Quick report on the week and some pics and then book reviews to come - they are piling up and so much reading to do. Came back to ten parcels awaiting my attention and another six have arrived since my return so...
OK - loved Madeira. Beautiful island, lots of up, no beaches as it is all volcanic rock and the few beaches that exist are black which I always find off putting, looks a bit sinister. Stayed at the Pestana Miramar, simply gorgeous place, super pool and flowers all over the buildings and beautiful gardens. Ten mins by bus to Funchal, 20 mins if we felt like walking.
While we were there we visited Monte, which is reached by cable car - great views of Funchal as we went up the hill.
Attended a fun concert of songs from the shows in the English Church in the middle of the old part of Funchal, great fun and on the Saturday night attended the fireworks display. This is held every weekend in June as the contract for the New Year's Eve fireworks is up for grabs and these were the final four contenders. Down by the harbour on a lovely warm night, a terrific band and singer warming us all up, a few glasses of wine and then they started to oohs and aaahs and cries of delight. In between this activity lolled by the pool with sun tan lotion, books, iPod and Kindle, though I spent most of the time there asleep.
Lots of lovely restaurants, great cafes, good coffee (lots of whipped cream and chocolate), friendly deightful people and I came back feeling totally rested and revived after feeling pretty crap before I went.
Am hoping for a return visit if I can manage it, I liked it so much.