Our cruise to Spain was exactly what we wanted — kind of like the slow boat to China. We left Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a Sunday and spent twelve days at sea. It was eight days from departure for our first stop – the Portuguese island of Madeira. By then we had begun to unwind and felt like we were finally on vacation.
The ancient barricade wall at Funchal
Painted on the barricade
The capital of Madeira is Funchal and that is where our ship docked. What a beautiful place. The trip up to the peak of the mountain in a taxi allowed us to stop at some spectacular gardens.
Then we rode the cable-car back down to the city. It was hair-raising but worth it for the fabulous views. Old buildings, beautiful churches, tiny gardens clinging to minute spaces on the steep hillside. Definitely a must see.
A resident of the gardens
We had a fabulous trip, starting out from Vancouver airport. We had a stop in Montreal, then straight down to Fort Lauderdale. We were lucky enough to stay in Florida for five days. It was lovely, we visited friends in Fort Myers on the western side of the state, who live in a gated community — quite different from our sprawling landscape. Then we travelled over to Cayo Costa which is west of Fort Myers to visit some Canadian friends who spend the winter down there on their boat — again very different from our ability to take up as much room as we need. It was beautiful, we saw manatees, a gorgeous lagoon and were fed a delicious lunch.
The ferry taking us to Cayo Costa
The bay of Cayo Costa
When we sadly left our friends to return to Fort Lauderdale, we were ready to board our cruise ship for a trip across the Atlantic. Never imagined we would ever do this, but it was fascinating. More to come. 🙂