As always, loving Madeira...here's a bit of an update.
After the initial shock of the alarm going off in the early hours everything was smooth sailing. Empty roads, very good TAP flight on schedule, pickup reliable as always by Madeira Airport Transfers and able to check in straight away at our usual hotel Pestana Promenade (in our timeshare apartment). By 11 am, all unpacked and instantly relaxed.
Headed in to town and was lucky enough to see the flower floats by the port before they were moved away. Independence of the Seas was berthed and the town was buzzing. Had lunch sitting outside at The Beerhouse (our usual first stop) and all was wonderful.
.....it would be wrong not to say something about the extensive amount of construction work going on, especially in town. Fortunately, because others on the forum have already mentioned it, it came as a bit less of a shock but it covers most areas along the front from the cruise terminal to the Fort and also some areas north of that. It hasn't ruined our holiday and we quite enjoyed watching the cranes and the diggers (boys in their toys!). I have to agree with others though who have said they were glad they weren't staying close to it, that's just a personal feeling as I know many people seem less worried by it. The streets further back are unaffected and it's still very pleasant walking round that part of town.
There are also some other much smaller areas of construction including the new road in the Lido area but I haven't noticed any disturbance at all with this so far. Unlike the works in town which I realise are essential, I'm still not really sure what the main purpose of this new road will be.
Enjoyed our garden tour and tea at Reid's very much and lovely to sit on the terrace on a sunny day. It's certainly worth doing it with the free tour included (if anyone wants a reminder about details just contact me). Also interesting looking at the old photos of famous guests from the past.
Went to the PGA championships at the Santo da Serra golf course. What a beautiful course with great views of Ponta de Sao Lourenco. Then went on to visit Quinta do Lorde. It will be interesting to return on our next visit because at the moment it seems a bit like a ghost town.
There are a few restaurants that have been my favourite over the years but I think The Forte is again number 1 for me. They now have three vintage cars on display in the courtyard which adds to the atmosphere and it's possible to book one for the journey back to your hotel. There were four of us and we decided on the open top Chevrolet, great fun! It's also possible to book the vintage Rolls Royce but that's twice the price.
We've been to the Hole in One a couple of times and enjoyed listening to Luis Salvador. Still plan to try Barreirinha.
Lots of other things we plan to do but also loving just relaxing on the balcony or going for a stroll. ....Sunshine, jacarandas and that bit of Madeira magic you can never quite put into words. As always it's good to be back.