Madeira Island - The Island of Surprises and Smiles
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A lovely island off the coast of North Africa, it's Madeira, M'Dear

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Here, on an odd green island off the North African coast, are flowers in riot and rare fruits in profusion. Here is a tiny hardscrabble harbor full of fishing boats in colors so fetching that Winston Churchill, amateur painter and retired British prime minister, once came to work them into his landscapes.

Here is fresh and cheap seafood: tuna caught this morning, fillets in banana sauce. Here is the birthplace of a world-famous sweet red wine. Here are tall, ragged seaside cliffs, raked by smogless gusts, and a green mountain that juts 6,106 feet above the Atlantic. Here are cobblestone streets and narrow, heart-quickening coastal roads navigated by a fleet of spotless yellow-and-blue Mercedes taxis. And here's the governor's big pink mansion. We're in Portuguese territory, you see, even though this island lies nearer to Morocco than to Europe.










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