UFO Disappointment

Is it only me or do you have the same mystery? Every time you speak with your friends about Madeira you say (the truth) that you have beautiful weather, sun is shining, clear blue sky and a soft pleasant wind. This kind of spoken Google ad does have the effect and your friends decide that Madeira will be the next destination they will visit. They get a little bit jealous and want also to taste those atmospheric delicatessens Mother Nature cooks up. And then your friend comes and visits you. Guess what! It seems that Mother Nature also suffers of menstrual period and like in most cases that happens on the most inconvenient moments.

This week we had a dear friend visiting us and she only had a bathing suite, suntan, sunglasses, tropical woven dress and a toothbrush. The only thing she used was her toothbrush and all the other are still in her suitcase. You guessed it … it was (and still is) pouring from above. While I am typing this I look outside my window and I think that the angel Levadeiro as diverted the heavenly Levada to go down.

Our friend is (of course) disappointed, but the saddest part is that she will not believe me anymore. At least it is what I think. After visiting us people will consider us the worst weather forecasters in the world. And I think they might be right. When we are alone the sun and blue sky will re-emerge and then we can report it as another UFO (Unidentified Forecast Observation). However the truth is still out there … Madeira does have beautiful weather, with lots of sun and clear blue sky. Unfortunately for some it might be an X-file.

Culinary Video

Nowadays there are hundred (amateur) videos about Madeira Island on the web, but did you ever saw:

1. A culinary video report about Madeira?
2. A 50 minute video about Madeira?
3. A video about Madeira commented in the language Papiamento (main language from Curaçao, Aruba and other Dutch Antilles)?

Well Desiree from the island of Curaçao has done all three! Desiree and her cameraman (team) used ingredients from both Madeira and Curaçao (such as language, views, humour and spontaneous receptions) to kook a very tasteful video. Continue reading “Culinary Video”

The Times – Christiano Ronaldo

Alberto João Jardim was reelected as president of Madeira 12 days ago and one of his first decisions was to have Cristiano Ronaldo’s former house knocked down. Three days into his new term of office, a digger duly arrived and flattened it. “Maybe they will build a statue there,” Hugo, Ronaldo’s elder brother, said, sarcasm ringing in his voice. But it just so happens that the razing of Ronaldo’s house is a compliment, albeit a peculiar one.

Na excellent article written by Owen Slot, Chief Sports Reporter, for the Times Online (The Times and The Sunday Times) about Christiano Ronaldo childhood, his dreams and his family (what they say about him). Ronaldo who has embarked himself on the top of the world taking with him his Madeira provenance which is no longer a forgotten spot on the globe.

Click here to read the whole article

NATO Parliamentary Assembly

About 340 parliamentarians from North America and Europe will be here on Madeira between the 25th to the 28th May for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s (PA) Spring Session event hosted by the Madeira Technopolo.

NATO PA’s President, Jose Lello will start the meeting. Further the event will be marked by the presence of NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer and the prime Minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski. NATO PA’s five committees will meet further on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27. They will address the major issues on the NATO agenda, among which NATO transformation, relations with partner countries, NATO-EU operational Co-operation, missile proliferation and missile defense systems.

(Source: Madeira Technopolo)

Seven Wonders of Madeira

New Seven Wonders of the WorldNext to the declaration of the New 7 Wonders of the World, that will be announced during the Official Declaration ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal on Saturday July 7 – 2007 (07.07.07), the Madeirenses will also choose the “seven wonders of Madeira”.

A jury selected 14 patrimonial references of Madeira Island from which we have to choose seven from. The selection was based on architectural, historical value or in terms of the development of the region.

The list includes the following monuments:

Sé Cathedral of the Funchal;
Palace of São Lourenço;
Convent of Santa Clara;
Fortaleza do Pico;
Forte de São Tiago;
Church and College of the Jesuits;
Museum Quinta das Cruzes;
Museum of the Arte Sacra.

Also the following where selected:

– The gigantic pillar extension of the Madeira Airport;
– Center of the Arts at Calheta (Casa das Mudas);
– Complex of the Casino Park Hotel;
– Funchal’s Market (Mercado dos Lavradores);
Poios (hand-tilled vineyards on small plots of land. Terraces)

We would like to ask you ….
Which 7 wonders of Madeira would you choose?

