Madeira: Garden of the Atlantic

Nicola MadeiraLast week, whilst many people in England were getting excited about the first snow of winter, I was heading south to visit the wonderful island of Madeira. Madeira is a Portuguese island off the coast of North Africa and has a lovely sub-tropical climate, which meant that there were lots of colourful plants and trees in flower – and there was also a lot of rain! However, that didn’t dampen the mood as I’d wanted to visit the island for over 40 years since my grandparents first went there when I was a child. I imagine the main town, Funchal, has changed quite a bit since that time but we still found it to be an enchanting place of historical buildings and glorious botanical gardens.

Madeira has a very rich and fascinating history which we explored at the Madeira History Story museum, a fun interactive whizz IMG_5247 through the story of the island from its volcanic beginnings to the current day. It was “officially” discovered in 1420 but myths of islands in the Atlantic Ocean had been around for thousands of years before it was formally claimed by Portugal. Having a stopping off point in Madeira contributed hugely to the success of the Portuguese maritime commercial empire as they traded with Africa and India. In 1478, Christopher Columbus came to Madeira as a merchant, transporting sugar via Madeira to European ports. But the most famous name in Madeira’s history is probably Zarco, captain of the western half of the island, who was the equivalent of a feudal lord with the power to administer justice and lease land for farming.

IMG_5561Naturally the history of an island like Madeira has to feature pirate attacks and the island came under threat from, successively, French, British, Dutch and Algerian privateers from the 16th century onwards. One particularly bad attack in 1566 resulted in the whole island being burned and looted. The following year, fortifications were built to improve defence. My favourite was the fort of Sao Tiago, which is a fabulous place to explore, with its dungeons and spiral stairs and wonderful roof top battlements. It has a great view of the sea!

It was sugar that made Madeira famous and this was followed by the Madeira wine that was so popular in the Regency period and is still a big export today. I had to try the Madeira, of course, in the style of a Regency heroine! I also tried a variation called Malmsey, because I’d always been fascinated by the fact that Shakespeare claimed that George Plantagenet, brother of King Edward IV, had been drowned in a butt of malmsey wine. It’s very sweet and wouldn’t have been a nice way to go! One intrepid heroine who did write about her adventures in Madeira was Isabella De Franca, and English woman married to a Madeiran merchant. She kept a record of her stay there in 1853, recording her delight at the stunning scenery, her interest in the clothes and customs and her observations of high society.

Apropos of Madeira wine, Captain Cook and the crew of the Endeavour anchored off Funchal in 1768 on their way to Tahiti to record IMG_5265 the transit of Venus. They took on board 3,300 gallons of wine for the voyage! Another recipient of a bottle of the famous grape was Napoleon whose ship stopped in Madeira in 1815 on the way to exile in St Helena. Napoleon requested fruit and books and was also given a cask of the 1792 vintage but as his doctors had told him he couldn’t drink alcohol this was never opened. It was returned to the island and Winston Churchill and his guests drank it in 1950! What isn’t recorded is whether it still tasted good or not!

IMG_5282The links between Britain and Madeira strengthened as a result of the wine trade during the 18th and 19th centuries and there was a big British community on the island. Troops were stationed there during the Peninsular Wars in order to thwart French invasion. One of the most important merchants of the 18th century was William Bolton, who exported wine and citrus preserves to the British colonies in the West Indies and North America. His commercial correspondence is featured in the museum and shines a light on his business transactions, his skill at networking and also social life on the island.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Funchal merchants built themselves two different types of properties. There was the Quinta “quinta,” a country estate, many of which survive and these days are surrounded by botanical gardens. There was also the sumptuous town houses in Funchal which are often tall and narrow with ship-spotting towers that enabled the occupants to view the movement of shipping from the comfort of their home!

