5 flights a week from Finland ; Bad weather hits again ; Revellers in love ; Grape harvest

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Tom … "annobannana growing in a very unusual place"

madeira news blog 1002 tom annobannana growing in a very unusual place

Many thanks to Becky for some more web snippets :

‘Funchal by the Moonlight’ composed by Eurico Thomaz de Lima (1908-89) the Portuguese pianist-composer and performed by Miguel Campinho. It’s a shame the stills keep repeating themselves (I have loads of photos of Funchal by moonlight I could have contributed!) but an enjoyable piece of music all the same.

Madeira – Island of Wine (1968) – another old clip from British Pathe but in glorious colour. I didn’t realise that the bullock carts were painted in the same yellow and blue as the taxis, or at least they were in 1968.  A couple in suitably garish polyester hurtle down the hill at "Monty" and we get to see some old and new wine production methods. HERE

Many thanks to Elaine once again for yesterday’s top news stories  and snippets :

Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Malasada Day/Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day. Traditional ‘malasada’ still cooked by many Portuguese in the USA on Fat Tuesday. In 1878, Portuguese labourers from the Madeira and Azores came to Hawaii to work in the plantations. These immigrants brought their traditional foods with them, including a fried dough pastry called the "malasada." Today there are numerous bakeries in the Hawaiian islands specializing in malasadas. PUTTING ON THE KILOS

The "Boz" Ball of 1842. … Downing’s talents likely warmed Dickens, too. When writing home to England of the tribute paid him in New York, Dickens attached a newspaper clipping from the Extra Boz Herald — a special edition — that elaborated on the sumptuous bill of fare: 50,000 oysters, 10,000 sandwiches, 40 hams, 76 tongues, 50 rounds of beef, 50 jellied turkeys 50 pairs of chickens and 25 of ducks; also “2,000 fried Mutton Chops—cold” and 12 Floating Swans, a new device”.

Lest one forget dessert, there were: 350 quarts of jelly and blanc mange, 300 quarts of ice cream, “300 pound of Mottoes”, “2,000 Kisses”, “25 Pyramids —one cost $30, and had the ‘Curiosity Shop’ on the top”, besides almonds, raisins, apples, oranges, cakes and “Ladies Fingers in thousands”.

And to wash all of that down, one chose from: 2 hogsheads of Lemonade, 60 gallons of tea, 1½ barrels of Port, 150 gallons of Madeira, unspecified quantities of Claret and coffee … full article

EFSA’s Opinion on the Prohibition of GM Crops in Madeira HERE

Photo slide show of Madeira on Vimeo. Images from the island that has changed my life … HERE

DIÁRIO 15/02/2010


Five weekly charters from Finland in the Spring. The predictions of the various tourist operators in Finland who promote Madeira as a destination, are for increased sales and increased capacity in the coming months. This good news follows on from estimates that the numbers will increase from last year, as there are positive indicators, for example the withdrawal of regular cheaper packages to long-haul destinations like Thailand. Last year, between January and May, there were 21.2% fewer visitors from Finland than in 2008. They did spend longer here though, an average of 6.3 nights compared to 5.7 in 2008, so only a 11% drop in overnight stays. As well as the charter flights planned to Madeira, TAP will fly five times a week between Lisbon and Helsinki. This Spring, the fourth largest tour operator in Finland, Lomamatkat, has included Madeira from the 21st February until the last week of April, using Primera Air flights with seating for 190 tourists. Lomamatkat are affiliated with Windsor Travel in Madeira and highlight Madeira on their website. On February 19th, two tour operators, Almatours and Hispania, start a weekly charter using Bulgarian aircraft, until the end of April. On February 20th, there are an expected 50 Finnish visitors, coming via Lisbon. On February 22nd, another weekly visit is launched with Aurinkomatkat and Ok-Matkat operators, until the end of April. They will use aircraft with seating for 220 passengers.

Horários do Funchal will not return to old route. The bus route no 4 now has low occupancy but the bus company will not alter the route back to the previous one. They will make adjustments when they have monitored the movement of passengers. The cause of anger among passengers is that they have to take two buses to get to the centre of Funchal. The Green Line buses along the Estrada Monumental do not run every five minutes as scheduled. There are no bus shelters along this route to protect those waiting from the weather.


As predicted, large tree blocks road. As predicted in DIÁRIO on February 2nd, a section of the boundary wall around the garden of Quinta Jardins do Imperador in Monte was destroyed by a falling tree. The large tree has completely blocked the road and residents have to use an alternative route. This is the second time the wind has blown down a tree from this garden into the road and again, the branches have to be cut off before the firemen can clear the area of debris.

