Postcard of Chicago

It wasn’t until right before I stepped on the airplane to Chicago that I realized it would have been smart to book an extra night there. Chicago is known as the birthplace of the skyscraper and has fantastic architecture. Architects such as Daniel Burnham, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe have left […]

A Day in Funchal

On our last full day on the island of Madeira we took the cable car down from where we were staying Monte and spent the day roaming the streets of the capital, Funchal. Our first stop was the famous Mercado dos Lavradores (Farmer’s Market) which is in every guide book. While it was interesting to […]

Madeira’s Gardens

When talking about Madeira, someone will inevitably say: oh, the island of flowers! It’s true that at any given time something is in bloom. In fact, Madeira was the first place I saw poinsettias growing in someone’s garden. Since then, I’ve seen poinsettias on the islands of La Palma and La Gomera, but that first […]

Madeira’s High Country

It may come as a surprise that Madeira has a high country, but Pico Ruivo is Portugal’s third highest peak at 1861 m (6,106 ft). There is a fantastic hike from Pico do Arieiro at 1,818 metres (5,965 ft), Madeira’s third and Portugal’s 5th highest peak. We drove up in complete darkness to witness the […]

Hiking Levadas in Madeira

Apart from seeing all the flowers, the main reason to visit the Portuguese island of Madeira is to go hiking, particularly along levadas, i.e. irrigation channels which bring water from the wetter regions of the island to the drier. On our last trip to Madeira 8 years ago we didn’t see much of the island […]