Porto Bay’s 11th hotel, and its first in Lisbon, has finally been officially opened with “great fanfare” – almost ten years after the start of the project. The “Liberdade” is not far from the Marquês de Pombal in the heart of the city, and boasts a 1920’s facade which has been maintained. Lots of politicians and tourism heavyweights attended the ceremony, although the hotel has actually been welcoming guests for some months. €24 million has been invested in the project, which employs 60 people.
TripAdvisor top ten
Madeira has been voted the 6th best island destination in the world in a competition run by TripAdvisor, who asked travellers to vote across a number of categories (link above). The usual suspects appear above Madeira, with Providenciales (“Provo”) in the Turks & Caicos taking first place. It was also rated as second best in Europe after the Greek island of Santorini.
The House of Culture in Câmara de Lobosis, until May 22, hosting a solo exhibition by Fatima Spinola, entitled "Risk – who’s afraid of the pencil?". The exhibits include a series of drawings, prints and paintings by the artist from Santana, which he describes as "a set of portraits and self-portraits, figurative and conceptual, marking many moments and moods".
Facebook page here.
Hours: Mon to Fri. from 10.00 to 19.00
Red Cross food collections this weekend
The Portuguese Red Cross (CVP) launches a national campaign today with three days of collection of food and essential goods that target poor households supported by the organization across the country. As usual, during the three days CVP volunteers will be in many supermarkets, including some in Madeira, to collect any non-perishable food donated by customers (if you want to take part they suggest milk, flour, olive oil, cereals, rice, pasta, sugar, and canned foods – just pop a few items in a separate carrier bag). The donated food is distributed to needy families identified by around 100 branches of the Red Cross, who claim that 2.6 million people in the country live at risk of poverty.
ARMAS ferry – rumoured to return?
A number of non-mainstream sources have been reporting over the last few days that the ferry from the mainland to Madeira is set to return, possibly as early as the end of next month. Nothing credible to add to this, other than a slightly positive comment from the son of the owner of ARMAS, indicating that talks may be taking place. If anything happens it will appear here.