Mercado Municipal de Câmara de Lobos not to be renovated. The building housing the old fire station and the Municipal Market will not be renovated, as planned in 2009. There was to be a new car park to take the pressure off the one in front of the bay that cannot accommodate the visitors to the area. Despite the setback caused by a lack of money, the mayor said the whole area needs to be restructured. A lift was also to be installed to all floors of the building. Traffic and pedestrian areas were to be upgraded to allow the shops on the ground floor to open outside the market, so they can still function when the market is closed. The car park in the front of the market needs upgrading to allow the space to be used for events and fairs held outdoors.


Island Escape returned to Funchal early. The bad weather in the Atlantic has forced changes in itineraries, especially on the route Canary Islands – Madeira. The captain of the Island Escape decided to miss the scheduled stop at La Palma and came directly to Funchal from Las Palmas. This meant the cruise ship docked in Funchal at 20.00 on Sunday instead of 7 am today. There were 1,300 tourists on board including 200 who were on the one-week cruise which started last Monday in Funchal. The Island Escape will leave at 23.00 today after 200 British tourists have flown in to board the cruise ship. The extra day in Funchal for the 1,300 visitors is good news for the revenue of Madeira.


Strong waves attract the attention of locals and visitors. Strong sea waves hit the Marina do Lugar de Baixo and the coast of Porto Moniz.  At the Marina, the protecting wall has been destroyed in four places.

— Video on MADEIRA BLOG.

Sea wrecks havoc in Praia Formosa.  The peak of high tide at 14.45 struck the entire area of Praia Formosa. The force of the waves destroyed a wall so the sea washed the promenade and entered swimming pools belonging to hotels. The swimming complexes at Lido, Barreirinha and Ponta Gorda were better protected due to the orientation of the waves. The cement blocks in front of the Docas Bar did not protect it and tables, chairs and cigarette vending machines were smashed. Last December’s storm did 1,000 Euros of damage to this bar. None of the showers at Frente Mar withstood the strong waves. The wooden terrace of Barra Azul was washed into the sea during the night. Video of damage

Carnival Parades rescheduled. Due to the bad weather, tonight’s carnival parade at Porto Santo has been cancelled. The Carnival Parade at São Vicente has been rescheduled, now on the 18th February. Ponta do Sol also cancelled their parade and it will be held next Sunday.



Revellers ‘in love’. In Machico, São Pedro helped, as the sun made itself felt for the Carnival Parade. The event attracted 1,700 participants from schools and institutions of the county. As yesterday was St Valentine’s Day, some people used this theme, parading with hearts, teddy bears and cupids and there was a symbolic wedding. Biodiversity was the theme of the parade at Porto Moniz. One poster stated, "Biodiversity is life!" in a call to protect the environment. The Simpsons, witches and butterflies were portrayed by participants. Fura Samba troupe had to cancel their appearance as their costumes had been damaged by the weather during Saturday’s Main Carnival Parade. Despite the rain, Câmara de Lobos Carnival Parade went as planned. Ribeira Brava also managed a procession yesterday afternoon with representations of scenes from everyday life.


Farmers worried about the purchase of grapes in September. The MPT (Movement for Earth) party want the Regional Government to tell the farmers what they can expect from the grape harvest in September, so they can decide if it is worth planting. The farmers need to have a guarantee about the purchase of grapes less than 9 degrees (alcoholic content) and the price per kilo. It is essential to preserve this agriculture that contributes to the green landscape and the production of Madeira Wine from the negra mole. The farmers work in uncertainty and need to know that they will get paid for grapes less than 9 degrees, as previously these had been thrown away as the pay was to be less than that of 2008.

A favour please : please don’t send anything to the madeira4u blog email address provided unless it is directly related to the blog or Madeira. I know people mean well, and I enjoy a good laugh or an interesting story as much as anyone, but I am sometimes just overwhelmed with emails, and the more time I spend dealing with them, the less time I have for anything else in compiling or translating. Madeira articles, photos, news, questions, and other relevant contributions always welcome of course. Many thanks. Der.

Today’s news headlines from the front page of the Diário de Notícias :

Most of the front page is taken up with a great big photo along Praia Formosa beach in west Funchal. A huge wave has crashed onto the beach, and it seems that the water has climbed a small cliff to the foot of a building. Untamed sea returns in force causing damages – The Praia Formosa was the most punished, with promenade and restaurants badly hit. This this time, even the wall of ‘Madeira Velha’ succumbed. The promenade, according to the Diário, is unrecognisable, and at least two restaurants were damaged, and the beach is now somewhat less beautiful. Not even the large cement blocks positioned in front of the bars prevented the invasion of the sea. One bar owner reports a broken door, smashed tables and chairs, and the cigarette machine smashed. He said it was only in December that the bar was previously damaged to the value of around €1,000. The same article also reports much damage elsewhere. The fury of the sea was giving a ‘show’ in the marina at Lugar de Baixo and on the ‘promenade’ of Porto Moniz. Residents and visitors came along, with many there to take pictures of the force of nature. The marina at Lugar de Baixo was once again the centre of attention, with a new occurrence of flooding in the parking lot. Already ‘mangled’ by previous storms, the controversial infrastructure was taking again a right beating from the fury of the waves. There are already 4 parts of the sea wall missing, leaving the marina itself much less protected. The most significant problem is situated in the area between the pools and the docking area, where the action of the sea pulled out a concrete slab that makes up part of the protective wall. Much the same in three different locations are three more gaps, that are proof of  the inability of this ‘protection’ to halt the raging sea. Further west, the waves caused further damage between the beach and quay in Ponta do Sol, and also at Madalena do Mar the sea was hitting the wall of the coastal road, and there were other consequences. Calheta beach, as usual, lost more sand and gained more rocks, and now both sides of the bathing zone are in a similar state. Madeira continues on orange alert today, but that could be downgraded or even removed, as winds and rain ease off.

