The island above the clouds

Madeira, an island that rises about 6 km from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, reaching, even surpassing the clouds. Therefore Madeira has two surfaces, namely one above the sea and below the clouds …. another one above clouds.

Madeira - The island above the clouds

This photo gallery is dedicated to the second territory … that is surrounded by a white ocean and covered by a blue sky with one big yellow light (the sun).

Maritimo Goes Dutch

Club Sport Marítimo, commonly known as just Marítimo, is a Portuguese sports club which is best known for its football team that plays at the Estádio dos Barreiros in Funchal, Madeira Islands.

The new skipper of Marítimo, Mitchell van der Gaag (Dutch), will show the Portuguese lion how to roar like the Dutch (Orange) lion.

The Scottish newspaper The Sun published an interview with Mitchell:

“Life on Madeira is slow-paced – except if you’re boss of the island’s top team Maritimo. … Maritimo have a growing reputation in the Portuguese top flight but they’ve gone through TEN managers in just six years. …”

“There is plenty of quality, in terms of technical ability – but the main problem is the youth teams do not play high-level matches because it’s too far to travel. … Some players are also not driven by success. They don’t want to leave the island. … That’s the only down side to Madeira – life’s TOO good here. But to be a success you have to work for it, as Ronaldo has shown.”

Click here to read the full interview at The Sun

Atlantic Ship Horns Festival?

Next to the Fireworks Festival …. will this be the next new event here on the harbor of Funchal?

As more of these cruise ships will be visiting Funchal (Madeira) … we will be experiencing more of these horn battles between the ships.

It is a good thing that I am living outside the city.

Start of the Christmas Illuminations

The preparations for the Christmas and end-of-year celebrations are in full progress at this moment. The official opening of the New Year’s Eve Festivities in Madeira will take place on the 27th of November (Friday). If you do not want to miss this then you need to be in the area of Avenida Arriaga (Funchal) and watch the switching on of the Christmas illuminations.

Funchals Christmas Illuminations

From this day on, the main streets in the center of Funchal will be invaded by lights of all sizes and colors to produce designs that are very representative of the island’s characteristic and the time of year. One week later, on 4th of December, the outskirts of Funchal will also be lit up transforming Funchal into a real, life-size “nativity scene”.

In early December, the squares are decked with flowers. Poinsettias, holly and lady’s slipper orchids all help to brighten up the city’s streets. And then there are the Christmas carols ringing out in all the streets as if by magic inspiring everyone with the festive spirit. The streets fill with people in this atmosphere of great joy. Some are here to do their Christmas shopping, while others just want to enjoy the holiday buzz and atmosphere emanating throughout the city

With the center of the city lit up for Christmas, as then begins Festa (Festivities), the term used by the people of Madeira to call the celebration period of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The Festa is lived intensively by the people of Madeira right up to 6th January.

The official program includes exhibitions, concerts, and many more. The following are the most important dates:

  • 27th November – opening of the Christmas illuminations in the centre of Funchal
  • 04th December – general illumination of the entire amphitheatre of Funchal
  • 11th December – beginning of the Christmas exhibitions on Avenida Arriaga and other central locations of the city
  • 23rd December – Market Night
  • 28th December – St. Sylvester Race
  • 31st December – New Year’s Eve Firework Display
  • 6th January, 2009 – Twelfth Night Festival and End of the Madeira Festivities

Comboio do Monte

The restoration of Monte Railway will start in the first quarter of 2010 unknown. According to a publication (unfortunately now removed) of the Madeira Tourism this will be a funicular railway system.

The plan is to restore the original railway, which used to run between the center of Funchal and the parish of Monte.

Comboio Monte

In the past (first half of the 20th century) Monte was connected to Funchal by Madeira’s only cog railway, which used to carry people between Funchal and Monte and further up to Terreiro da Luta at 867 m above sea level. The railway was inaugurated in 1893 and has operated until 1943.

What is a Funicular?
A funicular railway, also known as a inclined or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other.

What is a Cog railway?
A cog railway, also known as a rack railway, is a railway with a toothed rack rail, usually between the running rails. The trains are fitted with one or more cog wheels or pinions that mesh with this rack rail. This allows the trains to operate on steep gradients.