#TravelThursday continues, and in this edition we visit the small island of Madeira. It’s an autonomous region of Portugal located in the North Atlantic Ocean about 1,000 kilometers southwest of Portugal. It’s a difficult island to find on a map. It’s at 32.7° north latitude and 16.9° west longitude. It’s actually the top of a volcano that extends some 20,000 feet above the ocean floor along an underwater mountain range. The highest point of the island is just over 6,100 feet above sea level. The island itself is about 35 miles wide (west to east) and about 14 miles in length (north to south).
Back on November 03RD 2007 I visited Funchal – the capital and largest city of Madeira on its south coast. Over 110,000 people lived there in 2011, and that’s almost half of the population of the island. Funchal is a major cruise ship port – particularly for ships traveling between Europe and North America. That’s how I visited the island. I was on Day 7 of a 14-day Transatlantic cruise from Rome Italy to Miami Florida. That was our final port-of-call before crossing the Atlantic.
I took a shore excursion with hundreds of others from the cruise ship. It was basically a tour of the southern part of the island to include the port city as well as the mountains to the north. I forget which mountain peak we went to the top of, but it was cold up there at over a mile high.
That was a fun day on land. After that our cruise ship sailed down to about the 25° north latitude line, and then once we got there we straddled that parallel all the way westward to Miami Florida – arriving 8 days after our Madeira stop.
Join me next #TravelThursday as we visit another location on the face of this earth.
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