Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Highs and Lows of Madeira

Madeira is a wonderful escape.  A beautiful Portuguese island blessed with fabulous massive ferns and exotic plants. 

Nearly two years now since our last visit but still remains firmly in our memory and it felt right somehow to do another post on this amazing island.

Oh and it would be rude not to mention the banana plants.  All over the island, absolutely incredible and look as if they are some prehistoric species :) 

The capital of Madeira is Funchal where you'll find International Hotels, vibrant restaurants and contemporary art spaces.   With its cafes and bars spilling into narrow alleyways it's hardly any wonder that it's buzzing with tourists and definitely a place to visit.

We stayed in Calheta which is much quieter but visited Funchal for a day and definitely wouldn't have wanted to miss it.

The highs ....

The cable car ride is a must for panoramic views over Funchal. 

I'm not much of an adventurer and a little nervous about doing anything out of the ordinary, but it would have been daft not to do this!
 As you can see, I'm smiling so it couldn't be that scary :)
Sadly we went just after the fires and some of the scenes below us were devastating.  People who had lost their homes to flames started purposely is hard to believe.  More on this in a previous blog.

Please, if anyone is lucky enough to go sometime soon, can you take some photos from the cable car to confirm that some of this beauty has been restored.  It would be lovely if you can share with us by email.  Happy to credit you with the images.  We just want to know all is well once more.

The lows .....

Ah you see I mean at ground level!  You must walk along the promenade, actually you'll have to, to get to and from the Cable car.

Take the kids to sit in the ice cream cones and buy ice cream of course!  Plenty of choice here and delicious.
And apparently the Madeira's own coca cola is Brisa which comes in different flavours.  Brisa Marecuja is the most popular made from the juice of purple passion fruit.  I haven't tasted it but if you do, let us know!

Oh and for the adults Poncha is the Madeira drink of choice, specially for celebrations.  It's made from sugar-cane rum, honey, sugar and lemon juice.  Yes, indeed, absolutely delicious, easy to drink and very potent.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Where to stay.  Well of course we can only recommend where we stayed in Calheta at The Savoy 

However, there are many many places, of course, and if you can recommend please get in touch we're always pleased to hear of recommendations.

There is so much to see and do and I could go on for ages ...... but if you want to know more ......

Another high is the tropical gardens which is at the top, once you disembark the cable car!  Prepare to be amazed :)

If you're going you will be sure to have a truly wonderful experience.
Enjoy and be sure to share with us!

And we will be sure to share with you another beautiful island very soon. :) 

Bye for now and as they say in Portuguese 'Tchau' 
See you soon = te vejo em breve

Monday, 7 May 2018

A Walk to Sooth your Soul in Lymington

If you live local to Lymington or even if you're on holiday here or hereabouts, these bluebell woods are a must visit. 
The vibrant colours in the sunlight were exquisite this morning.

Bluebell Woods at Efford Bridge Lymington (Efford Bridge, Lymington SO41 0JE).  You may have to park a little bit further along the road, but the walk is worth it.  

Or take a bus ride from Lymington High Street to Efford Bridge, Milford Road.  The pathway is right beside the bus stop.

Straight up the path beside the field where you are met by sheep abaaing ......... 
 .......'It's ok for you but we're over heating just so you can have a woollie coat in the Winter!'  :)

and through the gate to the woods where all paths, as you can see below, lead you to bluebells in abundance. 

 And the sweetest little white flowers in between trying to do their best to compete.  Actually they're not doing a bad job at all.
Be a shame to miss them. 

Still a bit muddy under foot so be sure to wear walking shoes. 

Also keep well covered to keep biters at bay! 

This is definitely a walk to sooth your soul and leave you remembering what a beautiful world we live in.