Special Fishy feature ; Optimism for Portugal’s new budget ; Blue Flag applications caution

Today’s photo – Many thanks to Pete … Fish Market Funchal

madeira news blog 1002 pete Fish Market FunchalMany thanks to Elaine (East) for this web snippet :

The next few decades? 10 Species We’ve Lost Forever in Past Few Decades. 4. Madeiran Large White (2007) HERE

Many thanks to Becky for this video and two web snippets :

If my life took an eventful turn and I found myself requesting my last meal, it would probably be Filete de Espada com banana.  Here’s a recipe to try next time I’m in Funchal … or maybe I’ll just save the mess in the kitchen and head to a restaurant instead …

"There is a large brewery on the island, Coral, that makes some very acceptable beer. They brew a golden lager and a tonic (a sort of porter or stout) plus some light and low alcohol beers as well. The taste of both their lager and tonic are infinitely much more pleasing that mainland beers like Sagres and the insipid Super Bock – which is neither super or bock." BEERBLOG – WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

"It (therefore) continues to be the perfect place for a rejuvenating getaway right now, with wonderful hotels offering breathtaking views and special pampering services. Here are a few of the best." HERE

Paul very kindly sent these two articles in :

No singing and dancing orchids! Are you a flower lover? Have you explored the magical world of orchids in Madeira?

Jardim Orquídea. “Pregetter`s Orchid Garden is dedicated to all those who love nature and plants, so don’t expect to find just another garden. Neither will you find “tourist attractions” such as singing and dancing orchids. On the contrary, we devote our efforts to presenting everything in surroundings which are as natural as possible.

Jardim Orquídea is a genuine exhibition. We have built a miniature forest where you will have the opportunity to admire a wide variety of orchids, both in their original form and hybrids, as well as other tropical plants.

We have also built up a symbiosis of plants, birds and fish in the tropical biotope. The Garden’s small coffee shop on the terrace has breathtaking views over Funchal and serves Austrian and Madeira specialities.

The firm was founded in Austria during the time of the Imperial monarchy and since then four generations of the family have been dedicated to the research and development of new species of a wide variety of plants.

The Garden claims that visitors will find plants from every continent and be able to see blossoming plants throughout the year. And add that anyone who tells you that there are no plants in bloom at this time of year or that the Garden is closed to the public, is simply not familiar with Jardim Orquídea.

Great SLIDESHOW of the ‘Jardim Orquídea’ Rua Pita da Silva 37, Funchal, next to the Jardim Botanico. Jardim Orquidea website homepage

Madeira Top 10 for family activity holidays! Madeira is in the Top 10 pick of ‘the Guardian’ Newspaper’s for new family activity holidays in Europe whether it’s cooking, caving, dolphin-watching or riding donkeys!

Nicola Iseard writes there are plenty of opportunities for family adventure holidays in Europe and “wildlife lovers may be interested in travelling to Madeira in Portugal for a spot of dolphin and whale-watching. "You’ll also get a chance to spot some of Madeira’s sea birds"


Stunning walking routes

Photo from official tourism website

Visitors to the region can take advantage of the mountainous terrain by following stunning walking routes at Pousada Dos Vinhaticos, Quinta do Monte or Quinta do Estreito.

Link to The UK Guardian article



Also from Paul …

Optimism on Portugal’s austerity budget: “the Socialist government has cut a huge budget deficit before, when it soared beyond the EU limit in 2005”

“Trade union leaders in Portugal have called for a nationwide protest in May, following what they say was a successful strike on Thursday by public sector workers over pay cuts.

But politicians have vowed to rein in spending lest the country default on its debt, says the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford in Lisbon”.