Today’s main news headline : Banana : Creditors smarting – The government assumed responsibility for the passive [debt] of the two banana cooperatives. Two years after, the business was even into profit, but the suppliers didn’t receive a cêntimo of the €7 million in arrears. The Regional Government asks another €30 million to pay the loan.

Fuel rationed and with queues on Porto Santo. The photo does show a queue of a dozen or so cars. This seems to be becoming quite a regular event, Porto Santo running out of petrol or whatever. Still, one can always keep a bicycle in the garage in reserve, as ones final destination on Porto Santo is never more than a few kilometres away.

Justice Police catch in Setúbal [Portugal] a member of the Martins ‘Gang’. Martins, with his gang, was the man who kidnapped and murdered an elderly businessman from Porto Santo last year, and since fled the country, and is believed to now be in Brazil. The other 45 year old gang member arrested on the continent, is suspected of the attempted murder of a 34 year old man in Quinta Grande, and is now being held in custody.  The man was shot 3 at times and seriously injured, but managed to survive.

The main sport / football headline today : Funchal gives up on ‘World Cup Square’ – The council doesn’t want to incur the expenses. At the same time, it is dealing with the matter of protecting trade in the city on the days of the games. Normally, for the two big football events (World Cup and Euro) the council puts up a big screen, and provides other facilities in the square in front of the town hall. I went to see a Portugal match there in 2008, and the quality of the screen picture was so bad, not to mention some bad behaviour from the fans, that I don’t think I would bother again.

If anyone else can oblige with the translation of any of the ‘blank’ or sparsely filled headlines, or other news stories, here is the link. All contributions much appreciated. 

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a photo or video, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please don’t send in automatic translations (like Google translator) without checking them through and correcting them first, thanks.

You can email [email protected] with any large contributions and photos / videos.


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12 thoughts on “5 flights a week from Finland ; Bad weather hits again ; Revellers in love ; Grape harvest”

  1. Interesting snippet about the malasadas Elaine, and the influx of Madeirans to Hawaii in 1878. I just tracked down a copy of the old book I recently sent an extract from, “Madeira, It’s Scenery and How To See It”… (the one with “Hold your tongue!” as a suggested phrase to use when travelling in a hammock). I found it in an internet bookshop in Hawaii and thought how odd that it should be there of all places. Maybe not so odd after all.

  2. We read before our annual January visit that the our favoured Sunday Lunch locale the Barra Azul in Praia Formosa had been badly damaged and were pleased to see it had not been.
    The video evidence of the latest storm shows the original reading was prophetic and very very poignant. We pray that this awful weather Madeira has suffered since before Christmas is a once in a lifetime event

  3. Lovely sunny day today , looking good for the carnival later, so hoping i will get a few photos.Have struggled to find photos of Saturdays carnival on the internet, maybe when tourist get home there will be a few more around.

  4. Der,
    We know that you can arrange most things in Madeira.
    Please ensure that the weather is OK from Mon. 22 Feb. when we arrive to help the Portuguese economy by buying much Coral beer, Madeira wine and patronising some very nice restaurants.
    Thanks in anticipation.

  5. Hey Tobi
    I think you’re on the right side of the island I keep reading you have sun whilst here in the west it’s been a bit stormy and raining on and off. Only the occasional warm burst of sun right now. 🙂

  6. I have had a chat with the man (or is it?) upstairs Mr. England, and he said that good weather is not planned that week, but he will see what he can do. He said that he will have to move the bad weather elsewhere instead, and asked if you had any suggestions as to where, and would you have a clear conscience as a result?

  7. Send it to Ford Anglia – Martin won’t mind too much.

    Martin, you are quite correct. What would Madeira be without the daily intake of pasteis de nata with coffee?
    Oh and a large Coral, of course.

  8. Angie, you are also correct.
    At about 10 euros per bottle, Maceira is definitely a bargain slurp and well recommended to end a very nice meal.
    I will raise a glass to you next week.


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