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MADEIRA  24/2-10/3 1997  DIARY  3

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 Diary 1 2 3

 From Dairy 1
1.3.Today it was the capital that was to be visited. Bihrmann had been very unlucky to damage his sprained thumb by branching up on Paul Da Serra. The branch was to be used for noise cancellation of our broken bottom guard plate. As it was the gear change hand, I suggested that we leave the car that day and instead used the taxi to Funchal.

It was my last chance to experience the big market when it was Saturday. It was also not easy to anticipate parking in the narrow streets of the old town. As I said so done. We started by visiting the city museum, but it was closed due to remodelling, sorry. The next point was the archaeological park. It was very tastefully decorated as a botanical garden.
Sculptures and fragments stood on the lawn, surrounded by the large and small trees and shrubs of the world. Many were in full bloom, others in knots. The dragon blood tree could handle it all. Buds, flowers and fallen berries, which of course had to go to Denmark.

In several places there were ponds.In them there was an abundance of frogs, which in the spring eagerly hatched.
Each pond its kind of frogs. A branch, slightly shaded and snug, consisted of a large collection of orchids.
How many kinds, I have no idea, but one was more distinctive than the other.

Further along the old streets we reached a large old Madeira farm. Here was everything, as it was hundreds of years ago. There were posters about the old manufacturing method. Tasting room, information room, exhibition of all types of Madeira on bottles and dishes. An extremely exciting place, and on this Saturday morning, well visited.

Wanted to visit the Old Fort, but neither was this open to the public that day. Was inside the very beautiful cathedral, in the middle of the fair. The church was stowing full, and the bishop sang the most beautiful Latin while everyone was kneeling. Finally, there were real wax candles in use. In a small enclosure at the back of the church lay stacks of new candles.
The church girl was standing cross-eyed as she muttered, but I approached with a banknote in my hand.
When she saw me, she put her finger on her lip and whispered, "Messa, Messa," so it wasn't here either that I turned on the promised wax candle for Jan.

Outside the church are the flower sales women. They have a very rich selection of the island's flowers.
Outside of Funchal we saw several large greenhouses. Maybe this is where they grow the exotic flowers.
There were, among other things, many types of orchids, the characteristic parrot flower and many, indeed many others, rather large-flowered species of unknown flowers. It was an incredibly nice element in the street scene.
The women wore very colourful national costumes. Talked to gymnastics friend Marianne, who was watching orchids. Typical for men. Her husband pulled a few steps to the left, stood with his hands on his back and waited, while Bihrmann pulled to his right and also stood passively waiting while we gossiped.
Marianne had already been to the market in the morning and placed an order for orchids to take home to the potted plant lady and the mother, and of course herself.
It was a souvenir I definitely didn't want to sacrifice neither time nor effort, but they were beautiful.

We walked to another church that was open. In this church there was organ concert. Very beautiful and stylish, did not find out the name of the church, but it was located at a church school.

Finally, we reached the big market. The lower floor consisted entirely of fishmongers. We saw how a freshly caught tuna was chopped into appropriate pieces. The tune consisted of a spine and 4 large powerful muscle bundles, nothing with prickly legs. The incredibly ugly espada fish was everywhere, it is one meter long and slender and has an eye, bigger than our current fiver (app. 4 cm). Other deep-sea fish of many colours were inviting in the small stalls. Also, clams, snails, shrimp, crayfish and lobsters were in the boxes.

On the ground floor, it was the vegetables that dominated. A young man stood with a small knife and tasted the various fruits he was negotiating. Got a lot of flavour, all juicy and sweet, the names were unknown.
Later on the hike I came across the same thing with an old wife, only here were other fruits offered. Tasty and sweet, there was absolutely no bargaining, it was pure advertising for the island's production.

The top floor was reserved for the more commercial. Here were bag departments, small as well as large, but since the price was like home, there was no need to drag anything home, even though I was missing. Bihrmann too could use a sports bag, but no one got into his taste. It was a great experience to experience the big richly visited market.
However, there was nothing new when visiting Portugal.

Outside on part of the square were numerous small restaurants selling coffee, cakes and beer. Once again we had to try the coffee and the indispensable cake. Wandered on to Katarina Park, which, although it was early spring, was very beautifully landscaped. There were prayers with room for planting flowers for thousands. Even though it was ten There were many trees, shrubs and roses in bloom. There were name tags on everything.
The park is located on a large slope along the harbour, with excellent views.

