Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trip to Funchal April 19-25 Finale

The following day, Mel had to get her massage while I had to go to the airport earlier than her. We spent a few hours going around the center.  Mel took me to the bus stop and later she left for her massage.  In the airport not very long was I informed (thanks to the priority check-in due to airline assistance that Mel booked for me)  that my flight was cancelled and not until two days later was I going to fly back to Madrid. I was given a lunch voucher for 16 Euros which I had to spend in the airport cafĂ© and without right to any change so I spent it to the last cent.  I had to wait on a very long queue.  Soon, I was given another voucher for hotel, meals and transport to a four star hotel near the airport.  But Mel had to wait very long to get a confirmation that her flight back to London was also going to be cancelled.  I was already in my hotel when she told me she was staying too.  We could not get into the same hotel because mine was already fully booked.  She managed to get to a hotel nearby.

This is where I stayed for two nights for free everything as arranged by the airline.

This is the view from my terrace.

And this is where Mel stayed:

She could see my hotel from her window.

She had to climb these very long steps with poor lighting not knowing that there was another entrance with an elevator from the back entrance of my hotel to meet me after she had checked in.  

I already had my dinner 

while she had not hers yet.  We found a nearby restaurant that was still open although already late.

We barely had a short walk before I went with her to see her room.  It was nice and spaceous.  Too bad she had only a few hours to enjoy it.

The following day, Mel had to go back to the airport early.  It was a pity that it had to be the best sunny day in Funchal and she could have gone swimming but luck was not on her side.  She finally had to leave on the 24th of April, one day behind  original schedule due to poor weather condition (windy).

Since I had to leave on the 25th, it gave me time to visit the Madeira Botanical Gardens.  The gardens include a bird park and a three room Natural History Museum.

The garden was not not as beautiful as the one in the Monte Palace tropical garden.  But it had a panoramic view of the city.

Entering the garden, you get to see this amazing view.


While going up higher you are met with these views.  I requested someone passing by to take my picture, and good thing he knew how.

The Natural Museum had beautiful displays of fossils, stuffed animal species, aromatic and herbal plants.

It was a short visit and I had enough time to get back to the hotel to accommodate my free lunch.  Then after a short rest, I went window shopping nearby not wanting to go to the center. But I did not really like much except for a tshirt for Mommy, Portuguese stamps and quite a few small items for pasalubong. There was a minor shopping center nearby with flower decorations. Thanks to a young man, I had my pictures taken from Madeira.

It was interesting to see how they arrange vegetables in supermarket.

The following day, I had to follow up with my tickets to LA which until the 25th of April, was still with my family names unchanged.  It was quite a long wait by phone, since they put you on hold until you sweat it out.  I have been receiving messages from the agent from the intermediary company where I bought the tickets, saying that airline was willing to make the necessary change but with a penalty of 80 Euros.  And I was supposed to accept the extra charge by calling the intermediary company again!  It was a real nightmare. I did not manage to settle the issue until I came back to Madrid, three days before flying time to LA.  Good enough that I was not charged for the change of names, out of consideration for all the trouble I went through..

I had to distract myself so I went around the hotel area before catching the bus to the airport at 1 pm.  I got to see the following:

A poinsettia tree!

The steps to the hotel by daylight!

I was at the bus stop before the scheduled time in accordance with the timetable that Mel gave me.  But as I stood waiting for the bus that would take me for 5 Euros to the airport, a taxi stopped in front of me, offering a ride for the same price.  He told me that he was going to the airport to pick up someone and so 5 Euros would be enough hoping that he could pick up another passenger for the same route.  I doubted for a minute, but then he looked honest so I accepted the offer.  He tried to pick up another passenger by the bus stops, but nobody else took the ride, so I had a special ride all by myself.  Luckily, he spoke English perfectly having worked in Africa for several years.  It was a pleasant ride with a pleasant conversation.  This time the taxi driver took away the bad impression of the other one who brought me from the airport.

Everything is well that ends well.  The plane and the assistance did very well.  Just glad to be home.

Trip to Funchal April 19-25 Part III

And the day of the parade finally came!  The viewing gallery of seats were fully occupied and as we have been informed, were solicited and paid for months in advance.  I was lucky that a benevolent man, offered his place to me, when he saw me eager to take pictures of the event.  I was in the front view separated by metallic bars.  The floats were beautifully made beaming with different flowers, colors and sizes.


To liven up the event, there was music, dancing and stylish clothed leaders and performers.




 Mel was eager to try being seated at the gallery to feel like a VIP!

She mixed with the maddening crowd as they rushed to leave the place even dancing to the music, jejeje...

But we were not in a hurry.  Mel wanted to have a picture with one of the participants.  Of course, the lady she chose to pose would be wearing an orange (her favorite color) outfit.

We borrowed some hats from an attendee who gladly gave in to our request, with picture included.

We went to see the hotel where Mel was going to have her massage the following day.  It had a beautiful view from the terrace with an infinity pool look.

We chose to have dinner in a sushi Japanese/Chinese fusion restaurant.

As we walked towards our apartment, we were attracted by the two cruise liners by the pier, which were not there before and we decided to get a closer look. We noticed that there were a lot of Filipinos seated nearby and we went to chat with them.  They were  young people under their thirty's and mostly work in the kitchen although we were informed that there were also Pinoys with high commands like engineers which we were delighted to know.  The ship was docked only for the night and would be leaving early morning towards Europe.

That ended the Flower festival for the night and assuming that we would leave the following day.  Things did not come out as expected...

To be continued...