20 de Janeiro de 2018.

Island Oddities

The strange case of the Principality of Pontinha. Due to their isolated nature, island nations tend to exhibit a heightened sense of the bizarre. I am well aware of this from my home country, with its Byzantine cultural norms and eccentric Monarchy. Madeira is no different, a notable example being the existence of the Principality of Pontinha. Founded by the now Dom Renato Barros I, a former art teacher, Pontinha is a micronation based around an islet on Funchal’s harbour. It was purchased for just shy of £20,000 from the Blandy family, who had themselves purchased the land from the city of Funchal in order to fund a redevelopment of the port in 1903. Barros himself has speculated that if […]
19 de Janeiro de 2018.

A French Guy in Funchal: The Sequel

My time here on Madeira Island stays very nice, tiring but increasingly interesting. Let’s talk about another subject than food, that is to say food, and two famous pastries in all Portugal! My pleasure, shared I’m pretty sure by many other people, is eating pastries, all bakeries Portuguese have! And the one I could go for from France to Portugal by foot or even by swimming to enjoy is definitely “Pastéis de nata”. This is a little eggs flan tartlet, sold in other countries in a sad way in supermarkets when It’s not artisanal. Indeed I tasted it in France just before coming to Madeira and to Portugal, and that wasn’t such a nice moment. Because when It’s industrial you […]
18 de Janeiro de 2018.

Winter in Madeira

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. This is a phrase Madeira definitely lives by Whenever people ask me about Madeiran weather I simply just say “mood swings”. You just never know. During the summer it is mostly warm, dry but also humid. And even I, who arrived here in the beginning of September, had to wait a month or more to experience rain in Funchal. By now I am always carrying an umbrella. The biggest city on Madeira is located in the south, where it is usually sunnier than in the north. This island can have all four seasons at once. And that is during the summer. In winter a single city often has all […]
17 de Janeiro de 2018.

Indian food in Madeira

How Indian cuisine found its way to Madeira (en route from England and South Africa). Paradoxically, Indian food is the national dish of the United Kingdom. For many British people a curry is a frequent treat, so my surprise was palpable when I found several Indian restaurants in Funchal serving British-Indian fusion classics such as Tikka Masala. Perhaps this is a consequence of the myriad British tourists who holiday in Madeira every year. But there is usually a deeper justification. My initial assumption was that one of the many British expatriates of Madeira’s history had popularised the cuisine here. This notion was substantiated by the presence of an Indian Infantry Division at the Jesuits’ College in 1941. The company was […]
16 de Janeiro de 2018.

Full of memories

I have already experienced so much, and there is still so much to do! The most beautiful places and moments in your life will always stay in your heart and memories. But what I’m scared of here is that I experience so many moments and see so many places that I want to remember the rest of my life, but the memories just fade away. I can’t choose if I will remember my last weekend’s hike or the moments when I’m laughing with my roommates so hard, that I fall from my bed. When I’m going to be 55 and I will look back to this year, I hope I’ll remember how I felt in the special moments. The other […]