Photographer's Note

I arrived at Funchal in a very rainy day.
The paradise island of Madeira, the pearl of the Atlantic, is quite a floating garden. Volcanic ashes and demolished lava has given the island a rich soil. The nature is simply luxurious!
The island covers an area of 741 sq. Kms, 57 Kms long and 22 Kms wide. Funchal is the capital city of Madeira Archipelago, which is located about 500 miles from the continental part of Portugal. Allthough European, Madeira is geographically African, situated further south than Casablanca in Morocco.
Madeira is a very dramatic island. Exotic green with a light that gives the landscape a special shimmer. Precipitous mountains into the sea, waterfalls flowing from the cliffs over roads and paths.
Between the mountains stretch inaccessible, narrow valleys with luxuriant vegetation and breathtaking sceneries.
The discovery of Madeira dates from 1420, but it was only in 1508 that Funchal was classified as city. The origin of the name is due to the fact that the area is characterised by a great abundance of "funcho" (fennel).
The physical organisation of the city reflects the underlying land shape: with its slopes and different microclimates that are found on the island. The land use pattern reflects the well-known designation of Funchal as a "City in Amphitheatre" due to its accentuated slopes (50% of the total area of Funchal has slopes of more that 30%) which form a natural land use restriction.
Madeira is the oldest tourist destination in Europe. Tourism is particularly important to the island, representing about 10% of the GNP and employing more than 6% of the active population. In fact, the Funchal economy is strongly dependent on tourism which is reflected in the main activities developed in the city: hotels, construction, transportation and communications.

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Additional Photos by Leonor Kuhn (leonorkuhn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3173 W: 205 N: 3259] (16237)
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