Flower Festival 2007

You could not be present on this year’s 52nd edition of the breathtaking Festa da Flor da Madeira (Flower Show) in Funchal?

Well, here is a small consolation … YouTube member ‘correcaminhos’ (which means ‘roadrunner’) was the first to publish a (7 minutes) video of the flower parade on the web.

The theme chosen for this year was “From the Madeira Islands – A Flower for Peace”, and it involved 1200 participants and the following 8 groups:

– João Egídio
– Chico & Companhia
– Veteranos da Folia
– Fábrica de Sonhos
– Escola de Samba Caneca Furada
РAssocia̤̣o de Anima̤̣o Geringon̤a
– Turma do Funil
– Isabel Borges

Enjoy the after-flower display …

    Click twice on the arrow in the image to start the video. If this does not work, then go here to visit the corresponding YouTube page.

Blog Thoughts Madeira

Madeira is safe, but …

Our last blog (Is Madeira Safe?) we received lots of comments from visitors that find Madeira Island a safe place to visit. However …. we did received reports that in March tourists were robbed during a walk at Levada dos Piornais east of Quebradas and the Levada dos Tornos. Information tells us that the attackers were caught, but it is still a reason of concern. These tourists went walking on their own without a guide or in a group.

In our latest Safety precautions Levada walk we advise people to do a walk in company of a qualified guide. Police advices not to walk on these levadas in groups of less than 6-8 people. In case you feel that you are capable to do the walk by yourself (without a guide), then before you do the walk please ask (at least) your tour operator what the latest news is on these levadas.

Is Madeira safe?

Just received an unexpected question from Joan S. (Cincinnati, US)

My husband and I are fed up. We are searching the web for places with no or low criminality. We came across your blog. Is this island Madera a safe place? We need to go away from all these VT killings, massacre and terror. Thanx Joan

Madeira is a friendly and safe island to visit and also to live. Extremities and terror (what you daily see on the news) are a rarity here and there is hardly any large crime ….. because “Where are you going to go?”. However every place can have its challenges of course …. including Madeira. The key is not putting yourself into compromising positions.

The island itself emits tranquility that affects everyone … well … almost everyone. Exceptions are sometimes the personnel in the holiday branch that are stressing to please the visitors of Madeira. But luckily they never get insane!

Cops and Robbers

(A word to the wise by Gina Leach)

A few weeks ago my father had an eye operation here on the island. Having spent a long day with him and my mother in the hospital I brought them home at 6.30 in the evening. Parking the car outside their house, Dad was still a bit doddery from his op so I very stupidly legged it out of the car to help him into the house without locking the car first. I must have been gone less than two minutes and on returning to the car I realised that my handbag was not there.

Panicking, I checked the house (in my old age I thought I might have taken it in and forgotten) then headed straight down to the Ribeira Brava Police Station. Slightly hysterical by this time as my bag holds my entire life, I reported the theft to them and look and behold, ten minutes later, they turned up with my bag. The thief had left it outside the next-door neighbours garage, all that was missing was my mobile phone (a birthday gift from my family) no money was stolen or cards.

Feeling a little shaken but relieved I went home bemoaning the fact that I had lost my phone but at least I had everything else. I also paid a visit to the local bar telling them what had occurred (they were all up in arms as it does not make the community look good) and one gentleman in there was fairly sure that he knew who had done it however I was fairly shocked to receive a phone call at ten the following evening from the Police saying that they had got my phone and could I come down and get it.

I cannot describe how delighted I was and when I collected it I don’t know who had the biggest grins, them or me!! I want to give a big thank you to the Police in Ribeira Brava for their efforts they are not just out there to get you for speeding!! This Island is on the whole safe to live on but there are always opportunists out there so do be careful.

You will find more of Gina’s Madeira experiences in monthly (free) newspaper The Madeira Times

Cristiano Ronaldo

Christiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo from the Madeira Island … seeks to be the best of the best (ever) in the world of soccer / football.

“Cristiano at 22 has definitely got to the level of the best player in the world. Thereafter it will be up to the people and coaches around the world to decide if he is as good as Maradona or Pele, but that has got to be the challenge for him now. That has to be his goal.”

The English newspaper The Independent published an article about the young star where they answer the question: Is he the best since Best?

The boy from the hillside overlooking Funchal on the Madeira Islands is still a bit of a mystery to the English public. He does not do many interviews, apart from the occasional tightly controlled magazine number which his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson approves, and he has a reputation for being a touch standoffish, perhaps a legacy of the child prodigy years. Ronaldo’s background tells you much about the man, but first to the most immediate question: can he legitimately be called the greatest footballer now playing in the world?

What do you think?

Carros de Madeira

These last Friday the people of Camacha were witness of hazardous speed limits breaking race.

It was the 3rd edition of the Carros de Madeira race. Reckless race drivers risked their lives on the streets of Camacha …. were hundred populace watched with fear in their hearts these phenomenon’s of the road passing by as greased lighting. And making it much more worse … it was raining!

See the video (click twice on the arrow) and witness it for yourself.

By the way … Madeira is sometimes translated by (for example) Google as ‘Wood’ which is not (always) correct because it is the name of the island …. BUT in this case you should read it as wood. The cars are all made of wood (Carros de Madeira = Wooden Cars) … except the drivers!

2nd by the way … I exaggerated a little bit above … (wink)

    Click twice on the arrow in the image to start the video. If this does not work, then go here to visit the corresponding YouTube page.

One-Question Interview

1-Question InterviewToday’s One-question Interview is the following:

What is according to you the best travel tip you have heard or know of?

Now … if you are a hotel manager … you will probably say to book at my hotel … or if you are a restaurant owner to come eat at my restaurant. No, we would like to know practical tips for people visiting the Madeira Islands.

For example:

Tip 1:
Before starting your voyage, take pictures of your luggage (or sport equipments) and print these out. Nowadays most people have a digital camera and they can print the images on plain paper. Keep these printouts next to your tickets / travel documents. In case that you luggage / equipment gets lost on arrival, then you can present the image printout to the authorities of lost and found at the airport. This will help them to track down your lost luggage.

Tip 2:
Buy a local Portuguese newspaper and carry it visible with you when taking a walk in the city, even though you can not read Portuguese. Having it with you can help in certain situations. If you come across a Timeshare-person just wave the newspaper at them and they will leave you alone. At an establishment (ie. Restaurant, shop etc.) if they notice the newspaper and ask you if you know the Portuguese language … just tell them that you are trying to learn the language. They will appreciate this and maybe even give you a special sign of their appreciation.

Who knows more similar tips?

Feliz Páscoa

Happy Easter
Vrolijk Pasen
Frohe Ostern
Joyeuses Pâques
Felices Pascuas
Buona Pasqua
Glad PÃ¥sk
God påske
Hyvää pääsiäistä
S prazdinkom Pasxi

Regatta Les Sables РMad̬re

Les Sables - Madère - Les Sables17th June – 5th July 2007 the first edition of the French regatta “Les Sables-Madere-Les Sables” will take place.

Class 40 sailboats will travel through the Atlantic highway to finish their first leg at the marina of Quinta do Lorde. This marina is located on the extreme east side of the island, 4 km from the fishing village of Caniçal, and next to the natural reserve of Ponta de São Lourenço.

Visit Les Sables РMad̬re РLes Sables site