What a great day. Favourite port of call by far. It was a busy day and we managed to squeeze in everything we wanted to do with only a little wait time in queues.
We started our day with a lovely Cable Car ride from Funchal up to Monte. It was a good 15 minute ride with fantastic views. From there we strolled through the multi levelled Monte Palace Tropical Garden. Note to self...in spite of what the ‘destination specialist’ on the ship said, November’s not really the best month to go through a tropical garden expecting to see flowers. Furthermore, we never saw a Palace either. We saw more flowers on our walk about town than we saw in the gardens. Live and learn.
The highlight of the day, by far, was the trip DOWN the hill from Monte on the historic wicker toboggans. These things date back to the 1850’s when they were used to transport kegs of wine the 4kms down the hill to the port. Now the ride is only 1/2 that distance. And although not ‘rollercoaster scary’, it is nonetheless a bit of a hair raiser.
This is a place I’d definitely like to return to for a holiday, but I can only imagine how expensive it would be to GET to this very isolated island in the Atlantic Ocean. It’s actually closer to Africa than it is to Portugal! That explains the warmer climate.
But today wasn’t all sunshine and well behaved people. Nope! Tonight I went to a show in the Vista Lounge. I go 30 minutes in advance to get a seat. I find a table for 2 way over in the corner because all the prime seats have been scooped up already. Ten minutes before the show starts, in comes Mr. and Mrs. Jesuis (that’s ‘I am’ in French) Moreimportantthanyou. Mr is asking for empty seats. There’s one at the table across from me...between me and the stage. He waves over the Mrs to sit there. Then he turns to me and asks if the second chair at my table is free. I say it is. He starts to drag it over towards his wife’s chair. I say “You’re going to move that over there and totally block my view, aren’t you?”. He looks at me and just shrugs his shoulders and says “what can ya do?” and then adds “I’ll keep my head down”. I ended up moving my table and chair over so I could see between the 2 of them. They sit there for all of 35 seconds and the Mrs sees a table way across the lounge that she’d rather have. Off she goes. Mr follows, but not before saying to me “It’s your lucky day...you should buy a lottery ticket.” What an ass! There’s always one!!
We said goodbye to land today as we won’t be seeing any again for 7 days. Gonna be a fun crossing!