Saturday, February 14, 2009
Madeira : Final Impressions
Madeira has been incredibly interesting, though not at all in the way I imagined. Through the lens of my naivety, I imagined a volatile crust of earth in the middle of the ocean that had few people and few structures. In actuality I found a thriving base of commerce and trade in tourism, surrounded by vast waters on all sides. It made me realize that there are many definitions of “remote.” A place can be remote by geographical definition but still remain close in terms of perceived proximity to common convenience and overall way of life. Through the relatively new invention of commercial flying, long distances become extremely short and leagues of ocean can be reduced to a two hour long journey in a cramped seat with worse food. The combustion engine has allowed automobiles to climb steep mountains and plant flags in places few souls managed to get gain ground on before. Since the Industrial Revolution has come a redefining of what is near and far. I didn’t find what I thought I would when I came here, but I think I found a whole lot more instead. I hope this ash-formed island will prove an interesting counter-point to many future investigations on the topic of remoteness.
In Granada right now and need to catch up on blog posts. There are a bunch of Gypsies here living in caves. Intrigued? You should be. It's Gypsies in caves. More soon.
Thoughts on Traveling #2 : Portuguese movies have intermission in the middle and no English translation when the actors speak German. Don't see a movie about Nazis.