Thursday, 4 December 2008

Musings About Macau

I know what you're thinking: What's with the Roman Amphitheatre?

Why a shot from Miami?

And what the heck is that last thing?

And aren't you supposed to be musing about Macau, hmmmm?

All just to show you can go around the world pretty Macau.

Our second day of our trip was a day trip to Macau.

All I knew about Macau was that some of my old Hot Wheels cars were made there, back when it was a Portuguese colony, they have casinos, and the remains of St. Paul's church facade is a popular tourist attraction. Aside from that...nothing.

We didn't find any Hot Wheels, but we did find tacky casinos (That's what that last picture was). And it is all part of the Fisherman's Wharf, connected to the Babylon Casino. Getting to the casino, one can walk from Rome, through various locations such as Amsterdam, New Orleans, Miami, an African village, ending at the casino and the Rocks Hotel.No expense has been spared in constructing this mini world. Each building keeps its character on all four sides outside, and the motifs follow through to the interiors. And it is all fake. Even the birds in the birdcage situated in the hotel lobby are fake!
Talk about consistency.

Also tacky is the Sands Casino:
But nothing (and I mean NOTHING!) beats the Grand Lisboa Casino when it comes to being tacky!
Let's face it; how much uglier could it get?

Don't answer that yet. It tops its daytime tackiness with a neon light show at night that makes Las Vegas seem stodgy and reserved by comparison.

Fortunately, there's a lot more to Macau than that! And I'll tell you all about it after we eat:
Brunch was a luscious dim sum. Anyone who knows us knows how much Edson and I love dim sum. And this was good.

Did you hear that?

That was my stomach rumbling just thinking about it!

Anyway, the restaurant was all ready to host a wedding banquet that night, which explains the stage set behind Simon.

Anyway, back to exploring Macau!

Much of the island is a laid-back, walkable, pleasant city which feels much like Amsterdam in a way...a more conservative way...Chinese society isn't as open as Dutch!

Intricate patterns in the sidewalks abound.I found this one amusing:Others may show a church, library, etc.

I'm including this next shot just for my brother-in-law (he's a big Coke sign memorabilia collector):As soon as we saw this, Edson and I thought of you, Jim!

That building sits right beside the Leal Senado building, built in 1784 as Macau's municipal office. Here is Edson admiring the magnificent tile work in the stairs:He then caught this shot from upstairs looking down on Senado Square across the street, which was host to a jazz concert that afternoon.

Street performers play traffic signals, guiding pedestrians across the busy street to the square.The square is a great space which really brings Europe to Asia. It and all the surrounding structures are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so nobody is going to plunk a pre-fab or cinder block eyesore down in it.
Some more scenes as we strolled:

We finally made it to St. Paul's.Oh, and we weren't the only rice/potato couple there that day:

I'd say there was a festival going on that day, as evidenced by this picture, but we all know that anywhere there are large numbers of tourists, every day is a festival!These performers did make it tough to get around to go up to the church ruins, but we did finally manage.

Let me just say that it is a long uphill climb from the flatness where we started at Senado Square, with a lot to see and do along the way.

I'm tired just thinking about it...and typing.

Mostly typing.

Stay tuned for Musings from Macau Part II.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a really lovely travelogue. Can't wait to see Part II.

HF said...

Great post!
Macau is such a wonderful place. Like they say in Portuguese, “não há outra mais leal” (there is no other more loyal).
Helder Fraguas