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Date: 21 Sep 2011 17:17:07
Title: Madeira (english)

We had a great sail from Porto Santo to Madeira last Sunday the11th of September .
It is only 30nm and we had the chance to try the asymmetric spinnaker (gennaker).
What a feeling - and to our eyes it looked beautiful too!
When arriving at the marina Quinta Do Lorde the staff was nice and helpful.

Madeira is a beautiful island, it is 57km long and 22km wide and has a lot of mountains up to 1862meters.
That gives it a special climate that makes it fertile and rich.
You see all kind of flowers everywhere and different kinds of fruit that we have never seen before.
But most of all you see banana plants - Madeira is a great exporter of banana to all over the world.

The way they have build their land in terraces is amazing - must have been really hard work to settle down here.
And the LAVADAS (waterways) are even more impressing, what a beautiful place to go for hikes.
The water trickling next to you calms you down, the beautiful big trees cools you down and keep you in the shadow and the view takes the breath from you.
Worth trying!
The capital here is Funchal.
A nice city from the coastline and up the hillside.
Small, picturesque streets among steep "avenidas" makes it a nice big "village".
And a lot of nice park and a long waterfront makes it even better.
Our highlight has so far been the "Tropical Garden"
It is almost impossible to describe - 100.000 different kinds of plants and flowers, sculptures, waterfalls, fishponds, tiles pictures of Madeiras history and a big mansion with a breathtaking view in the middle.
Definitely a place to visit!

The third weekend in September they celebrate the Virgin protecting the fishermen and fishing.
She is kept in Capela de Nossa Senhora de Piadade.
This was built at the expense of the local fishermen in 1921.
On saturday the statue of the Virgin is carried in procession from the chapel down to a fishing boat and escorted by a big flotilla of brightly decorated boats full of local people (and us).
It is brought to the parish church in Canical (our nearest village).
And after that everybody has a big party on the beach, grilling the raw meet you just bought from a stand, eating the local bread with lots of garlic and drinking warm wine from a can poured into empty plastic bottles.
The next day they do the hole thing in reverse - bringing the Virgin back home to "La Capela"

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