Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012; Whale/dolphin watching; Tobogganing; Jeep safaris; Amor Electro; ‘Mary Stuart’ production in English at Baltazar Dias Theatre; Restaurants cutting prices; Jerónimo Martins transfers stocks to Netherlands;

International, Portugal and Madeira News from Paul Abbiati:

Guimarães: one of two European Capitals of Culture 2012



“Guimarães (Portugal) is one of the two European Capitals of Culture 2012
from the 1st January 2012. However the official programme of events begins
on 13 January in the other capital Maribor and 21 January in Guimarães. Both
cities have a busy calendar of events planned for the year.

From 1 January, the Portuguese city of Guimarães and the Slovenian city of
Maribor take over the title of European Capitals of Culture 2012. According
to Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture,
Multilingualism and Youth, this title is an opportunity to boost a city’s
long-term development through culture, to increase tourism and jobs.

Since the Council ratified the appointment of cities as European Capitals of
Culture for the years 2012, the official launch of Maribor 2012 programme
will take place over the weekend of 13-15 January, with activities that
include music, theatre and dance performances. Numerous and varied cultural
events, combining traditional and innovative approaches, from carnival to
contemporary dance, are planned throughout the year. On the other hand,
Guimarães will open its festivities on Saturday 21 January with a theatre
and multimedia open-air show. Its programme for the year focuses on four
themes: City, Community, Thought and Arts.

The European Capital of Culture initiative is funded by the EU Culture
Programme and it celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010. This EU initiative
aims to highlight the richness, diversity and shared characteristics of
European culture and promote understanding among citizens. The title has a
long-term impact, not only on culture but also in social and economic terms,
both for the city and for the surrounding region.

Following Guimarães and Maribor in 2012, the future European Capitals of
Culture will be Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2013, Umeå
(Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014, and Mons (Belgium) and Plzeň (Czech
Republic) in 2015..”


Official site of Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012:

Whale/dolphin watching; Tobogganing; Jeep safaris;

From Manchester Evening News

Whale/dolphin watching

“So we enjoyed a whale and dolphin watching trip offering gorgeous views of
the island.

We were accompanied much of the way by a pod of some 100 dolphins. They
appeared to be checking us out as much as vice versa, with the little ones
happily leaping into the air.”

At least six species of dolphins can be seen around the island at various
times of the year and even more whales

“At least six species of dolphins can be seen around the island at various
times of the year and even more whales – sadly it wasn’t our day for whales.
I’ve been dolphin and whale watching before but that was in New Zealand – in
the cold – and I didn’t much enjoy it. But with friendly guides in a nippy
little boat on a sunny day, I can recommend it in Madeira.”


“Next there came an elegant take on extreme sports – tobogganing down the
steep, winding streets on the outskirts of Funchal in a kind of whicker
cradle for two – on skis. It wasn’t very fast I have to say, but for sheer
weirdness, it was one of my highlights.

You are aided in your descent by two men dressed in smart white trousers and
shirt topped off with a straw hat – in my head they look much like Venetian
gondoliers. They stand on the back of your toboggan and helpfully offer
speed and direction as you go down.”

“In thick rubber soles they can push you along with one foot, while using
walls and bouts of running to steer. The soles are particularly important
for slowing down, when wisps of dark smoke start rising from the concrete.

You can take the cable car up offering stunning views and then toboggan back
down. The island sits atop a volcano – all be it one that hasn’t erupted for
at least 6,500 years.”

Jeep safari

“And the next day saw us take a four-hour jeep safari high into the hills of
the ancient rock. The word safari doesn’t mean the same thing as in say
Kenya, mind you.

It’s more of a flora and fauna tour – there are next to no wild animals in
Madeira, not even squirrels or rabbits – and few birds. But the 4×4 still
took us up some rugged terrain and afforded us fabulous photo opportunities
from some of the island’s highest points.”


Amor electro!

Production of ‘Mary Stuart’ em inglês no Baltazar Dias Theatre

13-15 January, 2012

link to Diario Newspaper article

Restaurants cutting prices trying to spare customers from hikes

From Portugal Daily View

“Restaurants are cutting prices trying to spare customers from hikes” reports
Público Newspaper on Tuesday

“..saying that in order to lose no customers after the recent rise in
VAT businesses in the restaurant sector are sacking staff and supporting the
costs themselves.”

From Paul: Is this blog readers experiences in Madeira?

Madeira Diario Newspaper article:

Jerónimo Martins transfers stocks to the Netherlands

From Portugal Daily View

Correio da Manhã Newspaper writes:

“about the sale of the 56% of Jerónimo Martins owned by the Soares dos Santos family in the Jerónimo Martins company to a firm based in the Netherlands, which is also
owned by the same family…”

From the Jerónimo Martins official site:

“Founded in 1792, Jerónimo Martins is a Portuguese Group of international stature in the food business, operating in the Distribution, Manufacturing and Services sectors.

Our main activity is Food Distribution: through our supermarket (Pingo Doce) and cash & carry (Recheio) chains in Portugal and food store chain in Poland (Biedronka), we meet the needs of millions of consumers, offering a value proposition based on quality at competitive prices every day…”


4 thoughts on “Guimarães European Capital of Culture 2012; Whale/dolphin watching; Tobogganing; Jeep safaris; Amor Electro; ‘Mary Stuart’ production in English at Baltazar Dias Theatre; Restaurants cutting prices; Jerónimo Martins transfers stocks to Netherlands;”

  1. Well I for one am interested Elaine – be good to see you back in print!

    Does anyone know, with the prolonged dry spell that we have had, whether the upper reaches have had much rain? Indeed, any information as to the “resevoir/Levada” tank levels would be appreciated – we are having to water our gardens every other day!

    SO sorry about the proposed block in front of you Elaine – I do know that the Camara de Santa Cruz did recently “validate” some new building works for “renovation and improvement” in Canico – but in Garajau …… personaly I think enough is enough ?!?!?!?!? Not on, sorry.

  2. I do believe all of the concepts you have presented for your post. They’re really convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for novices. May you please extend them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.


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