Europe 2014 Day 6: Monte and Happy New Year

Wednesday December 31, 2014
Another late morning start, but hey, we are on vacation so it’s a-ok! We headed for the Jardim Botanico and the Teleférico. It was a few twists and turns rough the narrow streets, but we found the upper entrance. One thing I noticed is that there was a lot of cruise ships in the harbor for tonight’s festivities. This has led to a large number of shore excursion busses all over the place. We bought our tickets for the combo pack and headed into the gardens. They were nice, but simple and it was a nice relaxing walking tour.

It was time for lunch so we ate at the little mini-cafe at the base of the skyway. It’s had such a spectacular view and I’m sure it helped make my pizza that much tastier. I was surprised how much I liked it. Maybe I was just low on grease in my system. After a leisurely lunch it was time for the skyway (aka Teleférico). Nathan was a bit nervous but he was a trooper as we headed up the steep climb to Monte.

At the top of the skyway in Monte, it was clear there were a lot of cruise line passengers up there. The line for the traditional wicker sleds was huge so we skipped it, although I did get some fun photos. We toured the church (insert name here), which was nice, and they had a walk through nativity scene and Nathan pointed out that something must have happened to baby Jesus because he was a lot newer than the other figures. It was then time to head down the hill and to the villa. We decided to stop at the shopping center in Funchal, as Nathan needed to get some clothes to wear for the big night out. I tried to convince him to get the fun shirt, but he opted for practicality and repeat uses. After H&M we did some grocery shopping for tonight’s dinner.

Back at the villa, we took quick disco naps and then ate dinner. Nathan and Mark whipped up a tasty Fish dish that per my liking was unrecognizable as a fish (despite the occasional bone). They are both great in the kitchen and I felt pretty useless. It sure beat having to eat out every night. We then watched some RuPaul’s Drag Race on Mark’s laptop. I’ve never seen an episode before so it was fairly entertaining. Before we knew it, it was time to head into town for the mid it festivities.

We took the back road into Funchal hoping to avoid the huge traffic jam and for the most part we were successful, but it was slow going once we got close. The entire waterfront was blocked off with street vendors and pedestrians everywhere awaiting the show. We arrived into town just after 11 so we had to wait 30 min to gain access to our rooftop viewing party. Walking down to the waterfront we decided to try some Porcha (?) that was super strong! Back at the hotel sit was packed trying to get to the roof via only three elevators. It was almost 1145 before I convinced the guy to finally let us go up the stairs, which we asked to do at 1130. Thankfully, we made it in time to get our glass of champagne and see the show start. It was a great show with launch points all over Funchal. I can see how they set the Guinness record back in 2007(?) by just smoking up the show they have. It was a million euro show and a good 10 minutes of non-stop spectacular.

After the show we had a few more drinks and then decided to head out around 100. Down in the parking garage it was a cluster trying to get all of the merging cars out at the same time. It reminded me of the horrors at Universal Studios and their disastrous parking. After 45 min we finally made it back to the villa and after a few New Years texts it was time for bed. I finally got to sleep close to 3 am.