At noon, the little lizards had it really hot. They laid down on the belly, lifted all their feet and quivered with them. Some were so engrossed in their sunbathing that they were allowed to photograph. The only picture I was allowed to take of Bihrmann was under a huge blooming poinsettia. Some planted fry leaves changed owner. Today stands 7/4 as large plants in the windowsill. At the top of the park is a small restaurant, where for lunch we got an extremely tasty sandwich.

From here, there were excellent views down the whole park, where there are 2 large statues. One of Henry the Sailor and one of Columbus. From the garden there was a decline to the harbour, where we went down and had a look around. There was a very nice marina with expensive ships.
It was a container port, because everywhere there were large stored containers, huge bollards lay ready, but there were no seagoing vessels that day.

Further on, the walk went. We reached the business streets and were inside a modern centre that accommodates every conceivable business. Was in a bookstore to buy special ink to draw on the smooth postcards with map motifs. Wandered here and there, looking at the rather small shops. Compared prices that did not differ from our domestic at all.
Found a small square with cafe where we got cappuccino and of course cake from a rich cake table. Behind the cafe was an entrance to a multi-storey business centre.

Bihrmann botanized alone while drinking mineral water. We occasionally heard Danish voices, but stayed neutral. It was not to speak Danish, we had come to Madeira. We had no problems with pedestrian crossings.
You just stood at the edge and looked as if you wanted to cross the street, all traffic stopped, and then you had to cross, whether you needed or not. We already discovered it the first afternoon when we were to cross the coastal promenade.
Stood by a striped field, a police car approached, made a mandatory stop - now, that's how you do it.

After wandering through the inner city, enjoying the very beautiful basalt pavements, we headed down to the harbour to take a taxi back to our residence. There was no more staying in Funchal after. It was partly siesta and partly Saturday, so only the bays were open.

Bihrmann thought that after a full day's rest, he could easily drive a car, so we found our little car and headed for Monte. which is 550 meters above sea level. On the way up to Monte, we passed the airfield, which is one of the most dangerous in the world. The runway is so short that all brakes have to be clamped, so that the plane does not crash over the rock into the sea.(On the way home we had to stop in the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, which is only a 10 minute flight from Funchal. Here we got the necessary fuel on board, but had to stay on the runway for over an hour before Lisbon, which controls the airspace gave a take-off permit).

The view down Funchal was lovely. The road was barely as twisted and snotty as the ones we had otherwise frequented. We parked in a small parking lot behind the church Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte, which is white and the two-tower.

At the ascent of the colossally long staircase up to the church there was an iron tray on the cemetery wall, next to which stood a bench, on which stood a box of wax candles and a cardboard box with sloth for money. There were many burning wax candles on the iron tray, so I could finally light the candle for Jan. We entered the many steps and the mint sand if the church was not open. "It is in many ways the island's most interesting. At the entrance to the church you will see some blue tile motifs that tell of a marvellous event. The church is built in the 18th century. When you go inside, you will first notice that the walls are covered with beautiful faience tiles. The ceiling is three-part and painted as follows: In the centre you see Christ with the cross and Godfather with his left hand resting on the earth, while his right places a gold crown on the head of the Virgin Mary. Above, the Holy Spirit hovers in the shape of a dove. The symbolism must be that the Trinity saves man, symbolized by the Virgin Mary, from perdition."

When we visited the church there was choral singing. It sounded extremely beautiful in the large church room, which was so beautiful as the book describes. Outside, we admired the blue tile motifs. It's something that wants something. One was designed so you were sure it was a huge relief you could take and feel on the figures, but it was and still is. We stood on the front porch of the church and looked down at the braided wicker sleds.

When it was evening, the men were packing up, so no closer visit was made. I also didn't have the courage to put a spine on a trip. It was wrong enough with all the millions of turns and curves we had passed during the week.
We walked back up the stairs to the small square where we were of course just had to have a cup of coffee.
Next to the square and down the mountain side is a very nice botanical garden, where we saw, among other things, the world's oldest tree, the fern tree.

An old railway bridge runs across the park. It was lavishly planted with finger philodendrons so old that they had bald-like flowers and large fruits. I was wondering what those fruits would look like, and how they would taste until Bihrmann laughingly replied, "Well you tasted them on the market this morning" Well yes. There were an incredible number of growths, known as well as unknown.

