Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A sleigh ride in Madeira versus fresh fish and chips

High up in Funchal, we saw the sled drivers playing cards before the crowds arrived.

Their bags and straw boaters hung on the wall.

For thirty euros, a couple could slide two kilometers down the hill in old, wicker toboggans.
We'd got here by cable car, rising like something out of Where Eagles Dare from Madeira's capital.

Up the top, the cart drivers lined up and rubbed their hands together when a tour party arrived. 

 A van arrived and toboggans were unloaded for yet another trip down the long slope.

These rickety contraptions have been charging down the hill for years.

Ernest Hemingway (or Uncle Ernie, to those of you who read my last blog post) is reported in the Lonely Planet guidebook to have found the experience exhilarating.

However, further reading suggests he never went on a sled at all, leaving that joy to his wife and the captain of the ship on which the Hemingways were cruising.

Which makes me feel happier now, because I could think of better things on which to spend thirty euros, such as a meal of limpets, parrot fish, bream and chips in a fish restaurant after a long walk next to the Atlantic Ocean. 

And all of this washed down with perfectly chilled Portugese white wine.

Uncle Ernie would have been proud.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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