Up and at ’em – it was time to go to Macau. We got down to the Ferry terminus for 0930, and met Maggie and Francis again. They would be our unofficial tour guides. Excellent, since I had no idea what to expect in Macau.
Macau landmark tower:
We hopped on a 0945 TurboJet ferry, and the ride was probably about 50 minutes. The ferries leave every 15 minutes, and there seems to be a steady stream of customers heading for the heritage or gambling of Macau. The ride was so smooth that I took advantage of the time to get some shuteye. Once off the ferry, we were assailed by people trying to sell us tours of the city by 3 wheeled bike. It must the big white tourist look on me, but they were pretty persistant. We walked past them, and found a taxi to take us to the old town. Beautiful place. There were all kinds of buildings with old Portugese architecture, and due to the strong Roman Catholic influence, more than a couple of churches, intermingled with the various Buddhist shrines.
Portuguese architecture on Macau:
Same plaza reflected in a Christmas decoration:
One of the first orders of the day was to get some food. We went to an old, traditional noodle house with a long history on Macau. We had delicious noodles, and portuguese pork buns – a favourite of Maggie’s. They WERE quite good. After lunch, we headed around a few of the old streets, and found a GREAT gelatto place. They had flavours like “Rose Tea”, and “Pink Grapefruit”. We sampled various, and I settled on Mango and Lemon. Mrs D had Guava and Coconut. All were delicious.
Now…time for some sightseeing. We went over to the famous St.Paul’s ruins. The only remaining wall (the front wall) from an ancient church, founded by the “Jesus Society”, and completed in 1602. Unfortunately a fire destroyed most of the church in the 1800’s
Ruins of St Paul’s:
After the Church, we walked up to the Museum, which was built on the old grounds of the central fort in Macau. There are various archeological expositions that have unearthed the original foundations of the fort. The museum documented the arrival of the Portuguese, and how they integrated the two cultures in Macau. It displayed how the Portuguese helped to bring tea and silk to the rest of Europe, and how the Chinese influence mixed with the European to form unique blend of cultures in Macau. Very interesting.
We then wandered around an area which had 1000’s of lillies in full bloom. The air was thick with the rich,beautiful aroma. We took many pictures of these beautiful flowers.
After the flowers, we headed to Taipa island and found some places selling various jerkies. They even sold “Wild boar”! We picked up some spicy beef jerky, as well as some bakery goods. Lots of stuff that is unique to Macau. At the bakery, you could watch them making the sesame cookies, and the egg roll cookies. It was quite interesting to watch.
Egg roll cookies:
After wandering about, we went down to the Sands casino, and I went to play a little blackjack while the other three checked out the casino and area. Thankfully we were to meet after a fairly short time, because quite quickly I did my part to donate money to the casino coffers. $200HKD minimum bets will chew through your bankroll pretty quickly if you don’t win a few hands 😦
Losing completed, we grabbed another taxi, and asked him to take us to a classical portuguese restaurant. We had crab, chicken, pork, seafood rice in pineapple, and a vegetarian dish. It was very tasty and again very filling!
This brought us to 2100 so we headed back to the ferry, and managed to get on a 2145 boat, 15 minutes ahead of our booked ferry. Being on “stand-by” I thought we mind end up sitting miles apart. We ended up sitting at a little table. Not that it mattered too much. Again, the trip was an opportunity to catch some shuteye.
Once back in Hong Kong, we said Goodbye to Maggie and Francis, and headed to the roof of parkade of the Star Ferry terminal to get some night shots since I now have a tripod. I got good pics of the HSBC tower, the IFC tower, and another.
We got home finally around 00:30, resulting in us going to sleep almost instantly.
I don’t know when my next update will be, since we are leaving to Xian and Beijing tomorrow. Keep well! I’ll post when I can.