In my last article on my arrival to the beautiful island of Madeira, I referenced the city of Funchal, well, like I promised, this article is aim at more elaborate exploration on this very lively and wonderful city. And in the short time I’ve been here I have already seen so much that is kind of hard to pinpoint exactly the route I took, and even though I strongly advise some free roaming when visiting Funchal, I managed to divide the city by areas in order to best tell you what to see in this gorgeous city. This first one is dedicated to the lovely area of Funchal by the sea!
Before I write to you about what I’ve seen in the dock area of Funchal, I though it be important to tell a bit about the area’s story, as the seaside of Funchal has a recent, yet tragic, story. In February of 2010, heavy rains and strong winds came down on the city, flooding everything and causing major property damage, and even some casualties… And in the aftermath of that dreadful day, the downtown was full of rock, debris and mud. As a temporary way of cleaning all of it, the waste was put by the seashore as a permanent solution on where to put it was being developed. When the whole damage was dealt with, the idea was to repurpose all that dirt and rock and make a new square and park area for the residents, and so it was made, converting the old rocky beach of Funchal to a freshly build square for the people, aptly named Praça do Povo (people’s square).
In a lighter tone, the rebuilding was a success! And when arriving by ship you can clearly see it. The Docks were my first contact with the city, and it is impressive to see all the different types of ships that make their way to Funchal. And right next to the dock, with a wonderful view of the whole city seaside is the Santa Catarina Garden, which was lovely! And my first true realization that in Madeira there are a lot of lizards! Every crack has one at least! But the rest of the garden itself is really gorgeous, specially the lake with the swans and ducks, but unfortunately I was unable to see the small Santa Catarina Chapel, the first ever build in all of Madeira, due to the constructions still being done to dismantle the stage of the festival NOS Summer Opening the ended not long ago.
After the garden, just take the Avenida do Mar, an avenue that goes all the way trough the seaside, from the Garden of Santa Catarina to the very yellow São Tiago Fort, right at the edge of the sea.
But by the way, of course, take some time to see the Palace of São Lourenço and the aforementioned Praça do Povo, I specially like the square and even managed to take a night walk there and it was wonderful!
Hope you also want to enjoy Funchal by the sea! On my next article, I’ll tell you about the western area of the city, a tale of museums, malls and burgers!
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