Walking down corridors of pure green light, we traversed calm trails with a bubble of water channelled alongside. It was a tranquil morning in the mountains of this pearl of an island. Every island we visit is immediately our favorite, but it is perhaps more, we agree, that Madeira is a place to which we will return.

Madeira is an island, it would appear, where it is possible to grow anything. Plants thrive in the perfect environment that is well watered by seasonal rains which are funneled alongside the walking paths, feeding not just the soil but of course myriad animals of the island. There were endemic chaffinches all around us, charmed by the offer of a crumb or two. As we looked across huge, wooded clefts, these colorful birds charmed us all with their confidence and alacrity to join us on the trail. Clever birds, knowing that a crumb will fall from a sandwich or cookie.

Since it is the anniversary of the revolution that freed Portugal, the island was deep in party mode. The green spaces that flank the port were colored with exotics, both human and edible. A selection of the fortified wines of the island served to finish the day for us in fine style.