Madeira Waterworks

Filmed yesterday … edited in the evening and uploaded at midnight. Result …. a dramatic film (thanks to the music added by Youtube) of the fury of the waves at the marina of Lugar de Baixo.

It is just as spectacular as the New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Funchal (that will take place in a few days).

So here is another event next to the Fireworks on Madeira …. the Waterworks.

Noite do Mercado – Christmas Night Market

Noite do Mercado (Night of the Market) is a traditional celebration in Funchal that will take place tonight and will last all night long. The location of this event will take place in the famous Funchal market (Mercado dos Lavradores) and the streets surrounding the market. It will be crowded with joyful people creating a real festive happening …. with lots of singing Christmas carols, dancing, drinking and having fun.

The bars in the area are opened all night and will be serving traditional drinks. Also the Christmas traditional carne vinho alhos (meat with wine and garlic) will go from hand to the mouth. Also present is a vast display of regional fruit and vegetable being sold … handy for those who want to do a last minute grocery shopping.
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A new world record this New Year’s Eve?

This year (and also 1st day of 2010) Madeira expects to re-break the world record for the title of hosting the biggest firework display in the world. A title that was give to Funchal in 2006 by the Guiness Book of Records.

The company Macedo Pyrotechnic, who will be directing the New Year Firework theatrical performance in Funchal, is making preparations for the 8 minutes exhibition … using the Funchalense sky as a stage. There will be over a million protagonists namely lights and colors lighting up the black velvet sky (cross our fingers).

The show is called ‘Ilhas Afortunadas’ (Fortunate Islands) and it consists of launching over 97,000 individual fireworks, … which is a far superior number than the 67,000 that has burned the sky in 2006 and resulted in Madeira earning the Guiness Book of Records title then.

There will be approx. 40 launching points with 17 tonnes of fireworks spread over various locations in Funchal. The island of Porto Santo will not be left behind and will also have its own firework show.
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Christmas under the Atlantic Ocean

Strange title … but it’s true. Madeira Diving School Tubarão Madeira came with the idea to place and decorate a Christmas tree on the sea bed.

They prepared the tree in a way that it was easy to place it under the water. The Christmas balls were filled with water in order not to drift off. This initiative was not only a surpirse for the visitors that were diving in the area …. but also for the fish who were not used to this human tradition … although some daredevils went nibbling on the balls.

The tree will stay underneath the ocean until the New Year and …. they will repeat this new tradition in the same site next year.
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Getting lost with Google Maps

I came across an error in the Google Maps. Searching for Mercado dos Lavradores within the Google Maps … I see that they have identified it at the wrong location on the map. Actually according to G-map it is under a highway viaduct (?).

Google Maps Mercado Lavradores

If people use G-maps to find their way in Funchal (or other locations on Madeira) then no wonder they get lost.

The best way to describe the location of the market is walking up the road of Rua Dr. Fernao Ornelas and you will see the market at the other side in front of you. Or walking from the Electricity museum a few blocks up.

I now wonder if there are more mistakes like these in Google Maps concerning Madeira? If anyone finds more errors … please let me know.

Life might not be the party … might as well dance!

Kaitlin Sowinski, young American amazon from Hopkinton (Rhode Island – US), lives in Madeira (3 months) and plays professional basketball with Clube Amigos do Basquet (CAB) of Funchal.

In her blog she describes how she (tries to) adjust to live on a island like Madeira. The differences she encounters in the area such as culture, food, language, and daily living habits. Also she gives a firsthand impression of what options are available for people her age, …. what to do and having fun (or not) …. in comparison with US ‘standards’.

In her blog-post Life might not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we might as well dance! Kaitlin takes us into the nightlife of Funchal.

Coming fresh off my senior year of college I thought I had an exceptional tolerance to the multiple exhaustions and demands of a typical night out on the town, but then I came Madeira. I honestly don’t think the general population works Friday to Monday because I can’t think of any way people could party in this manner and still be functional for a full day of work on Monday.

Well Kaitlin …. you would be surprised to know how many do even continue to work in the weekend. Why do you think most locals here wear sunglasses … all the time!

People Watching in Funchal

Instead of Bird Watching you could also do some ‘People Watching’ … and the best location to do that is the ‘wildlife reserve’ in Funchal.

Patti Picasso, from Arlington – Texas – US, has written an entertaining impression of their visit to the city …. during their cruise stop with (I presume) the Holland America Oosterdam.

Patti’s ‘Have some Madeira, My Deara

Porto Santo

Porto Santo is just one long (white) sandy beach …. with a bit of an island attached to it. It is part of the Madeira archipelago and the island does not resemble to its big sister island Madeira.

Travel Channel has published a amusing short video about Porto Santo (thanks to Der for the mention in his blog).

A few remarkable remarks (hehe) are done in this video …. Continue reading “Porto Santo”