Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Have Some Madeira M'dear? (1)

Or a Slice of Cake?
fbb has never been to Portugal, cannot read Portuguese and his only experience of Madeira is a slice of cake and a superb song by the late great Flanders and Swann.

Here's the song ...
... best viewed in full screen. Here's the cake ...
... best eaten in large quantities. And here is the wine ...
... best avoided, apparently!

And here is the Island, part of Portugal and plonked in the Atlantic ...
... go west from Morocco.
Here is a view of the capital, Funchal.
Finally, in this introduction, is a bus terminus.
Note that it offers gorgeous views up the valley (and down in the other direction), a luxurious shelter with no timetable information and a layby where the sign writer cannot get his "S" stencil the right way round.

Welcome to Madeira's public transport!
So what on earth is fbb doing in Madeira, however "virtual" the experience. Blame Andrew, a regular correspondent on blogging matters. A few weeks ago, he sent your enquiring author a PDF of a Funchal bus timetable.

"You may find it interesting," he wrote. With no knowledge of Portuguese, the tag "interesting" might be inappropriate. But as ever, fbb loves a challenge.

So here goes.

This is a view along Avenida do Mar (Sea Avenue) at Funchal with the main port in the background, left.
If you are in the mood for Google Streetview, you can turn through 180 edgress and you will see a queue of buses. A little beyond that is a small bus station ...
... the other terminus of the route into the mountains referred to above. Just beyond the bus station is the TelefĂ©rico. When fbb was nobbut a lad, his father decided to demonstrate his Meccano skills by making a "Telfer Span"; it involved a chair back, string and some complex pulley arrangement. It never worked but today it would be referred to as a cable car.
Lo and behold, there is the base station ...
... whence we can "live the experience" (?)
So far, fbb is doing quite well with his linguistic ignorance.
Coming along nicely! We can understand Tickets, Adult, Child, Free and Single but we might struggle with the Portuguese for "Return". 
Mayhap "Yellow Bus" will be an easy translation exercise ...
... and the stops are labelled in English!
Trip Advisor advises:-

You can purchase a ticket for a 24hr or 48hr hop on/off ticket. If I were you I'd go for the 48hr as we did. Its a great way to get around and you can get on or off where ever you like, as long as its on the tour rout of course. On the first day we took the bus early on in the morning and ended up at the 2nd highest cliff in the world ...
... after a mini bus connection at a small village,Camera De Lobos. The mini bus was also included using the same 48hr bus ticket.
Tomorrow we take the Teleférico before planning our bus trip.

 Next Madeira blog : Wednesday 19th April 

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