Portugal –Madeira lll
Travel to Madeira by plane only. There is probably no other way to travel almost 1000 kilometers from Portugal and 600 kilometers from North Africa. Moreover, sailing on a ship might not be comfortable for everybody.
Even if you choose airplane as your means of transport getting to Maideira is nto easy. They say to land on Madeira’s airport is nightmare for any pilot. Eventually, hydroplanes landed on water in the bay (since 1921). The airport was built in 1964. Its runway was 1600 meters long. However, this was a really short runway. Therefore, it had been gradually extended and reached 2800 meters in 2000. The terrain around it allowed extension only to the sea. 180 concrete pillars support the runway above the waters of the Atlantic. Taking off and landing can therefore be quite an adventure.
The Atlantic Festivla is the period of the year when the Funchal bay sees crowds of ships. In July, a fireworks competition takes place and fireworks light the entire island. The winner of the competition creates fireworks launched from several places on the island and from board of ships. New Years celebrations are very popular and well-known. Thousands of people see it every year.
The weather is better in island’s north. There are more sun days than in the south. Madeira’s capital Funchal is located in the south. It is bit colder and rainier there. Thus when you enter one of island’s many tunnels (there are over 5000 kilometers of tunnels) you can get out to absolutely different landscape where fog and rain rule.
Moist and clean air. This is place where people asthmatic persons can breath perfectly. Increasing number of people suffering from this illness travel here to get healed. Successfully. Mimosa is considered a symbol of clean air. It originates in Australia and is very sensitive to air pollution.
The name suggests this – it means “touchy milksop”. It is in symbiosis with another Madeira’s widespread plant – eucalyptus. The latter also isn’t native plant to the island. It has been grown here to as moisture-retentive plant to help native plant to Madeira laurel.
Eucalyptus is usually grown in areas which need to drain water and to dry up. It is also the first plant to grow in areas damaged by fire. However, years of growing the plant on Madeira caused problem in water resources. It consumes 20 liters of water a day and it propagates fast. Consequentially it drains water from other plants. Moreover, it emits harmful substances which harm growth of other plants. The only thing which make it useful here is that it repels mosquitoes. It is used in medicine. But not here on Madeira. Ecologists still haven’t come into consensus what to do with the plant.
GPS: (airport) 32°41'43.8"N 16°46'34.1"W
Text and photos: Monika Babická
Isle of the Eternal Spring? In the middle of the Atlantic? This is the Azores archipelago. Nine notable volcanic islands protruding into the Atlantic Ocean. Towards the west is the island of Flores and the island of Corvo, in the middle of the islands of Graciosa, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Pico and Faial and east of Sao Miguel, Santa Maria and Formigas. All islands except Santa Maria are volcanic. It is on three lithospheric plates: Eurasian, African and North American.
Balcoes lookout is situated at 86é meters above sea level. A comfortable and wide enough road leads there from the trout farm in Riberio Frio. The name fits. It is a true natural balcony giving you the view of what you would consider a piece of paradise.
We leave Funchal for Santana, a town on the northeastern seaboard. There are interesting places along the way. We leave the direct rote to see such places as the Madeira’s highest peaks, a stone igloo, and the Faial bay. In case you have not yet visited the cave and volcanic center of Grutas Sao Vicente it is easy to reach along the northern seaboard starting in Santana. As we told you, Sao Vicente is a borderline between the western and eastern parts of the island
Everybody knows port wine. Perhaps you also link Porto the a high steel bridge and its majestic arch crossing the Douro river. Perhaps you would think of wooden boats carrying wine barrels from the inland wineyards. Porto is, however, a diverse city. There is great history, culture, cuisine, and beaches along the Atlantic coast. Every year, an increasing number of visitors visit this city.
Coimbra, a student town of 150 thousand is situated somewhere in the middle between Porto and Lisbon. There is one of the oldest unviersities in Europe sitting on the hill above the Mondego river. The university, which is the oldest in Portual, was founded in 1290 – 60 years before the famous Charles University in Prague was founded. Tens of thousands of students at this university make this town great including the nightlife there.
Just 45 minutes by train from the center of Lisbon there is the city of Sintra. It became famous for its castle, palaces, and many beautiful buildings. Moreover, there is a beautiful nature park Sintra-Cascais, unusual mountains which will lure you to make a trip. Let’s see Sintra together.
Lisboa is righteously one of the most visited cities in Europe. Yellow trams, hills, cable cars... You can easily get lost in its colorful streets for hours. Washed laundry waves in the wind, you can drink coffee with locals at one of many great cafes and taste local sweet pastry. You can also just set off to the grandiose Ponte 25 de Abril, a red bridge which looks like Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Wine, coffee, cliffs, waves. The western-most country of continental Europe is of the sort everybody likes. It belongs to the top 20 most visited countries in the world. There are beautiful beaches including the best surf beaches of all Europe. Nature in the inland is magnificent as wel. Culture is rich and cities are lively and busy. Let's visit Portugal!
Today, we take a look at the eastern part of the island in the direction from Funchal to the easternmost part where are droughts. It seems as if it was not Madeira there. The landscape is vastly different and there grows almost no vegetation at all. It is only after rains when it gets bit of green there. No levada leads to this area. You can find them only in the mountains. The area is inhabited, however. Therefore, some vegetation is actually there.
Another stop to the west of the island is Porto Moniz. From Sao Vincente you travel through tunnels. Make a stop at Ribeira da Janela town. It is a place of dark volcanic rock. The lovers’ rock rises from the sea there.
Apart from famous Madeira wine (Japan is its largest importer), poncho (a liquor with lemon flavor) is another traditional beverage. You can replace lemon juice with orange or maracuja juice. It is served cold for refreshments. Or it is served also warm as prevention from getting cold. The wine festival takes place end August beginning September.
A 5 thousand meters high massif of lava was created after huge explosion in the Atlantic. Today we can see only a glimpse of it and this glimpse is Madeira. The island is self-reliant. There are couple of power plants (water, wind), fertile soil and sea rich on fish.
It is an island in the Atlantic where you can grow almost anything thanks to humidity, high temperature and fertile soil. So where do you get water that is good for irrigation and how it works?
It is an archipelago and also an island which is located in the Macaronesia region. Only two islands are inhabited as the whole archipelago is a natural reserve. These islands are Madeira and Porto Santo.
Fátima - Mecca of all Catholics, and one of the most visited pilgrimage sites around the world. It is located in central Portugal, about 120 km from Lisbon. There is a place, where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children, and prophesied many later events.
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