Photo : Prime Minister Jose Socrates has some unpleasant medicine to administer : Link to BBC Article 

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

DIÁRIO 10/03/2010


ON Fusion Art by Porto Bay, 16 – 18 July. The third edition in the Old Zone of Funchal arrives earlier this year, normally held in September. The exhibitions bring together painting, photography, craft shows, multimedia design, fashion, dance, street theatre and other forms of expression. Events are held at: Largo do Corpo Santo, Rua de Santa Maria, Jardim do Almirante Reis and the Hotel Porto Santa Maria. The Porto Bay Group’s "duty" is to boost private enterprise in Funchal and accept its share of social and cultural responsibility. ON in the name is from the fusion of Old and New and means to activate, connect and energize. The revival and revitalization of the historic area is in mind during the three days of intense activities, including live performances. ON is a biennial event and the works of art are auctioned at a formal dinner for not-for-profit institutions. The first two events in 2006 and 2008 raised a total of 65,000 Euros for social services institutions, particularly the Associação de Paralisia Cerebral da Madeira (Association for Cerebral Palsy) and the Centro de Acolhimento de São Tiago (Shelter). Money raised this year is for the Associação dos Amigos da Arte Inclusiva – Dançando com a Diferença (Association of the Friends of Inclusive Arts – Dancing with a Difference) and the Associação de Desenvolvimento Comunitário do Funchal (Community Development Association).

Marina do Lugar de Baixo will get new protection. Technicians and government officials consider the best solution for the stones and other inert materials removed from the stream between Serra de Água and Ribeira Brava, and the stream at Tabua, is to use them to protect the marina. A Dutch study had suggested a stone breakwater with a width of 30/50 metres, 400 metres long and parallel to the quays, to protect the marina. The solution did not progress any further as it required 450,000 cubic metres of stone, at a cost of 40 million Euros. This is more than the investment made for the construction of the marina. The authorities at an emergency meeting were not all in agreement, although it resolves several problems in one foul swoop. The fact that it creates hundreds of jobs is enough to persuade the initially resistant mayor. Santos Costa ensures this solution is of no additional cost to the construction firm ‘Ponta Oeste’, and the Region will not have to take out a 40 million Euros bank loan. It is still not known if the stones should be deposited directly into the sea or stored on land for later use. Builders would prefer the stones to be used in construction work in the future. Technicians responsible for the study are trying to persuade the Regional Government that it would be quicker and cheaper to deposit directly into the sea. If the protection of the marina is guaranteed, the hotel and accommodation project of the Pestana Group will be one step closer. The amount of stones and inerts removed from the streams of Ribeira Brava and Tabua exceeds the amount removed from all three streams in Funchal. There is an estimated 400,000 cubic metres or 26,000 lorry loads.


Region submitting 16 applications for the Blue Flag. The Blue Flag status indicates that the beach meets a set of criteria for the natural environment and the safety and comfort of users. Last year, a record of 20 beaches were entered for the Blue Flag. In Funchal Municipality, Praias Nova and Areeiro (near to Praia Formosa) will not be entered this year because of the work at the promenade. The application for the Complexo Balnear do Lido has been withdrawn after recent storm damage. The beach at São Roque in Machico had the Blue Flag status suspended last year and an application was not submitted this year. None of the beaches in the Municipality of Ponta do Sol have been entered as the results of tests on the bathing water quality, leading to the withdrawal of the award in 2008. Also in 2008, the beach at Calheta had poor quality water and for the same reason, an application cannot be submitted this year. Of the 16 candidates submitted this year, 15 hoisted the Blue Flag last year. This year is the first time the Praia da Calheta in Porto Santo has been an applicant, bringing the number of possible flags on Porto Santo to three; the other two beaches at Fontinha and Ribeiro Salgado. In Madeira, the applicants are: Funchal – balneares da Barreirinha, Ponta Gorda/Poças do Governador, Doca do Cavacas/Poças do Gomes, Clube Naval do Funchal and Praia Formosa; Santa Cruz – Palmeiras, Roca Mar, Galo Mar and Garajau; São Vicente – praia da Ponta Delgada, and local beaches at Porto Moniz and Ribeira Brava. The authorities hope the beach and complex at Ribeira Brava will be fit with everything working by the start of the season (June 1). The National Blue Flag Commission starts to assess candidates from Friday 12th March and the results will be announced in May. — Have I lost a beach, as I count only 15 here? Even worse Elaine, in a press announcement by the president of Ribeira Brava, says that with so much muck and so little time it is very unlikely that an application will be made, although he says that he thinks the water quality will be good enough regardless. Better not to apply than be refused.Oh bugger I just read the next article! Der

