Thursday, December 10, 2015

Albania revisited ... and other places - part nineteen

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, final European stop before recrossing the Atlantic.

Coffee in some pleasant café; a sunny sidewalk table for lunch; memories of warmth to carry me ...

… and others through the coming winter.

Funchal (perhaps unintentionally here) is a painter’s palette.

Part of town has wall …

… and door paintings everywhere.

In Sao Tiago, the shoreside yellow fortress you can see near the top of this post, I find a 1959 Opel ‘Kapitan’. It looks oddly similar to some versions of those clunky, handmade ZIL limousines produced for Soviet leaders. 

Although Madeira's first car arrived before the Great War, it was only the 1950s when cars in any number appeared. And until Spain joined the EU and billions of euros were pumped into Madeira, motoring outside Funchal was something of an adventure.

What are they looking at?

A card players' haunt outside the entrance of the main market. Gambling isn't legal, but police largely turn a blind eye.

I walk into a city centre park and find a ‘Bird of Paradise’. 

I also find Christmas cottages popping up like mushrooms and ...

and Papai Noel (why a panda?) is looking a little too toothily friendly … time to get outta here.

Last look at land. More than a week to Fort Lauderdale.

Saturday, December 19

Back home.