The other day I heard someone describing their ideal day in Funchal.
It included a trip to the beach, swimming in the sea followed by a lunch with limpets, ‘bolo do caco’ and coral beer.
My ideal day passes by the Funchal Marina, in a walk through the Avenida do Mar and to the pier, on my way to the Old Town.
There’s something about this location, which makes me feel at home.
I can’t identify what it is, precisely, but I think it has to do with the emotional connection and stimuli I get when I’m there.
As a child, I remember going for walks on Sunday mornings, to the pier, to see the boats floating by (it was preceded by grass races on the Santa Catarina Park).
I remember the sound of the waves, pebbles rolling, the black sand beach and the Beatles boat, the benches on the pier and the wind blowing strong when it comes to an end.
Already in my days of teenager, the Funchal Marina was the highlight of my afternoons, after school.
These were the days to twist my school uniform skirt so that I could wear a mini skirt, walking with friends, telling secrets, laughing out loud and sitting on the painted walls of the marina eating fries with sauce in a paper cone, enjoying the sunlight.
There was no Internet or chat rooms, or computers waiting for us, just torn paper notes, which were hidden in the backpack pockets and profile updates written in the school bathroom tiles.
This nostalgia makes me happy.
For my children and future generations there will certainly be other symbols, other experiences and emotions. But it’s good to feel that there are things that remain identical to themselves, when everything else around changes.
There are two cafes in the Marina that delight me by their genuineness and charm; The “Vermelhinho” and “Verdinho”.
They are usually filled with tourists, sun seekers, looking for beer with lupins and the beautiful sea views, but also with locals stopping over to have a ‘bica’, a ‘picado’ or a ‘ponha’.
If I were to design chairs for the cafes of Funchal they would all look like this. Love.
I look at them and I travel back in time to the gardens of my grandmother, the house of my aunts in the countryside and to the Marina.
I think that these brand images, should be valued and cherished. I believe they do magic and act as a super visual stimulus about the places we cherish and with which we connect emotionally.
Just like the yellow funiculars belong to Lisbon and the red buses to London, Madeira is full of figures that connect locals and visitors emotionally.
The yellow taxis, the red buses of rodoeste, the paper flowers of ‘arraiais’, the madeiran boots, the ‘carreiros’ hats, the wicker baskets, the flowers and so many other fantastic “scenes” that we have.
The white painted iron chairs are just another of them.
The other thing I like about theses coffee is its name with its termination in ‘inho’ (translated to little red and little green) so typical of our dialect, along with its pillows with matching color.
(Maybe I would leave behind Chris De Burg song ”Lady in red’ playing out loud in the speakers, but on a second thought, without it, the experience would not be the same…:))
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and this is a good example of how just by looking at certain images we can easily understand where home truly is.
What image do you mostly identify as Madeira?
For me it is these chairs, go figure…;)