Madeira was early to embrace tourism with the first visitors from northern Europe travelling there from the 18th century onwards to enjoy the warm climate and supposed therapeutic benefits for treating tuberculosis. Before the first hotels were built, visitors would rent a quinta and live in style! The dramatic landscape of Madeira also fitted into the “romantic” ideals of exotic and rugged landscapes and its relative proximity to Europe made it both convenient and fashionable. The iconic Madeiran hotel is Reid’s, built in 1891 and it is still the most famous place to stay on the island, hosting a list of famous, aristocratic and celebrity guests ever since it opened. We stayed at the slightly less famous but no less fabulous Quinta da Casa Branca, centred around a 19th century quinta and in its own botanical gardens. However, the epitome of the palatial quinta must surely be at Monte, a village on the hills high above Funchal. It’s accessed by cable car from the town below and you can visit the 18th century church and walk in the stunning botanical gardens. The quickest route down is probably by the famous “toboggan run” where you hop in a wicker basket and are steered downhill by two runners in traditional dress whose job it is to stop the basket from crashing! We didn't participate in but it was fun to watch.

IMG_5224Madeira just overflows with ideas for a historical novelist, whether it is pirate attacks, Regency tourism or the peninsular wars. I was busy jotting notes on a few timeslip ideas even as I strolled beneath the dragon trees. There's definitely a book in the offing and it would be bliss to rent a little gazebo overlooking the town and settle down to write in situ!

If you were a Regency heroine (or hero!) looking to travel to a romantic location, where would you go?

110 thoughts on “Madeira: Garden of the Atlantic”

  1. I know it’s so much farther, but I would want to go to China. As a Regency heroine I am, of course, completely sure that England and English ways are best, but it might make me more appreciative of other cultures with a long history.

    Reply
  2. I know it’s so much farther, but I would want to go to China. As a Regency heroine I am, of course, completely sure that England and English ways are best, but it might make me more appreciative of other cultures with a long history.

    Reply
  3. I know it’s so much farther, but I would want to go to China. As a Regency heroine I am, of course, completely sure that England and English ways are best, but it might make me more appreciative of other cultures with a long history.

    Reply
  4. I know it’s so much farther, but I would want to go to China. As a Regency heroine I am, of course, completely sure that England and English ways are best, but it might make me more appreciative of other cultures with a long history.

    Reply
  5. I know it’s so much farther, but I would want to go to China. As a Regency heroine I am, of course, completely sure that England and English ways are best, but it might make me more appreciative of other cultures with a long history.

    Reply
  6. If I’m going to slip back to the Regency and choose a romantic place to visit, it might be the Dolomites or a bit further north. Someplace with dark forests and castles perched on the edge of cliffs—a place that could be the setting of a Horrid Novel. While there I naturally expect to meet a dashing cavalier who will protect me from all dangers. At the moment, however, Madeira sounds more appealing. It always makes me think of a line in some ancient comedy with the comic elderly peer saying to the chorus girl, “A glass of Madeira, m’dear?”

    Reply
  7. If I’m going to slip back to the Regency and choose a romantic place to visit, it might be the Dolomites or a bit further north. Someplace with dark forests and castles perched on the edge of cliffs—a place that could be the setting of a Horrid Novel. While there I naturally expect to meet a dashing cavalier who will protect me from all dangers. At the moment, however, Madeira sounds more appealing. It always makes me think of a line in some ancient comedy with the comic elderly peer saying to the chorus girl, “A glass of Madeira, m’dear?”

    Reply
  8. If I’m going to slip back to the Regency and choose a romantic place to visit, it might be the Dolomites or a bit further north. Someplace with dark forests and castles perched on the edge of cliffs—a place that could be the setting of a Horrid Novel. While there I naturally expect to meet a dashing cavalier who will protect me from all dangers. At the moment, however, Madeira sounds more appealing. It always makes me think of a line in some ancient comedy with the comic elderly peer saying to the chorus girl, “A glass of Madeira, m’dear?”

    Reply
  9. If I’m going to slip back to the Regency and choose a romantic place to visit, it might be the Dolomites or a bit further north. Someplace with dark forests and castles perched on the edge of cliffs—a place that could be the setting of a Horrid Novel. While there I naturally expect to meet a dashing cavalier who will protect me from all dangers. At the moment, however, Madeira sounds more appealing. It always makes me think of a line in some ancient comedy with the comic elderly peer saying to the chorus girl, “A glass of Madeira, m’dear?”

    Reply
  10. If I’m going to slip back to the Regency and choose a romantic place to visit, it might be the Dolomites or a bit further north. Someplace with dark forests and castles perched on the edge of cliffs—a place that could be the setting of a Horrid Novel. While there I naturally expect to meet a dashing cavalier who will protect me from all dangers. At the moment, however, Madeira sounds more appealing. It always makes me think of a line in some ancient comedy with the comic elderly peer saying to the chorus girl, “A glass of Madeira, m’dear?”

