Larry and Debbie's European Adventure 2011: Around the World in 81 Days travel blog

We arrived in Funchal ("the place where fennel grows") on the Portugese island of Madeira ("island of woods") last night about 6:00, although we were supposed to arrive at 8:00 this morning. The island was discovered in 1419. We took a tour to ride the sledges--dog sled-like woven carriages that slid down the hillside on narrow streets, assisted by two men per sled. At times we could smell the burning wood runners on the asphalt-like pavement. We went about 2 km in 10 minutes. What a kick!. Also visited the Monte Church, build in 1818, high on a hillside. Saw a Monkey Puzzle tree, a red hot poker, and other exotic plants.

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