Heavy rain in Funchal
Today we have breakfast at nine. Later and later!
The weather is grey and stormy. Heavy clouds drift in from the sea and unload their cargo. Nobody seeks absolution in the pool.
I go to the PC and write a couple of mails, but at 10 o'clock it is still raining heavily. The weather is definitely unfit for any out-door activity, and the lobby is filled with guests chatting, reading and playing cards. Our trip to Monte is cancelled or postponed.
That is okay. Being on holiday it is good to be lazy, so we make ourselves comfortable in our room and spend the time reading. At 6 in the afternoon some light breaks through, and armed with umbrellas we abandon ship.
Even though the rain is less heavy now, we prefer to find a place nearby instead of going to the old town. West of the hotel is a street, Rua Imperatriz Do Amelia, with several restaurants. It is obvious that the vicinity to the hotels boosts prices, however it isn't expensive.
The Prince Albert Pub
It is still early, so we drop in at The Prince Albert Pub, a pub in English Victorian style. There's a snooker table and on two large TV-screens you can watch world cup cricket from South Africa or soccer. The chairs are dark bamboo and could be made locally. The wooden floor looks as if a platoon with hobnailed boots dances here on Fridays. The guests sound British and look British - they obviously feel at home.
If the atmosphere isn't truly English it is an impressive imitation. Helle gets an Irish Kilkenny with creamy head and I a Madeiran Coral. Happy Hour begins at 18.30. More Brits invade the place, and they have not come for a cup of tea.
We're now more in need of food than foam and leave the Albert for a trattoria a few meters up the street. Helle gets scrimp cocktail, and I get prawns in garlic. The prawns are delicious, but it is greasy work to rid them of their armour.
For main course we get spaghetti with beef, ham and mushrooms. The spaghetti is overcooked and is more "al niente" than "al dente". The tomato sauce is more cream than tomato, and the overall impression is a bit sickly.
It has been a day without exotic adventures and impressions, but one cannot negotiate the weather, and frankly it has been nice just to relax with a good novel. Tomorrow morning we leave for Denmark - end of holiday.
Madeira has been a pleasant experience. A few days it could have rained less, but I guess that's the way it is in February, and when you come from the cold North with frost and snow, it is wonderful with 20°C and less clothing than the Michelin Man. We have had a nice time - batteries recharged.