domingo, 9 de julho de 2017

Travelling by Oxcarts

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Oxcarts in Madeira? Yep. Until the end of the 1970s the traditional oxcarts toured along Avenida do Mar, to the delight of residents and visitors.
This cart without wheels, built with wicker and wood, with seats showing bright colored fabrics, glided like a sled and was pulled by two oxen led by a “boieiro” (a herdsman dressed in white, with flat boots and straw hat). The herdsman carried a lamp with him to light the way in the absence of street lighting. The story goes that the first oxcart built in Madeira, in 1477, belonged to the English captain C. Balkey. 
Until the first quarter of the twentieth century this was the most popular form of transport in Funchal and it was classified into two categories: luxury carts and modest carts. The first was aimed at tourism services, weddings and funerals, and the other was used in all other situations. 
The oxcarts, however, fell into disuse for hygienic reasons and due to the circumstances inherent to regional development.

The Monte Train

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The Monte “Railway”, on which once ran the Monte Train, linked Rua do Pombal, Funchal, to Terreiro da Luta, Monte, ascending a total extent of 3.911 km.
The studies for the Monte “Railway” were drawn up in 1886 by the engineer Raul Mesnier Ponsard, and the first stretch to Levada de Santa Luzia was officially opened on 16th July 1893. In 1894 an imported German steam locomotive started operations, and in 1912 the train went as far as Terreiro da Luta, located at about 850 metres of altitude.
On 10th September 1919, when the train was climbing in the direction of the Monte, its boiler exploded, which put the locomotive out of action until 1st February 1920.
An additional accident occurred on 11th January 1932 when the train derailed. From then on the railway operations gradually decayed as it was considered dangerous. 
This fact combined with the beginning of World War II, and the consequent decrease in the number of visitors to Madeira, the company that exploited the railway services went bankrupt. The train's last journey took place in April 1943. 

Camacha - First Football Game Played

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The first football game in Portugal was held on the island of Madeira, more precisely at Largo da Achada, in Camacha. The year was 1875 when the young British citizen Harry Hinton, who was a resident on the island of Madeira, introduced this sport for the entertainment of all.

What's in a Name?

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Very often the first piece of information we have about a person is their name. It’s often the first thing you learn about someone and we form judgments about people very rapidly. And those judgments accumulate, so the first piece of information is especially important. Even Shakespeare once put it bluntly, "What's in a name?" Apparently, everything. Personally, it had never crossed my mind that James Edward Franco, the famous American actor and filmmaker known for his work in both comedic and dramatic films and TV shows, would be of Portuguese descent, but I have to admit, his surname Franco does have a Portuguese touch to it. After a quick search, I soon found out that he was not only of Portuguese descent, but, check this out, his father Douglas Eugene Franco was of Madeiran descent! It's a small world after all, eh?

Funchal Distinguished by CIVITAS

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In 2013, Funchal won the title of "City of the Year" awarded by CIVITAS. This award highlights the most innovative and ITAS

7 Wonders of Portugal

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In 2010, over 600 thousand Portuguese voted our Laurel Forest as one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal in the "Forests and Woodlands " category. Porto Santo won the prize in 2012 in "Dunes Beaches" category. It is remarkable that in so little space we have one of the most beautiful forests in Portugal and at the same time, one of the most beautiful dunes beaches.

World Biosphere Reserve

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In June 2011, Santana - one of Madeira's municipalities - was recognized by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as "World Biosphere Reserve". The region sees, once again, the richness of its heritage being recognized worldwide.