    Reply
  11. Wonderful, Nicola! I’m fascinated by islands, and now I know at least a little bit about Madeira. *G* I can see where it would be a wonderfully exotic destination in centuries past. It’s also a reminder of how useful islands were in colonial times. Just as Madeira was a Portuguese way station to the Orient, Bermuda was the vital British stepping stone between Canada and the British West Indies (the sugar islands)after the 13 colonies kicked over the traces. I look forward to reading about Madeira in a future book of yours!

    Reply
  12. Wonderful, Nicola! I’m fascinated by islands, and now I know at least a little bit about Madeira. *G* I can see where it would be a wonderfully exotic destination in centuries past. It’s also a reminder of how useful islands were in colonial times. Just as Madeira was a Portuguese way station to the Orient, Bermuda was the vital British stepping stone between Canada and the British West Indies (the sugar islands)after the 13 colonies kicked over the traces. I look forward to reading about Madeira in a future book of yours!

    Reply
  13. Wonderful, Nicola! I’m fascinated by islands, and now I know at least a little bit about Madeira. *G* I can see where it would be a wonderfully exotic destination in centuries past. It’s also a reminder of how useful islands were in colonial times. Just as Madeira was a Portuguese way station to the Orient, Bermuda was the vital British stepping stone between Canada and the British West Indies (the sugar islands)after the 13 colonies kicked over the traces. I look forward to reading about Madeira in a future book of yours!

    Reply
  14. Wonderful, Nicola! I’m fascinated by islands, and now I know at least a little bit about Madeira. *G* I can see where it would be a wonderfully exotic destination in centuries past. It’s also a reminder of how useful islands were in colonial times. Just as Madeira was a Portuguese way station to the Orient, Bermuda was the vital British stepping stone between Canada and the British West Indies (the sugar islands)after the 13 colonies kicked over the traces. I look forward to reading about Madeira in a future book of yours!

    Reply
  15. Wonderful, Nicola! I’m fascinated by islands, and now I know at least a little bit about Madeira. *G* I can see where it would be a wonderfully exotic destination in centuries past. It’s also a reminder of how useful islands were in colonial times. Just as Madeira was a Portuguese way station to the Orient, Bermuda was the vital British stepping stone between Canada and the British West Indies (the sugar islands)after the 13 colonies kicked over the traces. I look forward to reading about Madeira in a future book of yours!

    Reply
  16. I enjoyed my “visit” to Madeira, via your post. I have already “been there” through Ann Bridge’s “Malady in Madeira” but your description made it come to life for me.
    I don’t where I would choose to go as a Regency heroine. Perhaps it would be Switzerland? I’ve always been fascinated by that small country.

    Reply
  17. I enjoyed my “visit” to Madeira, via your post. I have already “been there” through Ann Bridge’s “Malady in Madeira” but your description made it come to life for me.
    I don’t where I would choose to go as a Regency heroine. Perhaps it would be Switzerland? I’ve always been fascinated by that small country.

    Reply
  18. I enjoyed my “visit” to Madeira, via your post. I have already “been there” through Ann Bridge’s “Malady in Madeira” but your description made it come to life for me.
    I don’t where I would choose to go as a Regency heroine. Perhaps it would be Switzerland? I’ve always been fascinated by that small country.

    Reply
  19. I enjoyed my “visit” to Madeira, via your post. I have already “been there” through Ann Bridge’s “Malady in Madeira” but your description made it come to life for me.
    I don’t where I would choose to go as a Regency heroine. Perhaps it would be Switzerland? I’ve always been fascinated by that small country.

    Reply
  20. I enjoyed my “visit” to Madeira, via your post. I have already “been there” through Ann Bridge’s “Malady in Madeira” but your description made it come to life for me.
    I don’t where I would choose to go as a Regency heroine. Perhaps it would be Switzerland? I’ve always been fascinated by that small country.

    Reply
  21. Haha! Yes, that is the enduring image of Madeira wine, isn’t it. It’s a sort of old fashioned joke, along with Canary or even sherry!
    I love the idea of a trip to a Gothic castle in a dark forest!