Candidature of Ribeira Brava might be suspended. Following on from the last item, the Mayor of Ribeira Brava thinks the application for the beach at Ribeira Brava to gain Blue Flag status should be withdrawn. The council has not discussed the suspension. He thinks this precaution is needed as there is a lot of work to be done, particularly in Tabua and Serra de Água. During the flooding on February 20th, the entire sea front and the basin inside the breakwater were completely littered with debris. The area surrounding the beach is still strewn with waste despite the removal of a large amount of material. Some of the mud removed during the clean-up was discharged directly into the sea near the beach front and into the river, whose flow has taken it to the shore. The mayor, Ismael Fernandes, believes the quality of sea water will be good during the summer season even if the Blue Flag is not raised.

Marginal serves as a dump for rubble. The coastal road between Ribeira Brava and Tabua is used for storing the debris removed after the flood of February 20th. Since last week, lorry loads of inerts mixed with rubbish, washed ashore during the flooding, have been deposited in the section beneath the parish cemetery. The Chairman of the Council assures that the situation is temporary, allowing a quick recovery back to normal life and an attractive county. The mayor is convinced there is no risk to Public Health as the area is safe and away from the populated area.

Landslide in marginal. Part of the coastal road connecting Ribeira Brava and Tabua has been impassable since May 2007, after a landslide. The Regional Laboratory of Civil Engineering predicted the area was in imminent danger of further landslides. The road remained closed and the mayor declared there were safer alternatives, particularly through the tunnel. During the recent storm, a large amount of earth and stones falling onto the road have ruled out the reopening of this section.

Lagoa do Lugar de Baixo should be fully restored within a month. This pond is a vital nesting site for sea birds in spring. The Regional Director of the Environment says the storm of 20th February destroyed this breeding ground, as the pond is now a "deposit" of gravel and debris. The clean up will start immediately but some problems will need to be solved, as there are many  tons of debris. The material will be screened for either usability or transport to secure sites. Just a large duck pond is it not? Der

5,000 pounds in solidarity from London.  A solidarity dinner on Sunday night at Brixton Recreation Centre raised 5,000 pounds for Madeira. The event was attended by both Madeirans and British. 500 tickets at 10 pounds a head were sold within two weeks. The Ambassador of Portugal in London and his wife attended and he provided information on the situation of people in Madeira. Lambeth Life newspaper published a report of the storm with details of a solidarity bank account. The dinner was accompanied by two folk groups and a variety act.



Funchal has relocated 168 people. Seven council teams are surveying 804 homes hit by the bad weather. 168 people belonging to 45 families have been rehoused. 254 of these 804 cases emerged after March 1st. This is related to the fact that some people were staying with family and friends, and there have been problems identified by other organizations that have now been relayed to the council. The teams will distinguish the situations which require an urgent solution and detect any opportunism. Some residents are resistant to returning as they are still traumatized and fearful of further landslides.

Dolce Vita reopens Friday. The Dolce Vita mall reopens this Friday, 12th March. It is a partial reopening and at present, there are no more details. It won’t include Pingo Doce for sure. Der

Health Centre of Gaula completed this year.  The parliamentary group of the PSD visited the expansion and improvement of the Health Centre of Gaula, in the municipality of Santa Cruz. This is an investment of 600,000 Euros. There are 4,000 inhabitants in Gaula, of which 3,700 are voters. There has been a considerable increase in the local population in recent years, requiring a more than doubling of the existing facilities. Currently, the health service is working temporarily in former offices of the parish council.


