Where on earth is it?
Madeira – a Portugese island in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of an archipelago about 590 miles (950 kilometres) south of mainland Portugal and 370 miles (600 kilometres) west of Morocco. The volcanic activity that produced it stopped about 6500 years ago and since then it has become a lush green place enjoying pleasant temperatures all year round.
Tim and I had been wanting to visit for several years – for the walking, the landscape and the levadas.
It certainly lived up to our expectations and more and, because of that, I will need to break down our two week trip into several posts.
Monday 11th July 2016 – Arrival, Airport, Taxi, Football
The small landing strip on this lovely island is infamous for being a bit of a scary place. A single runway is perched on enormous stilts (albeit made of concrete) above the rocks with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Sadly, as far as I’m concerned we were sat on ‘the wrong side’ of the plane to fully experience the approach. Not to worry we would experience lots of hair raising journeys in time.
The day before we arrived in Madeira the Portugese had just won the UEFA Euro 2016 (football) tournament. We had no idea. Our Madeiran taxi driver was keen to mention this as he drove us, at break neck speed, towards our hotel. The goal scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, our driver proudly added, was born in Madeira. Flags were flying from apartment balconies and I suddenly wondered how much celebrating our taxi driver had been doing as apparently “ah yess, big partees” had been going on through the night. We congratulated him with our fingernails digging into the seats.
As I write this now I’ve just seen a news article that the airport has been renamed Cristiano Ronaldo Airport. He’s their hero!
I spotted this ‘graffiti’ when we were travelling out of Funchal. I took this shot from a bus window! We are Champions….
This photo was much easier to take!