    Reply
  22. Haha! Yes, that is the enduring image of Madeira wine, isn’t it. It’s a sort of old fashioned joke, along with Canary or even sherry!
    I love the idea of a trip to a Gothic castle in a dark forest!

    Reply
  23. Haha! Yes, that is the enduring image of Madeira wine, isn’t it. It’s a sort of old fashioned joke, along with Canary or even sherry!
    I love the idea of a trip to a Gothic castle in a dark forest!

    Reply
  24. Haha! Yes, that is the enduring image of Madeira wine, isn’t it. It’s a sort of old fashioned joke, along with Canary or even sherry!
    I love the idea of a trip to a Gothic castle in a dark forest!

    Reply
  25. Haha! Yes, that is the enduring image of Madeira wine, isn’t it. It’s a sort of old fashioned joke, along with Canary or even sherry!
    I love the idea of a trip to a Gothic castle in a dark forest!

    Reply
  26. Thanks, Mary Jo. Yes, the strategic importance of islands to colonial trade can’t be over-estimated, can it. So interesting to explore all these places and the influences on them over time.

    Reply
  27. Thanks, Mary Jo. Yes, the strategic importance of islands to colonial trade can’t be over-estimated, can it. So interesting to explore all these places and the influences on them over time.

    Reply
  28. Thanks, Mary Jo. Yes, the strategic importance of islands to colonial trade can’t be over-estimated, can it. So interesting to explore all these places and the influences on them over time.

    Reply
  29. Thanks, Mary Jo. Yes, the strategic importance of islands to colonial trade can’t be over-estimated, can it. So interesting to explore all these places and the influences on them over time.

    Reply
  30. Thanks, Mary Jo. Yes, the strategic importance of islands to colonial trade can’t be over-estimated, can it. So interesting to explore all these places and the influences on them over time.

    Reply
  31. Let’s see … yes, I’m a daughter of minor aristocracy. Due to a plot involving a venal stepmother and a case of deliberately mistaken identity, I get shipped off to … Australia. Convinced that there’s more to that land than a penal colony, I decide to cooperate (good riddance to family!) and look for an opportunity to be more than an ornament/drudge to some man, my fate if I’d stayed in England. I end up working for an eccentric—maybe he’s a doctor and I’m his assistant—who encourages me to explore the territory and write articles on botany and other topics, which are published (with a male pseudonym, naturally) back in England. My handsome, young publisher—Not A Duke but Suitably Aristo—comes out to meet the distinguished “Mr.” Author, and of course the rest is history. (I think said history might involve him being kidnapped, and having my story in mind, he survives until I can rescue him, but that’s just my version. Fill in your own blanks, okay?)

    Reply
  32. Let’s see … yes, I’m a daughter of minor aristocracy. Due to a plot involving a venal stepmother and a case of deliberately mistaken identity, I get shipped off to … Australia. Convinced that there’s more to that land than a penal colony, I decide to cooperate (good riddance to family!) and look for an opportunity to be more than an ornament/drudge to some man, my fate if I’d stayed in England. I end up working for an eccentric—maybe he’s a doctor and I’m his assistant—who encourages me to explore the territory and write articles on botany and other topics, which are published (with a male pseudonym, naturally) back in England. My handsome, young publisher—Not A Duke but Suitably Aristo—comes out to meet the distinguished “Mr.” Author, and of course the rest is history. (I think said history might involve him being kidnapped, and having my story in mind, he survives until I can rescue him, but that’s just my version. Fill in your own blanks, okay?)

    Reply
  33. Let’s see … yes, I’m a daughter of minor aristocracy. Due to a plot involving a venal stepmother and a case of deliberately mistaken identity, I get shipped off to … Australia. Convinced that there’s more to that land than a penal colony, I decide to cooperate (good riddance to family!) and look for an opportunity to be more than an ornament/drudge to some man, my fate if I’d stayed in England. I end up working for an eccentric—maybe he’s a doctor and I’m his assistant—who encourages me to explore the territory and write articles on botany and other topics, which are published (with a male pseudonym, naturally) back in England. My handsome, young publisher—Not A Duke but Suitably Aristo—comes out to meet the distinguished “Mr.” Author, and of course the rest is history. (I think said history might involve him being kidnapped, and having my story in mind, he survives until I can rescue him, but that’s just my version. Fill in your own blanks, okay?)

