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2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Part 7 – Day 5 – Rescue at Sea

  • Posted on March 22, 2015 at 12:32 am

Day 5 – Rescue at Sea

 

Husband woke early and went out on the balcony, returning quickly to tell me we were heading East instead of West (we’re supposed to be traveling from the Mediterranean back to the US) and he thought we were in sight of Madeira again. How strange? Did the Captain get confused? Was there a problem with ship? Was Husband wrong.. no, that can’t be it. He is NEVER wrong!!

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

Husband went up to the pool deck and returned immediately to grab the camera. A helicopter was in sight and they had cleared an area on the top deck, because someone from the ship was being taken off, presumably a medical issue. He said it was incredible, with someone coming down from the helicopter on a cable, with a basket stretcher. The helicopter matched the ship’s speed and the individual was secured in the basket and raised up to the helicopter. Another person, again presumably a family member, was raised up to the helicopter in a sling, along with the heli crewman.  The helicopter headed back for Madeira and the Epic did a majestic 180 turn to head back West. We’re told we will catch back up to our original timetable, and we have quite a few more ‘at sea’ days so that makes sense. I didn’t go on deck, I stayed in bed, but don’t you think the pics are amazing.

 

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

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2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise - Rescue at Sea

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Rescue at Sea

 

Le Bistro the French restaurant we went to was amazing, and ultimately our favorite restaurant.  Appetizers were escargot for Husband and French onion soup for myself. The entrees were one of Husband’s favorites, lobster tail, while I had the Boulliabase which was spectacular.  And yes, if you’re paying attention, I had 2 soups for dinner, please don’t judge me.

 

After dinner we headed to the Second City comedy act, which was in a game show format for this performance. Husband tells me, and it’s true, that Second City-Chicago has been a improv comedy phenom for over 50 years. How did I not know about this? They were great. We sat on the 1st row next to a couple from Houston and enjoyed the show very much. The last part of the game show, one of the female comedians was supposed to guess the name of a song (a suggestion from the audience) that 2 other comedians were pantomiming for her.  It took a while, but even after they got her to say, please understand she was Canadian, she finally said, “The Eyes of Texas”, and from her completely confused expression you could tell she really didn’t know what they were talking about.  We loved it.

There was supposed to be an outdoor Concert and dance party, by a group called FABBA; yes, an ABBA cover band.  However, it ended up raining and I think was moved indoors. However, Husband and I opted for the hot tub.  There was a slight rain and some cold winds, but we had a good time anyway.

Hugs – more soon, Ellen

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Part 6 – Day 4 Continued – Funchal, Madeira – Bontanial Gardens

  • Posted on March 17, 2015 at 6:00 am

Hilltop Cathedral

We then visited the Nossa Senhora do Monte Church after walking up a huge flight of rough black stone steps. The number of the steps seems to be in question, but Husband counted 171, so I’ll go with that number. I’ve read about penitents walking up stairs like these on their knees (the tour guide also mentioned this) and was a bit awed and horrified as these were quite rough and would be quite painful, potentially crippling. Someone’s faith would have to be very strong to be able to manage this incredible feat. I’m truly not sure I could do it.

We then took a cable car over to the botanical gardens and finally had some free time, but only about 30 minutes. I would have enjoyed spending more time in the botanical garden, as it was lovely. There were many tropical plants, of course, but also, an agricultural plant area, a cactus/succulent area, a larch tree area, and I think one more.

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Botanical Garden – Birds of Paradise

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Botanical Garden

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira

Cagneys Steakhouse was dinner tonight, with Husband having steak while I enjoyed a delicious grilled garlic shrimp. I think I had the raspberry crème brulle for dessert, but I had so many desserts over the 2 week cruise, including a number of my favorite – crème brulee, it’s hard to keep track.

Hugs, Ellen

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Part 5 – Day 4, Funchal, Madeira – Market

  • Posted on March 16, 2015 at 6:00 am

City Market

This morning found us docking in Funchal, Madeira, a small Portuguese island. It was picturesque and lovely. There were several different island tours, but we had chosen a trip to the botanical gardens.

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira

However, before that, we started the tour by stopping at one of Funchal’s markets, where the most beautiful tropical flowers, both cut and in plant form were available as well as embroidered items.  It totally killed me by not being able to buy a few plants, and the fruits looked and smelled delictible, but we couldn’t take fresh fruit or plants back onto the cruise ship.

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira

We also saw a fish market where stacks of freshly caught fish and eels were being sold; it was very interesting and very stinky.

2014 Cruise - Funchal, Madeira - Market

2014 Cruise – Funchal, Madeira – Market

We then went to a small embroidery shop that also housed a Madeira wine shop in the basement and got to have a wine tasting. The Madeira dessert wines are very sweet, which works just fine for us, so we bought 2 bottles to take home.

 

Madeira’s prime economy today is tourism, with 65% of the population working in the tourist industry.  There are also thousands of women on the island who embroider various items and then sell the embroidery through numerous shops for the international clientel.

What a wonderful day,

Hugs, Ellen

2014 Transatlantic Cruise – Part 8 – Day 7 – Overcast Skies

  • Posted on March 13, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Short and sweet, we woke to overcast skies and spent the morning as well as most of the day snuggled in bed reading and napping.

Dinner tonight is Moderno is a churriscarria, basically a meat bar!! We had grilled meat served of long skewers, lots of grilled meat. Finally even Husband said enough.

We went to the Howl at the Moon dueling piano bar performance. So much fun!! If you’ve never been to a Howl at the Moon – Dueling Piano performance, it was awesome. The audience wrote songs on slips of paper and submitted them, sometimes with tips of money or Jagermeister, to the performer who then performed the requested songs. It was fun and funny and absolutely wonderful.

More later. HUGS – Ellen