Atlantic Cruise — 2012

Lisbon


Lisbon

Lisbon

Lisbon

Obidos

Obidos

Obidos

Saint Mary's Church, Obidos

Obidos

Obidos

Funchal

Funchal

Funchal

Porto Bay Golf Club, Madeira

Madeira

Madeira

Madeira

Funchal, Madeira - putting up Christmas lights

Leaving Madeira

November 17, 2012 — The ms Maasdam arrived in Lisbon about noon on Saturday, November 17th. The four of us went ashore and climbed some steep hills to reach the National Pantheon.  We went inside and saw a tomb that may or may not contain the remains of Vasco da Gama.  The skies were partly cloudy, and it rained while we were in a cab.  We spent some time at a Starbucks catching up with emails, then had an interesting walk along one of the main streets that ends at an impressive arch along the Tagus River where the port is located. Although Portugal has a lower unemployment rate (15%) than Spain (25%), Lisbon doesn't look as well-kept and clean as the ports in Spain we visited.


November 18, 2012On Sunday, November 18th, we went on a shore excursion to the medieval town of Obidos.  The town is about 60 miles north of Lisbon and was a marriage gift to Queen Isabel in 1282.  A tradition in Portugal is drinking cherry brandy out of tiny chocolate cups (you drink the brandy and then eat the cup).  We bought some of each in Obidos and enjoyed them after dinner with Lynn and Jim.  A strange tradition in this small town is to cover the town with fake snow in winter.  It almost never snows here, but they had some artificial snowmen ready for display.


November 20, 2012 — On Tuesday we were in Funchal, Madeira. Funchal is named for the fennel plants that were growing all over the coastal area when the Portuguese first arrived in the 16th century. Madeira is the largest island in this archipelago (it is small at 35 miles long and 13 miles wide) that belongs to Portugal. We went ashore and took a cab to Old Town, where many doors were colorfully and artistically painted.  After coffee in a cafe, we walked through the market and then took the cable car up to Monte.  Funchal is a hilly city and the red-tiled roofs are striking. There are many gardens and they are terraced because of the steepness of the hills. We had lunch at a classy restaurant--we all tried a local specialty, a soup made of tomatoes, onions and a poached egg. It sounds strange but was very tasty.


November 21, 2012On Wednesday, November 21st, we went on a shore excursion called Scenic Madeira. The first stop was atop the third highest hill in Madeira (just over 5,900 ft.). It was raining and we couldn't see a thing, so the bus continued on to a golf course on the eastern end of the island in the town of Santo da Serra, where we had tea and cake in the nice clubhouse. We came back to Funchal and went to the Blandy Wine Lodge where we sampled Madeira. We loved this island and would consider returning.


© JAY DEITCH 2020