After a few nice cold and snowy days in Germany; the sunny and warm weather of Madeira was very welcoming.
Driving from the airport to Funchal, the roads were continuously snaking vertically and steeply up or down from the Atlantic Ocean. The town was all dressed up for Christmas with beautiful and well done lights and decoration. A small Christmas Market along the main road added to the charm. There were stalls selling freshly prepared local soup and bread called Bola de Caco as well as all varieties of Madeira wine. I also found a knitter/crocheter and a spinner selling their handmade items which of course, I had to Give a bit of business to. Local bands and groups of people dressed in regional costumes would perform folkloric songs and dance throughout the downtown.
The food is extremely well prepared and inexpensive for the quality and preparation. Set menu option is very popular. For dinner a 3-course set menu including as many glasses of wine as you could swallow would be under 40 Euro per person in a gourmet restaurant.
Madeira is great for relaxation. My favorite part was sleeping or waking up to the lovely sound of waves crushing against the cliffs below.
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