Down through the small valley ran a tiny levada, the water chuckled merrily, the sunsets sang supper, only a few tourists travelled, everything simply breathed peace and idyll. As we left the square, we headed for the mountain.
A man standing by the road to Funchal eagerly pointed out that we were on the wrong roads, but we ignored the warning and drove uphill. It turned out he was right, and soon we were back on the right path.

We drove down towards Funchal, had plenty of time, and looked to all sides for something interesting.
There was nothing that could accommodate us, so we headed for Funchal, past the airfield. When we reached Funchal at dusk we traversed the entire old quarter, with all the small narrow alleys. All cars were at home and the space very sparse, but it was interesting to experience the old city neighbourhood with life on the streets.

We were home at 19.25 and had only driven 36 km. that day. We ate at the nearby mall's first-floor restaurant on the terrace. When it was Saturday night, most of the guests were local. Many even had tiny little children with them.
There was a playroom for them, so it went just fine. We really enjoyed the meal, so it was a 3 course menu we ordered. I got roasted mushrooms with garlic, grilled tuna with toast, potatoes and salad, finishing with mixed fresh fruit. Here on the island you do not overdo such dishes with whipped cream or cream, quite naturally.
Bihrmann got shrimp cocktail, skewered tuna with salad and ice cream Vivaldi. The spit roast is a chapter in itself.
In the middle of the table is a large iron riser, and when the meat or fish comes in on a large iron skewer, it is hung up on the stand just above the plate, and then you push the desired amount of pieces yourself.
The Portuguese ice cream is also a bit special, as each portion is frozen in a terracotta bowl. Upstairs, the ice cream is decorated with almonds and assorted nuts in intriguing patterns.
The taste is impeccable.

2.3. This day we had chosen to explore East Madeira. On the way to one of the sights Camacha, which was soon given the nickname Kamsjatska, we made various detours, among others to Boce Nova and Poiso.
All the way up, there are many serpentine turns. We saw all kinds of wood, known as well as unknown.

Camacha is the headquarters of the basket weaving on the island. Curve arrows are planted throughout the terrain. As it was Sunday, we did not see a single wicker braid at work, but, maybe the indoors are going on, which we lacked for a single guide's knowledge. In the centre of the city is a very large business, where all 800 kinds of wickerwork are partly on display and partly for sale.

Bihrmann was looking for a little thing, like a souvenir, but didn't found anything here of interest, he had to settle for the beautiful stone from the beach at Riberia Brava.
On Sunday, many residents used the day for excursion. There was significantly more lively traffic than the other days. On the way to Santo do Serra we saw many flowering mimosas.

In Augus Manas there was a lively supply of vegetables, eggs, fruits and flowers. We stopped in Santo da Serra.
Here the church mass was just over and people were pouring out into the church square. Everyone was wearing fine Sunday clothes, children's clothes fitted with various ruffles both here and there. Everyone greeted each other kindly and lovingly and exchanged news.
Slowly they swooped down to the cafe, where everyone got a small one, even the completely black-clad old wives did not hold back.

In the square there was a market place. Here you could buy everything your heart desires, from cassette tapes, CDs had not yet hit the island, to various foods. We stood looking at a baker who baked flat bread on an iron plate over open fire. The wife stood in a small booth next door, and sold the glowing hot bread. Was allowed to smile, took a photo, bought a bread, which the wife kindly cut into smaller pieces.
It was our lunch that day, incredibly tasty bread, but could well have tolerated a few minutes longer on the iron plate.
Went around and looked at the merchants, but as usual, bought nothing.

Behind the square there was an entrance to a small zoo that was located in the middle of a large botanical garden.
Lovely stroll. The animals were nothing to write about. But, we saw a very colourful bird king.
Next to it, close to the church was a cemetery, the first I had seen. Bihrmann had observed several. We went in and had a look around. The photo will illustrate how to honour the deceased.

On the way to Porto da Cruz, we came close to a cow-huts that was in use, as shown in the photo. A small village cafe invited for dinner and sunbathing. Reached the Portela pas which is a water barrier. From here was a magnificent view of both Porto Santo and the Desert Islands.

