The expected one was Madeira cake as I was in Madeira for a holiday and thought the cake was originally from the island but it turns out that the cake is English and was often served with Madeira wine which does come from Madeira. The traditional cake of Madeira is Bo lo de Mel which is made from molasses (sugarcane honey) and is rich sweet and sticky.
The Kestrel was a real surprise and once we had spotted it sat on a TV aerial down in the port area we saw it time and time again, mainly from our balcony. It was often mobbed by gulls as it patrolled the cliffs, I think they were protecting their young.
We saw a good number of other birds as we walked through the parks and gardens and along the Levadas, more of which later.Madeira is very hilly and very beautiful, we did not see it all but spent a lot of time on the Eastern side of the island and in the capital Funchal.
There is only one runway at the airport which has been extended by about nine hundred metres by using 70 metre high columns and putting the runway effectively on stilts, definitely worth seeing!! Funchal is about 30 minutes from the airport, via the motorway and lots and lots of tunnels, I don't think I have ever been in so many tunnels, some are only 150 metres long but others stretch for over 3,000 metres, some even having slip roads to other tunnels in the tunnel!
The old town of Funchal is worth looking around but don't go at mealtimes as every restaurant in the area will be encouraging you to sit and eat with them, it just gets a bit wearing but the food is excellent at most of them. They have a thing about painting their front doors in the Old Town two of which you can see here.
They tell a story some of which are obvious some more obscure to say the least!
The port area and Marina are undergoing considerable upheaval currently as they redirect rivers and storm drains so as to provide a better experience for all. The cable car up to the Botanical Gardens also runs from this area and buses to just about anywhere all at a fixed price of 1 Euro 90c, cheaper if you buy in bulk!
|Modern day Levada|
|Walking through the waterfall!|
|Bird of Paradise|
|Look to be made of plaster!|
The town areas of Madeira have shaded squares to give relief from the sun which can be very hot in high summer, the beaches are with one exception black volcanic sand and difficult to reach, the exception is one where they have imported sand from Morocco to make a lovely beach.
Small lizards abound everywhere but apparently there no larger ones at all, apart from Kestrels we saw a variety of small garden birds very similar to our finch's and robins in the UK.
|Robin but no red breast!|
|Has to be the ugliest duck I have ever seen!|
More pictures of birds can be seen on Birds of Madeira or at Madeiran birds