Madeira, The Island of Eternal Spring - luxury Blogs

Madeira, The Island of Eternal Spring

What a blessed, fertile, cultured and cultivated island Madeira is. This ?island of eternal spring? was a ?paradise of naturalists? with its exoticism attracting Thomas Cook and Joseph Banks. It’s immensely fertile, everything seems to grow here, having been colonized by Henry the Navigator who introduced the sugar cane from Sicily and the Malvesia (Malmsey) vine, mentioned by Shakespeare?s Falstaff, from Crete. And it?s a big enough island to house different dialects with some pronouncing the second syllable of Madeira with an ?E? and others with an ?I?.
Photo courtesy of Emma Ball
I took myself off as a dutiful tourist to the capital Funchal and her Old Town, the ?zona Velha?. It?s lined with photographs of menus but thankfully it?s decked with little tat in the adjoining shops. I stumbled across the famous market, the ?Mercado dos Lavradores?. It?s bustling and fragrant and acts as an active market for the locals who display with pride and joy their produce in pyramidic piles amid the tiled walls and mosaic flooring. What a riot of color! Ideal for a cheery souvenir photo. Even better for a jigsaw puzzle box as I looked down from the first floor below upon the patchwork of produce. The flower sellers are obliged by law to wear their distinctive red and yellow striped skirts along with a red bolero and a red cape. They certainly stand out in their famous ?Festa da Flor? Flower Festival in May. It?s a highlight of the Madeira calendar and includes a children?s parade...


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