Museum of Contemporary Art, Funchal.
The harbour wall in Funchal is used as a message board, or as a celebratory display area. There is no free space so old messages are scrubbed over and new images overlaid. It is fascinating to see where all these small craft have sailed from and to where they are heading.
Eat your heart out, Alfred Wallis!
The little tourist boat, 'Christopher Columbus' style, is seen here heading back into harbour and looking as though it might get eaten by the painted mouth of the cruise ship that is skulking behind the right-hand side building.
In town new buildings swamp the old in a similar way. Hotels jostle crowd each other out and the coast road roars continuously with traffic.
One evening at the hotel we were entertained by some lively musicians and a display of Madeiran dancing. It was very similar to English country dancing, 'strip the willow' and the like. Needless to say we were all dragged up at a later stage in the proceedings and encouraged to join in.
"It's full of old people!" replies Himself. He's being funny, but correct.
So, what did I think of it?
It's not for me. I'm a beach bum at heart. To be on a semi-tropical island and not be able to walk into the sea just doesn't seem right - I can swim in pools in England, it's warm sea swimming and beaches that I adore. The new buildings on the island are grim, and nearly all the old ones have gone, no charming little villages to potter about in. There were no shops selling items that HAD to be bought, (I came back with most of my holiday money, for goodness sake.) The local people were polite and the island clean and safe, not a pickpocket, run 'em down sort of place. Just not quite my cup of tea - unless I can take it at Reid's!
Having said all that, we had a very enjoyable week.