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Old October 31st, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Default Funchal, Madeira & Halloween

Funchal, Madeira (Portugal)

We had packed our bags last night, and left them out in the hall. OH.. wait a second… we would have done that if this was a 7 night cruise, BUT , we’re not yet through even half of this cruise. Thank GOD!! It’s been way too much fun to end now!

Today our port of call was Funchal, Madeira; an island off the coast of Portugal. It really is a beautiful island, and quite tropical. The town is built on the side of the mountain, with the “central section? down along the ocean side. There was quite a selection of tours, but we took a taxi to the center of the city, right at the pier for 10 Euros. We then took the cable car to the top of the mountain, and the views from the cable car were quite spectacular.

Once at the top we took the famous Madeira “sledges? part way down the mountain. The “sledges? are a like large wicker baskets with seats in them, and they are guided down the roadway by two runners, using ropes, and the soles of their shoes as brakes. They do prevent you from reaching break-neck speeds, so while not a thrill ride, this was lots of fun.

The sledge ride takes you about half way down the mountain. We then walked downhill, about 2 miles, back to the center of the city. A great day!

This is a beautiful island, and very clean and friendly. It’s one of the hidden gems on this itinerary, and until people visit no doubt they don’t know what to expect.

Back onboard, and tonight was Halloween. I’d convinced those in the group who brought costumes, that they should be worn to dinner, and to the evening shows etc. The ship had a Halloween party in the disco, and we were surprised at the large numbers of people who did bring costumes with them considering the overseas flights etc.

We left the disco with those from our group who had costumes, and moved to the piano bar, where we were able to give out prizes, with help from Cameron, the entertainer there.

I could only convince a few hearty souls to head out on deck next to the jumbo screen, to wave to all of you through the web cam. Hope you got to see us!
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