Over the last two years I’ve heard from Madeirans about the New Year celebration here. They speak with such pride, convinced that this is the best place in the world to be on 31 December. I was a little sceptic, since most of them had never been off the island, so how would they know, right?
I was wrong. I get it now.
Funchal in the evening: eight cruise ships have arrived during the day, with 12,000 people aboard. Every other little boat and yacht is out in the darkness of the harbour, all facing the city. Funchal itself is heaving. The crowd is beyond eclectic: couples in black tie and ballgowns sit beside toothless auld fellahs who have come down from the mountain for the show, plastic bag with fizzy and snacks at their feet. The atmosphere is electric.
We went to a small park overlooking the harbour. The central display would be down at the marina, with a semi-circle of firework points set up across the surrounding hills. We used the term ‘natural amphitheatre’ a lot.
Now, I’ve seen some great firework displays in the past. Last night made Macy’s 4th July event look like a child holding up a sparkler.
Here are some snippets...
Happy New Year guys :)