    Reply
  34. Let’s see … yes, I’m a daughter of minor aristocracy. Due to a plot involving a venal stepmother and a case of deliberately mistaken identity, I get shipped off to … Australia. Convinced that there’s more to that land than a penal colony, I decide to cooperate (good riddance to family!) and look for an opportunity to be more than an ornament/drudge to some man, my fate if I’d stayed in England. I end up working for an eccentric—maybe he’s a doctor and I’m his assistant—who encourages me to explore the territory and write articles on botany and other topics, which are published (with a male pseudonym, naturally) back in England. My handsome, young publisher—Not A Duke but Suitably Aristo—comes out to meet the distinguished “Mr.” Author, and of course the rest is history. (I think said history might involve him being kidnapped, and having my story in mind, he survives until I can rescue him, but that’s just my version. Fill in your own blanks, okay?)

    Reply
  35. Let’s see … yes, I’m a daughter of minor aristocracy. Due to a plot involving a venal stepmother and a case of deliberately mistaken identity, I get shipped off to … Australia. Convinced that there’s more to that land than a penal colony, I decide to cooperate (good riddance to family!) and look for an opportunity to be more than an ornament/drudge to some man, my fate if I’d stayed in England. I end up working for an eccentric—maybe he’s a doctor and I’m his assistant—who encourages me to explore the territory and write articles on botany and other topics, which are published (with a male pseudonym, naturally) back in England. My handsome, young publisher—Not A Duke but Suitably Aristo—comes out to meet the distinguished “Mr.” Author, and of course the rest is history. (I think said history might involve him being kidnapped, and having my story in mind, he survives until I can rescue him, but that’s just my version. Fill in your own blanks, okay?)

    Reply
  36. I also want to read Mary’s story! I think all the Mediterranean islands are romantic, and I’d love to visit, Madeira, Malta, Cyprus, Rhodes.
    Oh, also Zanzibar! Just the name is wonderful, and I remember MM Kaye’s book “Trade Wind” which was set there.

    Reply
  37. I also want to read Mary’s story! I think all the Mediterranean islands are romantic, and I’d love to visit, Madeira, Malta, Cyprus, Rhodes.
    Oh, also Zanzibar! Just the name is wonderful, and I remember MM Kaye’s book “Trade Wind” which was set there.

    Reply
  38. I also want to read Mary’s story! I think all the Mediterranean islands are romantic, and I’d love to visit, Madeira, Malta, Cyprus, Rhodes.
    Oh, also Zanzibar! Just the name is wonderful, and I remember MM Kaye’s book “Trade Wind” which was set there.

    Reply
  39. I also want to read Mary’s story! I think all the Mediterranean islands are romantic, and I’d love to visit, Madeira, Malta, Cyprus, Rhodes.
    Oh, also Zanzibar! Just the name is wonderful, and I remember MM Kaye’s book “Trade Wind” which was set there.

    Reply
  40. I also want to read Mary’s story! I think all the Mediterranean islands are romantic, and I’d love to visit, Madeira, Malta, Cyprus, Rhodes.
    Oh, also Zanzibar! Just the name is wonderful, and I remember MM Kaye’s book “Trade Wind” which was set there.

    Reply
  41. Thanks for an enjoyable article, Nicola; Madeira sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I’m not a drinker; however, my husband loves madeira. His favorite is from V. Sattui Winery which is located in the California wine country.

    Reply
  42. Thanks for an enjoyable article, Nicola; Madeira sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I’m not a drinker; however, my husband loves madeira. His favorite is from V. Sattui Winery which is located in the California wine country.

    Reply
  43. Thanks for an enjoyable article, Nicola; Madeira sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I’m not a drinker; however, my husband loves madeira. His favorite is from V. Sattui Winery which is located in the California wine country.

    Reply
  44. Thanks for an enjoyable article, Nicola; Madeira sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I’m not a drinker; however, my husband loves madeira. His favorite is from V. Sattui Winery which is located in the California wine country.

    Reply
  45. Thanks for an enjoyable article, Nicola; Madeira sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I’m not a drinker; however, my husband loves madeira. His favorite is from V. Sattui Winery which is located in the California wine country.

