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Virtual Tour of Funchal - boat trips from marina, Madeira, Portugal

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Lois R says:
"My arrival in Funchal is one of my very best travel memories as I did so early one May morning, on the cruise ship Independence of the Seasí maiden voyage to the Canary Islands. I was relaxing in the spa pool, set out over the side of the ship, as we experienced a fantastic island welcome: tug boats shooting out huge, towering plumes of water and hooting merrily, thousands upon thousands of Funchal residents out to see the massive leisure ship slowly easing its way into the port for its first visit. What a treasured memory that is for me. Funchal is beautiful from the sea, from the waterfront the town rises 1200metres up into the hills behind this stunning cosmopolitan city which is the largest of Portugalís islands towns and cities. We chose not to do an excursion tour here and we strolled around the old town, visiting an old yellow fort beside the sea, went to the colourful and exciting market near the centre of the commercial part of town. I pushed my friend along old cobble streets, a bit of a task, and on the way back we looked opposite and there was a perfectly smooth footpath so when you go be sure to seek out the newer pedestrian ways. Over 100,000 people call Funchal their home but the population swells most days with visitors arriving by air and from the copious amounts of cruise ships which call into this island paradise. We stayed around the town, which has been Madieraís capital for over 500 years, but you can go up the Cable Car to the east and explore the Monte Palace and Gardens and especially the tropical gardens. The view will be 'out of this world' from here I am sure! Being beside the sea you can do boat trips, we walked along beside the marina and it seemed to me that it was what a mariner would call a 'sailors delight'. We also went into a seaside, permanent, covered market and that was interesting with a varied array of shopping: craft, clothes and souvenir selection. You can include it in a marine walk which is long and there is plenty to see as you meander beside the sea in beautiful, stunning Funchal."
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