Madeira revisited.

I have just returned from a relaxing break in Madeira and some welcome sunshine.

I last visited the island in 1994 and much has changed in the past 20 years. Funchal has expanded and now has a population of 120,000 but much of the old town remains the same.

We headed for the Mercado dos Lavradores, the workers market.

The market is bustling, especially in the morning. It is very colourful with fruit and flower stalls. Beautiful flowers are on sale and the ‘flower sellers’ are still required to wear their uniform of red dresses and cardigans. However they do appear to be more reluctant to have their photos taken than 20 years ago.




Downstairs is the fish market where numerous types of fish were on sale including the Espada. This Madeira speciality is a fearsome looking ink black eel-like fish. It can grow up to a metre in length and has long needle sharp teeth.


It is found on the menu in restaurants across the island and has delicious white meat. It is often fried and served with bananas, which complement each other quite well, especially when accompanied by a glass of chilled white wine.



On the first floor there are more stalls selling fruit, vegetables and souvenirs. But beware. You will be offered samples of fruit to taste, but if you buy the prices are astronomical.


The old town features many narrow cobbled streets one of which is the Rua de Sante Maria. It is one of the oldest streets in Funchal and was first laid out in 1430.

Many of the doors and entrances along the street have been painted by artists as part of the ‘Arts of Open Doors’ project.

Painted doors 1

Painted doors 3

Painted doors 2


There are many good restaurants in Funchal serving local specialities. In addition to Espada is the meat dish – Espetada. A kebab of beef often served on a metal skewer with a hook on one end which is hung vertically from a special stand attached to the end of your dining table.


About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Madeira, Photography, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Madeira revisited.

  1. Marie says:

    I enjoy your travels and photos. We were in Spain and Morocco last September. I’m guessing the island of Madeira is somewhere in the area. We can buy Maderia cake in Australia.

  2. crosbyman66 says:

    Many thanks for your comment. I’m pleased that you enjoy my images. We had a wonderful time exploring the island. Madeira is a tiny island, a mere speck in the Atlantic. It lies 372 miles off the coast of Morocco and 620 miles from Lisbon. However the scenery and the food is fantastic. During the next couple of weeks I will be adding some more posts of my adventures on the island.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.