Showing posts with label Funchal Madeira. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Funchal Madeira. Show all posts

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Madeira Memories: Ribeira Brava

Clean up efforts are underway on Madeira, the Portuguese island off the coast of Northern African that was unexpectedly struck by deadly flooding on Saturday. Reports say that a month's worth of rain fell in eight hours, causing deadly mudslides and turning the artistic roadways into riverbeds. Among the hardest hit were Funchal, the cruise ship port and Ribeira Brava (pictured in this post) along the south side of the island.

Clean up is underway in those areas and Madeiran tourism officials are reporting that hotels on the north side of the island are operating and the airport is open. The same officials are saying that those who are planning to visit are being encouraged to do so. A good source of information about Madeira is Madeira Live.
[The photos above were taken during a one-day stop in Funchal last April; our first land stop after a week-long Atlantic Ocean crossing on a Holland America repositioning cruise. With no set plans for our day, we hopped a local bus and visited Ribeira Brava. The roadway wound around steep hillsides and we lost count of the numbers of hairpin turns and tunnels we experienced to reach the charming little town. Top photo is from the bus as we set out and second is Ribeira Brava.]

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Funchal, Madeira - 'a Ghost Town'

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of Madeira, the Atlantic island several hundred miles off the African coast, that has long been a popular stop for ships crossing the Atlantic. We've been fortunate to visit Funchal - one of our favorite ports of call - three times on cruises in recent years. The photos on this post were taken during our most recent visit in April 2009.

The BBC and MSNBC tonight are reporting the town of Funchal -- as well as other towns on the island -- were hit today with severe flooding resulting from a rainstorm with unexpected severity. Initial reports are estimating more than 20 persons killed and dozens injured. Their beautifully patterned black and white cobblestone streets are covered with mudslides and overturned cars are strewn about. A witness told the BBC that Funchal is 'a ghost town'.
We know all the cruise enthusiasts who've visited Madeira share our concern for the lovely people who have welcomed us over the years to their postcard-like garden island. We all will continue to monitor the events there with great sadness.


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