Monday, August 14, 2006

Monday Monday...

Today we went to see a bunch of museums, none of which were open on Mondays. We did manage to get into the Santa Clara Nunnery, where people seemed to think that Jack was a latter-day Baby Jesus and Molly was some kind of prophet. People came over to us throughout the tour and marvelled over the children in Portuguese and French. In fact, the tour guide kept Molly with her for most of our visit. The great part was that everyone helped us to carry kids and buggies up and down the sixteenth-century monastic house.

It's a fabulous place, with painted ceilings, a beautiful Black Madonna, and plenty of original 16th-17th century tiles. Like everything else on the island, the history involves marauding pirates (are there any other kind?).

Apart from the pirates, it's amazing that the house and its artefacts have managed to survive: in 1974 Madeira was the poorest part of the European Union. They're underway with restoration work at the moment - in a few years it'll be fascinating to see the art and architecture restored and get a better sense of 'life in the day...'

No comments: