorated in its own way.


Although Funchal isn’t that huge, there are still places worth going and visiting whilst there. Someone with better lungs than I could, for example, go diving — whilst whale-watching is another possibility. However, we had been on a whale safari less than six months earlier. At the end we settled for Madeira wine tasting.

Not at all a bad idea!

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