Madeira 2006

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The island of Madeira sits in the Atlantic Ocean, the closest land being Morocco.  The major activities are growing grapes to make Madeira wine, fishing for an ugly fish called a scabbard, and catering to the tourists.  Food is plentiful and tasty, the wine is surprising in its variety and beautiful flowers are everywhere.  The only thing lacking is sand beaches but nobody seems to mind.

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Jacaranda trees are everywhere giving the city of Funchal a purple hue.

The lack of sand beaches is compensated for by building swimming pools that extend into the ocean.

The wine bottlers have a good strategy - the give you so many free samples that your resistance to their sales pitch melts away.

There are no flat lands so grapes and other crops are cultivated on terraces.

A colorful boat in one of Madeira's quaint fishing villages.

 

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We visited the second highest sea wall in the world.  The crowd from the tour busses was impressive.

Here is the view from the top of the sea wall.  It's a long way down.

Porto Moniz is a small fishing village on the north shore of the island.  It was cold and windy while the rest of the island was warm and sunny.

The water on the north shore is crystal clear.

The village of Santana is known for these triangular houses.  We found this one in the botanical gardens saving us a trip to Santana where there is nothing else to see.

 

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Jackie and Don Jones, and Pat  and Lew enjoy the cable car ride to the Botanical Gardens.  The operators take your picture when you enter and have it for sale when you exit.

This peacock was quite enamored with Pat.  He put on an extensive display for us.

The toboggan ride down the hill from the Gardens was frightening.  A light rain made the roads slick and the only brakes were the shoes of our drivers.

Although we are glad we took the toboggan ride, we were very happy when we reached the bottom in one piece.

 

Here are some pictures from the fabulous Madeira Botanical Gardens

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