Funchal centre was a shock in a way. We are used to going into town of an evening and there being lots of bars and most of these would be playing music.
There are bars but these tend to be quiet until you go inside and some do play music then. Most others are eating places and have an area to drink as well.
For anyone who likes football, and fortunately we do; most bars have several televisions showing different games. For those on a diet be aware; with every new drink you can get a bowl of nuts or crisps, which are often eaten without you realizing it.
One of the main evening entertainments is sitting in one of the restaurants and having a leisurely meal with wine and watching the world go by. Having eaten in the hotel, we did sit in a couple of bars in a quaint square, situated in the old town, for a drink and enjoyed the singers; buskers really with their guitar cases open for tips.
If you look at my sketch above, you will notice the leprechaun. I just wanted to make sure that you understood that I had not had too much to drink! It was a painting on the wall, honestly!
On one occasion we wandered into town and one of the squares had been set up for a fashion show. We didn't have tickets but as we asked around one of the designers was kind enough to give us two of his tickets.
This was a fascinating experience and a first for us. We were impressed with some of the designers work but a little flummoxed by the last one, until we decided that they were highlighting the jewellery. I have to admit, I couldn't see the men of Salford wearing the clothes on show.
Although most of the shops closed quite early, we did manage to buy a few souvenirs. We bought my father -in-law a bottle of a traditional rum drink called Poncho. Obviously I had to sample it first; it was sweet with lemon and very potent!
Funchal had a relaxed atmosphere and we felt safe wandering around the old town, down dark alley ways, discovering old buildings and churches.
On the last night we went for a walk to the Harbour to see the design centre built on top of a large rock outcrop. Although we did take our life in our hands getting there, as a local cycle group were riding up and down the road at quite a speed.
Having searched for a way in and nearly giving up, a couple arrived and we followed them and found the lift door on the harbour side. We went up in the lift and the outlook at the top was stunning. The design centre featured work by Nini Andrade Silva, who did interiors for hotels etc. These were stunning, but unfortunately there was a private function on and most of the centre was closed.
We were fortunate enough to catch the final sunset as it reflected off places on the other side of the bay. The houses lit up as it became darker and added to the effect.
We finished the night off with a drink at a local bar, overlooking the harbour, that had its own micro brewery. A fitting end to an excellent holiday on Madeira.