Spin the globe to find….Madeira

Today I decided (either from lack of productivity at work or lack of productivity on the blog) to play the age old game of “spin the desk globe and see where to go next”. Since I’m not awesome enough to have one at my desk, I had to borrow one from Danny who sits the next cube over. The globe span and span, and I covered my eyes with one hand, and stuck my other hand on the globe as it slowed down. It landed on (drum roll please), Madeira Island. Have I been hiding under a rock? I had never heard of this island before. It’s off the west coast of Africa, so I’m guessing the weather must be great. I took to the web to find out more. Madeira wine is made here. I’ve heard of that at least. It turns out Madeira is part of Portugal. The island was rediscovered by Portugal in the 1400s. The island is very mountainous as it was formed by volcanic eruptions.

On its face, it sounded pretty nice, so I wanted to learn more. With nearly 245,000 residents and covering 296 sq mi, this island is no small potato. They thrive off tourism, which became popular when cruise ships started stopping there between Europe and the Caribbean or the U.S, although most tourists are Europeans. I guess I’m not the only one that has missed the boat on this island. And with its rugged landscape, there is plenty to do there. Surfing is popular. So is hiking. They have lavadas there, which are aqueducts the Portuguese built to carry water to the agricultural regions on the south side of the island. The older lavadas (starting in the 1500s) are narrow and steep,

lavadas in Madeira

while the newer ones (the latest one was built in 1940) are wider and less dangerous to walk near. In fact, its quite popular to hike along the lavadas as they provide great scenic views as well as views into the less traveled to (less touristy) parts of the island. Personally, I’d stick to the newer lavadas as I don’t have a death wish.

As I said earlier, Madeira is known for their wine. Don’t count out their other food though. Every November, they host the Madeira Gourmet Festival. International chefs flock to the island and prepare dishes using local products, local fish, and of course…Madeira wine. If I were going to venture to a food festival, this sounds like it is for me.

And for my sister, Cristiano Ronaldo was born here so I know you’ll want to check the place out now. Well. That’s all I have to say about this cool little island I discovered today. Hopefully will be part of the century club conquests one day.

This entry was posted in Beaches, Bucket Lists, Portugal, Sights To See and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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