The Doors of Madeira

A New Reality

Saturday, August 8, 2020

 

So, just how long have we been living with this deadly virus, Covid19?

IT’S BEEN MONTHS!!!

What have you been doing to stay occupied and sane while we socially-distance; stay-at-home; self-isolate; quarantine; work-from-home; staycation and, generally, put our lives on hold???  Have you cleaned the cupboards and fridge?  Did you purge the closet and throw out/donate old clothes and shoes?  Did you plan and execute a remodel project (wow, good for you!)?  What about cooking—did you try new dishes or exotic cuisines?  Have you learned new skills; taken up new hobbies; played new games (just how many variations of solitaire are there?)

Yep, pretty much all the above and more!!!

Currently, we are into jigsaw puzzles.  Moved the library table into the family room so we could view the great outdoors and migrating wildlife as we try to fit 1000 tiny pieces of cardboard into colorful and cheerful pictures.  (Are jigsaw puzzles, like crossword puzzles, good for the brain?  Hope so!)  Discovered something wondrous and appealing about them:  certain puzzles can, like certain books, trigger pleasant memories of travels past.

Here’s a case in point:

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The Doors of the World by Ravensburger Puzzles, $19.99 at Amazon, 1000 pieces, 27” x 20” when completed.

This puzzle reminded us of our travels to Funchal, Madeira.  Specifically, we thought of the Zona Velha Cidade (Old Town) where the doors of homes, businesses and even garages are decorated with works of art!  Take a look:

Many of the Doors in Zona Velha, Funchal's Old Town, Are Really Works of Art
Many of the Doors in Zona Velha, Funchal’s Old Town, are really works of art.
Doors of Zona Velha
Some are simple.
Doors of Zona Velha
Many are colorful.
Some tell a story.
Some tell a story.
Some are amazingly beautiful.
Some are amazingly beautiful.
They are all different.
They are all different.
Even the garages are works of art!
Even the garages are works of art!

After exploring all these cleverly adorned portals, we were inspired to seek the beauty of other  openings visible throughout the city.  Let’s start with Fortaleza de Sao Tiago.  It was originally built as fortification against the pirates of the 16th-17th centuries.  Later, it housed British troops; military police; the Funchal Lancers Squad; and even the victims of a devastating flood.  From 1992 to 2014, it was home to the contemporary Art Museum of Funchal.

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Fortaleza de Sao Tiago as seen from the sea. This looks daunting. Well of course, it did successfully keep the pirates away!!!
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago (Fort Santiago)
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago (Fort Santiago)
The old fort contains a gazillion portals!!! Quite lovely.
The old fort contains a gazillion portals!!! Quite lovely.
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago offers captivating views of the sea.
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago offers captivating views of the sea.
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago with its inviting nooks and crannies.
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago with its inviting nooks and crannies.
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago. Love this view!!!
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago. Love this view!!!
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago. what a calming sight.
Fortaleza de Sao Tiago. What a calming sight.

And then, there are the doors of the charming city itself:

The old city gate of Funchal.
The old city gate of Funchal.
An old well in old town
An old well in Old Town
Entering Reid's Palace Hotel in Funchal, Madeira, Spain.
Entering Reid’s Palace Hotel in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.
The Funchal Cathedral
The Funchal Cathedral
Church of Santa Maria Major
Church of Santa Maria Major
The Bank of Portugal
The Bank of Portugal

Madeira is one of our favorite places.  It was claimed by Henry the Navigator’s Portuguese sailors in 1419 and settled in 1420.  This was the very first territorial discovery of the exploratory period of Portugal known as the Age of Discovery.  It is part of an archipelago that includes, not only Madeira but also Porto Santo and the Desertas Islands.  Along with the archipelago of the Savage Islands, this region is still administered by Portugal.

Well, this was a fun diversion!  We hope you, too, enjoy these jaunts down memory lane!!!  It’s just so nice that something as simple as a jigsaw puzzle can invoke such pleasant memories.  Imagine how exciting it will be to actually travel once again!!!

We can hardly wait!!!

2 thoughts on “The Doors of Madeira”

  1. Phenomenal! I remember seeing some of those doors in Funchal! Now, it is on the list for when we return there to search for even more. The fort was most interesting, too, and nice to see your excellent photos of it. Love your posts. Each one is an educational treat.

    We also hope to be back on a ship (to anywhere!) sooner than later. What we miss is having a cruise to research, to book, to look forward to. Your posts help a lot:)

    Patricia

    Like

    1. Oh, we know what you mean, Patricia!!! And although we realize the futility of it all (doubt any cruise schedules published today will be the reality when cruising actually resumes), we have none-the-less started researching, printing articles and writing up notes for those places on our bucket list. Right now, we’re looking at the Galapagos Islands. It’s always good to have a dream!!!

      Like

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