Sunsets in Madeira don't linger at the end of February. By the time we got our car keys and got to the car the steep mountains had a hem of pale caramel. The airport is situated only 20km from Funchal but by the time we had the city in view the night had spread its pitch black cape. But what a magestic cape it was! Coming down on the Rapida (the highway) the city lights shone like countless jewels spread on black velvet. As the houses are perched all over the edges and the Rapida is half suspended half running through the mountains, I had a sensetion akin to diving in a swirl of engulfing darkness and light.
A quick walk around evening Funchal presented a calm very tropical looking town. Small quircky streets, cobled sidewalks, exotic trees, light ocean breeze. We sat for dinner in a small restaurant with tables all over the narrow street. If there weren't enough seating places the polite staff would take out a sheet of plywood or somethig equally DIY and rest it on two supporting legs. Our "table" turned out to be two car tyres and a glass on top which only added to the homey feel about the place. It wasn't long before a young man with incredible talent took on a Fado song. When they served me bacalhau with a glass of wine it was official-I was in Portugal.