Page 13 - index
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  by sea rather than by land, and so maritime transports were organized into regular routes to link people but also goods and to tackle to some extend the isolation they had to face. These connections were in force until the end of the 1970s decade.
Funchal port was continuously expanded until reaching its actual shape in 1962. The facilities connect what use to be two small islands. Thanks to these improvements and to the tourism tradition of the Island as well, Funchal bay welcomes one of the biggest cruise-liners gatherings in the whole world during New Years Eve celebrations for the Firework display.
To what the air transportation industry is concerned, the hydroplane crossed the Atlantic many years before the construction of the Madeira airport in 1964. These hydroplanes touched down in the bay of Funchal. To this respect, one should mention that the first international flight over the Atlantic had the port of Funchal as destination and was performed in 1921 by the aviators Sacadura Cabral, Gago Coutinho e Ortins Bettencourt. This flight served as a test for the air crossing the two first pilots would make in the following year between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro.
At the present, some of the modes of transport previously described were adapted and are now tourist hallmarks. But new modes of transport arose throughout the coast of Madeira, namely Lifts and Cable Cars that ease the access to areas that were formerly accessed by boat solely due to the high slopes. These modes of transport are quite popular today among locals and visitors alike.
Another exciting mode of transport option in Madeira is to go trekking in one of the drizzling Levadas - manmade water channels that began being constructed by the first settlers to bring water from the highest points
of the Island to agricultural places in much lower areas along the South coast. It is estimated that there are today about 200 water streams with a length of nearly 2.000 Km including 40 km of tunnels. These watercourses provide hydroelectric power but also offer dramatic views.

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