Climbing up into the clocktower we gained views over the whole of Funchal.
It’s a mad era! Fun shall be had by all in Funchal! You can have your cake and eat it! With sherry on the port!
Yes, here we are in Madeira, in the town of Funchal. Coats, scarves, gloves, jackets, jumpers and shirts are all packed away under the bed! Now is the time for shorts, sandals and T-shirts! We’re heading for Cape Verde and some heat!
Today was spent around Funchal. We climbed clock towers, visited churches and the town hall in the historic centre, drank coffee in a cafe, walked through the cobbled streets and appreciated the gentle warmth.
Those Catholics sure knew how to decorate. The lavish interiors of cathedrals, churches and monasteries, with their gold (two lots of guilt/gilt), fabulous art and artisanship, were magnificent. Decorated to impress and intimidate. The beauty was immense but a lot over the top. Liz said she’d seen more than enough opulent churches.
It’s easy to see where all the wealth went!
Having had our fill of art (and religion) we boarded a bus to take us along the coast to Camara de Lobos – the little fishing village where Winston Churchill stayed and painted. There were bright crimson flowers on the trees, cliffs of volcanic rock and a dark, sombre rocky little bay.
Here they used to hunt the Monk Seals – bring their carcasses back and lie them out on the beach in their hundreds. Those seals used to be present in hundreds of thousands. They were hunted to the brink of extinction. Only a small colony is hanging on, based on one of the islands. Wild-life once plentiful is now rare.
Back on board we sat in the sun and watched for whales and dolphins. We saw a lot of sea!