After our day at sea we docked early on Thursday 26th April in Funchal for our two visit to the island of Madeira.
Our cruise to the Azores, Madeira and the Iberian Peninsular would take us to Ponta Delgada, Praia da Vitoria, Funchal, Cadiz, Malaga and finally to Gibraltar
Already docked in Funchal
Arcadia docked at about 7.40 am and I was soon out on the balcony grabbing some pictures.
We had had a notice that work was to carried out on our balcony during the day. Sure enough later as I looked out past the curtains, there were three crew members on the balcony painting the walls and ceiling and sanding down our balcony.
Outside our room we could hear a buzzing noise coming from a dehumidier in the corridor just a few doors down from our room.
We just made it for breakfast in the Meridian at 8.45 am.
As we were leaving the ship we passed by the Ocean Grill on our way to the gangplank. We paused to watch a crew member remove a ceiling tile in the nearby bar and a cascade of water came down. Luckily(?) he had laid sheets of plastic to protect the carpet below. Clearly there were leaks in the many pipes above.
Looking out we could see two other cruise ships in the port. It looked like t was going to be another busy day. We caught the shuttle bus into Funchal. Arcadia was docked at one of the cruise terminals and it would be clear to walk out the quay area if we’d wanted. The shuttle bus was a ‘paid’ for service, £4, for passengers who had not paid for the so-called Select Fare. As we queued for the shuttle bus a passenger was being carried on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.
We were dropped alongside one of the shopping malls and we set off walking along the avenue past the restaurants and bars and the remaining exhibits from the flower festival. When then turned right towards the sea and walked to the cable car station. On the side of of one of the car parks was this mural.
The cable car
At the cable car we bumped into our friends who were also queuing for tickets. They planned to go onto the gardens further up the hill after leaving the cable car, as for us we planned to ride the Carros de Cesto toboggans back down.
Riding up we passed over the houses on the hillside.
At the top we looked out over Funchal before we walked around the lower gardens to the start of the toboggan run.
The Carros de Cesto toboggan
There we joined the queue and watched other tourists begin their run down the streets.
As we waited in the queue, groups of the toboggan drivers filed past us to pick up their next passengers. The toboggans were all loaded on a small truck for their journey back up the hill. We watched as everyone in front of us started….
We had to wait 40 minutes before our turn.
Our drivers set off at a fair lick and soon we were screaming our heads off just like we had heard everyone else as they had set off ….
[videos to be posted]
We crossed roads with cars passing in front of us, kerbs flashed by and we were going so fast by now (usually sideways) that we caught up with the two toboggans in front of us.
One of the drivers whispered that if we’d liked the trip then a generous tip would be a good idea!