Imagine a garden that it is so perfect that it couldn't possibly be real.
Well it does exist and is called the Monte Palace Gardens.
It is high up on the hillside above Funchal, and we visited today. Most people get to it very easily and efficiently on the cable car. Obviously we aren't most people so we caught a bus from the outside of our hotel. It gradually wound its way upwards, sometimes heading west, sometimes east, sometimes up and sometimes down, but eventually it did drop us in Monte.
We then took a while to actually find the garden entrance, and passed by the tourists taking the sledge ride back down the hill.
As soon as we entered the gates, we were straight into another world. The gardens run down the very steeply sloping site and according to the guidebook, they have an abundant collection of exotic plants from all over the world.
The owners through the years have also been avid collectors of sculptures, tiles, pagodas, Buddhas, stone seats, lanterns and much more, and they are scattered liberally throughout the gardens.