Santo da Serra

(Written by Ricardo Figueira – http://funchal.blogspot.com)

(Lisboa) I was born in Madeira and of course I know Santo da Serra. It is a small and beautiful village full of great things to see. First of all you must be there and now is even easier to go with the new road to Camacha from Funchal. Second thing don’t forget to wear proper clothes because even if it is warm in the main city Funchal probably it is cold in Santo da Serra situated approximately 700 meters above the sea level. If you are from the north of Europe you may find this advice funny.

This place was known as Nova Aldeia or Aldeia da Rainha in the past. Aldeia da Rainha was created in the kingdom of Maria I as a result of bringing people from Porto Santo.

Santo da SerraThe Golf in Santo da Serra gives a lot to this region but you may visit as well the park located in the center of the village or you may walk throw the roads and see the beautiful landscape and the great houses built here. Many British visited and built houses here in the past. The park is now property of the Government but it was called Blandy Park many years ago. On the weekend the main village road serves as a market where you can find local products at a reasonable price.

Here I show you one picture of the park. If you appreciate tranquillity and life with no stress at all you may find this place a paradise.

The Epicenter of Madeira!

(By Manuel Luciano da Silva & Sílvia Jorge da Silva)

On May 2005, my wife and I spent six days in Madeira Island. We were enchanted by its people, by the marvelous panoramas, by so many thousands of flowers, and also by its monuments and works of art. It was a fantastic trip!

On the last day of our stay in Madeira, we went to the most historical place in Madeira, which is located in Funchal harbor. We visited the small island which is now called the Forte of São José da Pontinha.

It was our guide Mr. Renato Barros (high school teacher) who is the legal owner of this small fort. He took us to the top platform of the fort, from where we could see on the Atlantic side, a triangular anchor and steps carved by João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vaz Teixeira, and their sailors after July 1st, 1419.

Due to the dense forest that Madeira presented itself in 1419, the new discoverers, without knowing the dangers that might exist inside the forest, they decided to build a cave inside of this small island and therefore creating a fort with a shelter. For several years this dock served for people to get into Madeira and also to leave it.

As I contemplated this triangular anchor and the steps on this small island, my brain went all over the world to recall small islands and famous places where man put his feet for the first time:
Continue reading “The Epicenter of Madeira!”

Carnival – Mardi Gras – Carnaval

Madeira Carnival, Madeira Mardi Gras or Madeira Carnaval 2012 is the next main event here on the island. Many people believe that this is Europe’s best Carnival event.

Madeira CarnavalMadeira Carnaval

You have not seen the Carnival of Madeira yet? … then I suggest you come over and experience the unique atmosphere that resembles the Brazilian Carnival … only more closer to your home.

There are two main parades, namely the Allegoric Parade and ‘Cortejo Trapalhão‘ (Fun Parade).

The Grand Carnival Float Pageant or Allegoric Parade takes place on this weekend. A total of 1,500 participants … members of numerous Samba groups which will compete against each in a friendly battle for the best performance and show on the streets of Funchal.

Madeira CarnavalMadeira Carnaval

Colours, music, dancing, laughter, singing, erotic and mind-dazzling costumes are a few of the ‘weapons’ they will be using to achieve their goal … which is getting the bystanders and tourists also to dance.

On (Shrove) Tuesday is the second parade called ‘o Trapalhão‘ … the Fun Parade. A parade that everybody can take part in and it creates an atmosphere of effusive revelry. Surprising examples of creativity and imagination are finally displaying themselves after a year of waiting for this moment … and there is no shortage of daring caricatures, exciting costumes, and crazy creations. You will be amazed to discover an unknown side of the Madeira locals and wonder ‘are these the same people I run into each day here on Madeira?‘ …. however you wonder with a big smile.

Madeira CarnavalMadeira Carnaval

Both parades will take place in the center of Funchal. For the exact route information consult the local newspapers, Madeira Tourism Board channels, hotel reception or your travel hostess.

Click on the images for larger version. Carnival images are courtesy of MadeiraArchipelago.com

Madeira in short

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that is located between 32°22.3’N 16°16.5’W and 33°7.8’N 17°16.65’W in the north Atlantic Ocean.

It is since 1976 an autonomous region of Portugal.

The largest of the group of islands is Madeira. Of the other three islands in the group, only Porto Santo is inhabited; the Desertas and Selvagens groups are too rocky and narrow for habitation.

The equable climate has made the island of Madeira a popular health resort, and the famous Madeira wine is a chief export; its capital city, Funchal, was founded in 1421.

The islands are of volcanic origin and are the summits of lofty mountains, rising in Pico Ruivo to 1861 m (6106 ft).

Although the islands were known in Roman times, they were uninhabited until the early 1400s, when they were rediscovered by the Portuguese.

Total area, 794 sq km (307 sq miles).

Blog Thoughts Madeira

Looking for guest bloggers

We, of the Blog.Thoughts.Madeira, are looking for Madeira-lovers and/or visitors that would like to share their views, suggestions, stories, and experience about the island.

Do you want to participate as a guest blogger on our blog?

Would you like to write an article about the island? Its culture … nature … the people … history etc. and publish it here with your name and, if desired, a link to your own website?

Then please send/mail your article to the following address:

guest@madeirablog.eu

Please be aware that there are a few rules when participating. The article …

  • it must be related to the island Madeira (or Porto Santo or Desertas);
  • must be in English;
  • not too commercial or its focus is of advertising a business;
  • not too long or too much pictures;
  • nothing offensive, discriminating, x-rated etc.

Share your Thoughts about Madeira with us and the rest of the world … at Blog.Thoughts.Madeira

Madeira Fireworks (The Video)

Funchal the capital of the Madeira Island has achieved to register a Guinness World Record with its pyrotechnic exhibition, which involved 17 tons of fireworks … that caused 660,300 detonations8,000 explosions per minute … over an area of 6 km by 2.7 km wide … more than 8 minutes long.

For those that could not witness this spectacular fireworks display … here is a video that was made on that day. Unfortunately a video will never capture the true atmosphere. Just imagine that all around you the sky is being lit up … that is almost impossible to capture it all on film. As you will notice the first few minutes I was enjoying the show and forgot to take the camera to film around.

Madeira in Guinness World Records

Imagine …. A whole area of 6 km by 2.7 km wide … that is being lit-up by millions of lights and hundred colors …. 8 minutes long. Imagine it …. Done!

Yes … the city of Funchal (of the Madeira Island) has achieved this ….. with its pyrotechnic exhibition, that involved 17 tons of fireworks … that caused 660,300 detonations …. 8,000 explosions per minute … and this all at a cost of 1,2 million euros (including tax).

More than ten thousands of people (locals and tourists) contemplated this magnificent show … that has now received a record-title in the book of Guinness World Records as the world biggest pyrotechnic show.

New Year Fireworks Funchal Madeira
click on image for larger version