Further on through Referta, where the areas on the hillsides are exclusively terraces used for farming, but they were still empty. Porto da Cruz. Here was the shore with black sand. It was a little difficult to get in the sand for mussels and snails, because the swells still came in and flooded the shore. There were some rocks on the beach, but not something we hadn't seen before, but gathered a little.

In Porto da Cruz, the impressive cliff "Eagle's cliff" lies out to sea. We drove back a little and turned off towards Machico, but continued on towards Canical, lying behind a tourist bus that would probably lead us to something exciting. It continued and continued through deserted highlands, coming through a tunnel that seemed incredibly long, it turns out to be Madeira's longest. Eventually the bus stopped and so did we.

Here was a vantage point, located at the extreme tip of the island, from which there was a short distance to the nearby islands, Ilheu de Agostinho and Ilheu de Fora. Out on the tip, we watched. Well, that bus didn't take us to the whale museum, so we had to figure that out for ourselves, but would not have missed the trip to the extreme tip of the island.

At a little distance we saw a forest fire, several emergency vehicles coming. The smoke blew up, but Bihrmann had visited the area for the next week, and it wasn't too bad. In Cancical is a whale museum where many posters show life in the city and on the sea. Half an hour of video showed how it went. Extremely primitive, even though it was in our days.

In a lookout tower, a man was on duty. When he saw whales, he fired shots, and all available crews rushed to the harbour and pulled out the boats. Later, the wives came with food baskets over their arms. The catch and the home transport itself were really an effort against the sea strong elements.
Unfortunately, the video was French-language, but the pictures clearly showed the process, including how the whales were parted.

At the harbour, an old man came to us and wanted to sell very large sea snails and clams. Afternoon coffee break.
We continued along the coast road through Machico, Santa Cruz, where before this we turned inland into a small village. Already at  17.15 the sun went behind the mountains.
We saw a very large factory, to which was attached a pretty standing There are many new townhouses, such as some we had not encountered before.

At 18, we spotted a levada crossing the road. Found a reasonable parking area in the roadside and walked along the levada in a little low light. On the left was a village and on the right a mountain rose. The planting was eucalyptus, from which still sprouted seed shell peaks. There were cut down mimosas that shot completely wild with meter-long powerful shots.

At the top, when we arrived, the peasants lived on the other side of the levada with stairs and path system up to the houses through the terraced newly planted orchards. A single brown dog looked at us, but even though we were near it and it was tied-up, it didn't bark. The silence was almost total. A single lamb brewed a few times. The water in the levada was like a stroll, but without sounds. Small suitable stones were thrown in and pulled by the stream
Sitting on one of the numerous crossings across the levada, throwing eucalyptus leaves, small branches and seed capsules into the water, they quickly disappeared around the corner.

The mountain wall was so planted that just a square meter would fill half a botany book. The birds sang supper.
We tried to sum up how many we had seen, but it was difficult without paper and pencil. The silence, even as we sat and walked, so that we could step out onto the flat village houses that lay down the hillside was extreme, interrupted only by bird song and tiny tiny waterfalls across.
When we got to the road, the water ran sharply and rattling down the mountain gutter, while the levada flow ran the other way down the road. Extremely peculiar and nature-stricken. On the way down we considered the sun, which had a bi-sun on each side. The phenomenon lasted almost an hour.

Then continued the hike of the mountain road, which was very winding and winding down towards Funchal, where we arrived at. 19:20. That day we had driven 140 km. In total we had run 929 km. plus the bus ride to and from the airport.

We ate at the Spanish House restaurant. I ordered something but the waiter felt that I would not like it as it was cooked fish. Ordered something else. He asked which country we came from, to which he replied in Danish that it was boiled cod, well, let me get Gordon bleu, Bihrmann got Steak with parmesan ..

3.3 -10.3. Sends Bente off to the plane, and then Bihrmann has a week to recover in. I saw the last roads, not least a washed-away, 17 km long dirt road, which is no longer in use. The next day I changed car and rental company!
Found the large botanical garden which is truly impressive. It is a huge collection that is beautifully displayed. To this end, the geological and natural history collection from the city museum has been moved while it is being rebuilt. Exciting, but under decay.
The week went by, and I finished watching Madeira. Exciting island, but you MUST have a car to experience it completely. Driven a total of 2000 km.
Price: 7000 kr.


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