Meteorological Phenomenon

Funchal in the CloudsToday on certain parts of Madeira (South Coast) a strange phenomenon took place. It was like in the film of Pirates of the Caribbean …. dense mist from the sea invaded the coastline …. and in it was ……

Especially in Funchal you could see the clouds covering a large part of the city like a blanket. Is this the result of Global Warming? Soslayo from Funchal has captured this phenomenon (see image).

More images also at Humano em Apuros blog.

Madeira with Easter

This is a report from two good friends from the Netherlands (Wim and Bas) who visited Madeira this last Easter. They share their views of the island and also a few tips for other visitors.

Seacliffs and MistWe went to Madeira to spend Easter with our friend who lives there for almost 3 years. We had our flights from Amsterdam to Funchal with TAP, and had to transfer in Lisbon. It was a good experience, lots of legroom, leather chairs, and we had 2 meals, going out and going back!

Our first impression was that Madeira was very green and had huge mountains. We went from the airport to our hotel, and decided that we want to go visit Funchal. But due to heavy rain we went to our friend’s apartment, where it was sunny. That is Madeira, on site can be cloudy or with heavy rain, the other site can e hot and sunny. And in the mountains you have a lot of clouds that cover the tops of the mountains, so driving in that is like driving in thick mist.

The next day we drove around the island with them, and got a good impression of the Island. The last 2 days we made the West tour and the East tour. That was a great way to see a lot of Madeira in a short time.

Madeira is the sunshine Island, well … we had 4 days of heavy rain! But still we like the Island and will come back for sure.

Some points to keep in mind:

1. Always be prepared for rain, when it comes down, it sure comes down! so bring your umbrella and a coat, because there is always some wind

2. If you want to hire a car, the roads are excellent. strong>ONLY: all the roads are very steep up and down, so if you are afraid to stop and pull up on a steep hill, don’t drive a car. Also, you have a lot of (dark) tunnels, so if you are afraid of that, don’t drive a car. Also keep in mind that going up and down the mountain, the roads have a lot of hairpin curves, are very steep and you may have to pass big buses. But otherwise it is no problem to drive. If you are not sure, take a taxi instead!

3. Prices vary, some things are the same as in other European countries, and others are expensive or cheap. The best way to find out is go and look for things you want to have, and then decide if it is cheap or expensive.

4. You can get all kinds of food. Just try the local food also. We don’t eat fish, but it seems to be very good. But also the meat can be very good. We had Espetada, a kind of meat stick with a lot of garlic, we loved it!

5. Keep your patience when things go slow, that is the way of life in Madeira.

We had an excellent 4 day stay, and we are sure we want to come back to Madeira!!

Cloud Chase

Last Sunday while Alberto Joao Jardim was resetting his government.dll, my wife and I went together with friends for a drive up to the high planes of Paúl da Serra. Enjoying the magnificent mountain views and clear blue skies above the clouds. It is something that you can not capture on a picture. Even on video you can not see and feel the surroundings of such places.

But anyway I have filmed on various locations and created a small movie impression called ‘Cloud Chase’. Using music ‘Calavagada’ performed by Fernando Deghi … which is from his album ‘Viola Brasileira E Suas Possibilidades’.

Beautiful vista of mountains soaring up to the blue sky … screened by Mother Nature with a roof of clouds. Reminding you that there is so much resplendence around you … that you will notice if you just take the time to stop and look around. Sorry … I am getting a little bit poetical when I playback in my mind last Sunday.

    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.

Thunder above Madeira Waters

Thunder above Madeira watersBad weather on Madeira Islands? Thunderstorm?

No, do not worry! These last few days we have had some beautiful weather here on the islands and still more to come. No, this picture (Thunder above Madeira Waters) was taken in November last year. Rob Dekker from the Netherlands has captured the thunder lighting that ‘played tag’ with the Atlantic Ocean.

Such thunderstorms tend to pass the islands by from a safe distance … thanks to an ‘invisible’ barrier that protects the archipelago from these forces of Mother Nature. Still it is a beautiful show that its worth while to watch … and, if your are lucky, intercept it … on a digital chip.