We arrived at Funchal Madeira at 8.30am.  Madeira is situated off West Africa and Funchal is the capital and main port. It is a very pretty small town whose main streets are lined with jacaranda trees.

Victoria travel had arranged a tour to the Palheira gardens for us and the ship provided us with an excellent packed lunch. We set off about 9am with our friendly, well informed guide, Darleen, who gave us a potted history of the island as we drove into the town centre. We had a short stop at the covered market and admired the fruit and veg. stalls, the fish stalls with unusual looking fish and some wonderful fancy goods. I was very tempted by the beautiful embroidered items.

Madeira Market

Madeira Market

We climbed back into the coach and started climbing up into the mountains to the Polheira Gardens. Unfortunately we left the sun behind and showers started.

It was still raining when we arrived at the gardens but at least it was warm rain!

Secret garden

Secret garden

The path down to the gardens was very steep and, as my mobility is a bit limited, JW and I did not go all round the gardens but stayed about halfway as I did not want to hinder the others. We meandered around on that level, ate our picnic lunch and made our way back to the coach.

Our next stop was at the Hortencia tea gardens where we admired the tropical gardens, the views over the bay and the quirky statues before partaking of a delicious cream tea.

One of the quirky statues

One of the quirky statues

On the journey back Darleen kept up a most interesting commentary so even though we had not seen all the garden we had a splendid day out. Some of the more energetic souls stayed in the city but we went back to the ship and preared for our evening entertainment.

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