Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tue 29 Nov - Macao

Today we started with a visit to the gym on level 8. Managed by a Kiwi, it had lots of new and modern equipment and we spent almost an hour there. Breakfast was tea and sort of leftover bread and cookies that we had in the room.

We had decided to continue our walking in the centro of Macao, but this time a bit more off the beaten track.

Just after 10am, we went downstairs and decided to jump on any shuttle bus that would take us to town. As a bus just came in and then immediately started to load, we jumped on it and ended back at the wharf from yesterday. We crossed the street and a strong smell hit us...

Fish was hung out to dry from a number of shops and was being cleaned by others. We seem to have a knack for ending up in the dried seafood district in various cities!

Anyway, this time, we headed north and ended up at a nice park and garden, immediately next to a lovely old building and the old protestant cemetary.

We found out that the lovely Old Protestant Cemetary had a Swedish connection among all the old seafarers who perished long before their time.

Here is the grave from the first swedish consul to Macao, with enscriptions in both English and Swedish (2 sides in each language)

Di kept pointing out that people died young in those early days of Macao.  Either as children, in their 20's or else for some reason at age 54 (Hans' age - not trying to suggest anything...).  The Swedish consul and an Australian man were the few who died in their 70's.

We sort of got lost but found a lovely chinese park, Jardin Lim Loc where rocks had been put together in formations to create various pieces, we saw Big Bird for example.  They had a building in the centre of the park which had a Macao photography exhibition with some stunning pictures. Very impressive indeed. BTW, the security guard had his lunch while we were there and right of a sudden his rear let off a very loud... echoing throughout the room. Nice.

Lunch at a "hole in the wall cafe" so popular with locals we had to queue to share a table. There was no way that Di was going to let anybody queue jump. Misunderstanding, she accidentally stopped a lady who was picking up her take away lunch...

And here is the menu...

Anyway, Hans ended up with a Chicken Curry and Di had an interesting and popular mix of noodles, soup, thinly sliced pork chop and... smoked sausage very similar to bockwurst or kransky. Both VERY good and very cheap. No wonder that joint was popular.

This hole in the wall was just downhill from Guia hill fortress and lighthouse, the highest point in Macao, so we wandered up there after lunch.  The lighthouse is still operating today and they also use the hill to signal cyclone warnings to the locals. There was some history of cyclones in Macao with the worst still dating back to 1874 when 5.3 metres of water almost wiped out the whole city.

Guia Hill is a lovely place. No tour groups is buses and there was a wide surfaced walkway all the way around the top, with joggers and runners etc.

A few pictures from the Guia hill fortress and lighthouse.

Now, we then tried to come down the hill a different way and closer to the strip around the ferry wharf to grab a shuttle bus home. Almost impossible to get down as a pedestrian - no path nor steps existed. We came down halfways to a major road, but then had to walk along that road quite a distance away from where we wanted to be. No footpath - literally on the road surface (which looks like it's used for the grand prix track).

Anyway, eventually we came down to the water and had to backtrack, but decided to check for shuttle buses at the Macao Ferry Wharf as well as logistics for getting back to Hong Kong tomorrow. All good and easy and in no time we were back at the hotel.

Pool time for an hour, with Margarita and Carlsberg, then massively over-cheesed pizza in the food court before we went to the theatre on level 1 to see Cirque de Soleil.

A bit unfair to see something like that just after House of Dancing Water, but it was still a spectacular show, with lots of interesting props like a massive floating dragon over our heads and some jawdropping and beautiful acrobatics. And they had 2 clowns while HoDW only had 1. The cast sometimes came into the audience and things flew over our heads. We even got snowed on. Lots of fun and some beautiful moments.  We had great seats and for approximately $70AUD each it was a lovely evening.  Back to the room afterwards to wind down.

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