Off the starboard side I am greeted by the island of Madeira and it's mostly white buildings. Walking portside one of the other passengers points out a school of porpoise who are jumping to entertain us. During our breakfast the bridge has maneuvered the ship into the dock. And by 9 am the announcement is made that passengers are allowed to go ashore.
The main park just across the harbor looks close, but turns out to be a 30 -40 minute walk. The sun is peeking between clouds and the temperature is around 72F (22 C) so the walk is pleasant. We buy tickets and board the red Hop-On Hop-Off bus for the combined red and green line tour. The route takes us along the marina/port, to the starting point of the funicular, and through the city center. Then the bus climbs through the streets to Pico dos Barcelos. At 335 meters it is a good overlook of the city and the harbor so we hop-off to enjoy the view and take some photo's.
The bus continues on toward another city, Câmara de Lobos, and during the ride we see the tall cliffs bordering this part of the island. Câmara de Lobo was a favorite location for Sir Winston Churchill and he complete several paintings while visiting.
When the bus returns into the city center we hop-off to stroll through the narrow streets. We were warned in advance that on Sundays only a small number of stores will be open, which proves to be true. So, we decide to enjoy a late lunch at a local restaurant. After finishing a very good slice of quiche I explain to our waiter that I have never had Madeira wine. He explains that there are four types of Madeira wine ranging from very sweet digestive to very dry which some people might drink as an aperitif or with food. I opt for the very dry. The glass he brings me is quite nice, with almost an almond flavor and caramel color.