The Port of Funchal receives more passengers. The Port of Funchal received 6.5% more passengers this January and February than in 2009. There were 41 calls with 81,709 passengers, of which 79,078 were in transit – the rest were embarking / disembarking. This was the same number of cruise ships as last year but they have more capacity. This is despite cancellations in February due to the floods. — From March 8th Diário, my translation of their article on port movements did not make sense – not unusual with their difficult statistics. I understood they stated a 3.1% decrease in cruise ship passengers since 2009. Don’t worry Elaine, there were two conflicting articles just yesterday, and I only scanned the newspaper. Der

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

The national Socialist Party rediscover the charms of Madeira – Jorge Lacão and Francisco Assis are the socialists that come next. They come to the daily parliamentary work. Wow … gripping headline stuff to  get started with! Couldn’t possibly be a jolly I suppose?

Solidarity shows (concert) continue – UHF play today in Coimbra in an event for Madeira. Can’t say I have heard of them, but they look like a bunch of rockers from the photo. Thanks lads!

Today’s main news headline : University has means to forecast the weather – Researcher at the University of Madeira defends the cross-over [overlap?] of the various meteorological forecasts and the coordination between several entities as a way of predicting catastrophes.

Landslides generate outrage and fear in Jardim do Mar.

Tunnel between Meia Légua and Serra de Água cannot proceed sooner because it is "expensive".

Road cleaning finishes off the agricultural exploration [farm?] in Arco de São Jorge. 

Accounts of the Câmara without comment from the TC [Auditors]. The 2008 accounts of Funchal Council passed the ‘court of auditors’ scrutiny without a single criticism. Not a single irregularity, financial or in process. A rare event indeed apparently, sufficient to make the front page of Madeira’s top independent newspaper. I should be patting Miguel Albuquerque, president of the Câmara, on the back, with my hearty congratulations, but too many other unexplainable thoughts are swimming around my head preventing my hands coming out of my pockets.

TAP pilots strike doesn’t hit Madeira – Operation to and from Madeira keeps going during the six days of labour withdrawal. The announcement was made by the pilots union SPAC, saying that Madeira would be excluded from the industrial action scheduled between 26th and 31st of March.   Shrewd move there Srs. TAP pilots, ‘cos solidarity for Madeira is currently running much much stronger than solidarity for TAPs undernourished pilots.

The main sports / football headline today : Real Madrid is out of the Champions league – Cristiano Ronaldo scored but doesn’t avoid the elimination against Lyon.

20 clubs contest the billiards [pool] association.

Bernardo Sousa comes to the rally on Porto Santo.

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 blog@madeira4u.com with any large contributions and other material.


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5 thoughts on “Special Fishy feature ; Optimism for Portugal’s new budget ; Blue Flag applications caution”

  1. Good News!
    Just picked up from the Diario, the Beer House (on Funchal waterfront) is reopening tomorrow, Friday!

    Vic our accountants want our IRS totals a bit later (late March or early
    April, for electronic submission). It seems to depend which bracket you
    are in. Best to check with the man at the Loja.

  2. As a regular reader but infrequent contributer to the blog I am writing to say what an invaluable service the blog provided during the recent flood crisis. From what one reads, it would appear that much has been done to return life to being as normal as possible, at least on the surface. This is very important for the economy of Madeira, but it does not mask the fact that for many of the individual people affected it will be a long time, if ever, before life will return to normal. With an apartment in Funchal, which I am pleased to say was not affected, I wanted to contribute in some way and wanted my contribution to be put to good use by an organisation that would use it effectively to help the people so I asked my Solicitor (now Maderian friend) to suggest an organisation His response was as follows:-” If you wish to make a contribution, I would sugest a non profitable organitazion called Caritas Diocesana, which has been doing a fantastic job:”

    Bank: Montepio Geral
    Account: “Cáritas Ajuda a Madeira”
    Number (NIB): 00 3600 0099 1058 7824 394

    I just thought that other blog readers might want to be aware of this organisation also.

    Finally I wish to thank Der for the blog and to the people who provided information during those crucial few days. What a great community it proved to be!

    Just because I want to, I am also going to make a one off contrubition to the blog as I think that Der deserves a trip down town to see his mates. I hope his watering hole is open of course!

    Wishing you all well in Madeira


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