During our trip to Hong Kong, we made a day trip across the Pearl River delta to Macau. Like Hong Kong, Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, requiring yet another trip through immigration and another stamp on our passports. Macau’s economy is based largely on tourism, with much of it geared toward gambling. Though we walked through the opulent lobby of one of the casinos, it was the history and architecture of this former Portuguese colony that drew us to Macau.
After the one hour trip from Hong Kong via hydrofoil, we negotiated a two hour tour by car with our own driver. This isn’t the way we usually choose to see a city but it allowed us to see much more in one day than we’d have been able to by public transit or on foot. The tour took us past Macau Tower to a hilltop cathedral and then on to A-Ma Temple, a complex of small pavilions dedicated to various deities, which was built into a hillside. The temple predates the arrival of the Portuguese and the building of the city itself. We also visited the Fortress, once the city’s principal military defense structure. We climbed to its top where cannons still overlook the city below. Next we walked around the Ruins of St. Paul’s. All that remains of the original church structure is the facade which has become a symbol of Macau. The tour also took us to Guia Fortress with its lighthouse which was the first modern lighthouse on the coast of China. When the tour ended, we were dropped at Senado Square, for centuries the urban centre of Macau.
The area surrounding Senado Square was marvelous – like a bit of Mediterranean Europe dropped into Asia! After a Portuguese meal in a small cafe down one of the narrow side streets, we spent the next few hours strolling around the area enjoying the architecture and the fascinating mix of cultures.
A visit to Macau wouldn’t be complete without snacking on its famed egg tarts. Delicious! In fact, I’ve been searching the net for recipes as I’d like to try making these myself.
This brings to an end an absolutely amazing year – truly the adventure of a lifetime! The blog will continue, however. We haven’t decided for sure what the next adventure will be but in the meantime, come along with me as I readjust to life in rural Alberta and discover what retirement is all about.