    Reply
  46. I too would love to read Mary’s story. Sounds fascinating.
    Islands are exotic because of all the outside influences and yet have a small town feel in a way since they are such a “closed” community. The contrast is what makes them so magical I think.
    Thanks also to Nicola for taking us to Madeira this week. I love glimpses of important points in history.

    Reply
  47. I too would love to read Mary’s story. Sounds fascinating.
    Islands are exotic because of all the outside influences and yet have a small town feel in a way since they are such a “closed” community. The contrast is what makes them so magical I think.
    Thanks also to Nicola for taking us to Madeira this week. I love glimpses of important points in history.

    Reply
  48. I too would love to read Mary’s story. Sounds fascinating.
    Islands are exotic because of all the outside influences and yet have a small town feel in a way since they are such a “closed” community. The contrast is what makes them so magical I think.
    Thanks also to Nicola for taking us to Madeira this week. I love glimpses of important points in history.

    Reply
  49. I too would love to read Mary’s story. Sounds fascinating.
    Islands are exotic because of all the outside influences and yet have a small town feel in a way since they are such a “closed” community. The contrast is what makes them so magical I think.
    Thanks also to Nicola for taking us to Madeira this week. I love glimpses of important points in history.

    Reply
  50. I too would love to read Mary’s story. Sounds fascinating.
    Islands are exotic because of all the outside influences and yet have a small town feel in a way since they are such a “closed” community. The contrast is what makes them so magical I think.
    Thanks also to Nicola for taking us to Madeira this week. I love glimpses of important points in history.

    Reply
  51. Karin, like you I adore the thought of all those islands. Malta is next up on my island-trip programme! I have actually been to Zanzibar and it was as wonderful and exotic as it sounds. Trade Winds is a favourite of mine (and MM Kaye’s Death in Zanzibar) and I re-read it afterwards with even more feel for the atmosphere of the place.

    Reply
  52. Karin, like you I adore the thought of all those islands. Malta is next up on my island-trip programme! I have actually been to Zanzibar and it was as wonderful and exotic as it sounds. Trade Winds is a favourite of mine (and MM Kaye’s Death in Zanzibar) and I re-read it afterwards with even more feel for the atmosphere of the place.

    Reply
  53. Karin, like you I adore the thought of all those islands. Malta is next up on my island-trip programme! I have actually been to Zanzibar and it was as wonderful and exotic as it sounds. Trade Winds is a favourite of mine (and MM Kaye’s Death in Zanzibar) and I re-read it afterwards with even more feel for the atmosphere of the place.

    Reply
  54. Karin, like you I adore the thought of all those islands. Malta is next up on my island-trip programme! I have actually been to Zanzibar and it was as wonderful and exotic as it sounds. Trade Winds is a favourite of mine (and MM Kaye’s Death in Zanzibar) and I re-read it afterwards with even more feel for the atmosphere of the place.

    Reply
  55. Karin, like you I adore the thought of all those islands. Malta is next up on my island-trip programme! I have actually been to Zanzibar and it was as wonderful and exotic as it sounds. Trade Winds is a favourite of mine (and MM Kaye’s Death in Zanzibar) and I re-read it afterwards with even more feel for the atmosphere of the place.

    Reply
  56. Thank you very much, Vicki. I’m glad you enjoyed Madeira’s story. Yes, I think that’s it exactly – there is a community feel to a place like that but at the same time the strategic position of islands means that so many people have visited and things have happened.

    Reply
  57. Thank you very much, Vicki. I’m glad you enjoyed Madeira’s story. Yes, I think that’s it exactly – there is a community feel to a place like that but at the same time the strategic position of islands means that so many people have visited and things have happened.

    Reply
  58. Thank you very much, Vicki. I’m glad you enjoyed Madeira’s story. Yes, I think that’s it exactly – there is a community feel to a place like that but at the same time the strategic position of islands means that so many people have visited and things have happened.

    Reply
  59. Thank you very much, Vicki. I’m glad you enjoyed Madeira’s story. Yes, I think that’s it exactly – there is a community feel to a place like that but at the same time the strategic position of islands means that so many people have visited and things have happened.

    Reply
  60. Thank you very much, Vicki. I’m glad you enjoyed Madeira’s story. Yes, I think that’s it exactly – there is a community feel to a place like that but at the same time the strategic position of islands means that so many people have visited and things have happened.

    Reply

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