Madeira has its share of captivating squares, picturesque villages, idyllic landscapes, and stunning views; it also offers some unexpected pleasures. There are numerous parks and gardens – wild and natural, manicured, Oriental in sensibility, and one attached to the villa of an erstwhile prince. For excitement and just plain fun, take a high tech cable car up to Monte, in the hills overlooking Funchal, so that you may descend by toboggan sledge. Originally a form of fast transport for Monte residents, the trip involves sliding at high speed over narrow, winding streets, seated in a wicker sledge on wooden runners.
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