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Once we finished our visit of the Ruins of St Paul Church (Mater Dei) we schlepped (Yiddish expression meaning: to move slowly or laboriously) onto the bus and headed to more sights on Macau.
OH JOY! Our first stop was at the Macau Tower. OH FUN! I have already mentioned my past life as a tour operator and this had all the makings of a site inspection…JUST WHAT I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO!
The ‘thing’ is OK, but it’s puny at 233 meters high compared to the CN Tower in Toronto at 553 meters high or the Canton Tower at 600 meters high or the tallest, the Burj Khalifa at 829 meters high.
Here, you compare:
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Now you have to understand that I have a problem with heights. If I have to go up an elevator for 553 meters as I have done several times at the CN Tower Toronto, I have to be facing the inner wall otherwise my last meal will be on the floor. That’s why I insist on a window seat on airplanes – HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THAT?
There was no way I was tempting fate and travelling up to the top observation deck at the Macau Tower. The problem is SWMbO is worse than I am. The mere thought of going up an elevator for more than 10 floors make her want to wretch! She takes a pill when we fly and she insists on an aisle seat for easy access to the ‘loo’ – every time.
So we satisfied ourselves with stay with our feet firmly planted on the ground. As SWMbO had a wonderful opportunity, she met one of her idols, and here’s the proof:
Other than that, the bathrooms passed inspection and basically that’s all I have to say other the the numb skulls that think they are invincible and dive off a tower like this just for fun need to have their heads examined.
Well, surprise, surprise there was one in our group that just had to prove his manhood to his young wife by doing so! If I have to prove my manhood by jumping off a building 233 meter high, there is definitely something wrong with my relationship with SHWMbO. Thank GOD that’s not necessary in our case and I’m 66 YEARS OLD & I’m not SUPERMAN – but this Bangladeshi ‘kid’ from Bangalore had to be in his 30’s…WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM ‘PRECISELY’, EH, CAN’T GET IT…?
OK, so you don’t believe me. Well here’s the proof, for you DOUBTING THOMASES here it is, the ‘mutant’ throwing himself off the tower:
And then, if more proof is needed, you can barely see him, but he’s there…
[left click on any of the photos to view it larger format]
My history teacher in high school, a Jesuit, Father Edward Q. Moriarty, SJ, at Regiopolis College in Kingston, Ontario, used to say to us in history class if we did or said something unforgivably stupid: “Mister, mister, that’s the epitome of dumbness…” Mort, as we called him (although never to his face) was the best friend of Vince Lombardi of Green Bay Packers fame – they were two of the best people I have ever had the privilege of knowing and/or meeting. And I am sure if confronted with someone bungee jumping off a 233 meter high tower he would say the same thing: “Mister, Mister, that’s the epitome of dumbness…” ‘Nuff said’.
I was getting rather bored by this time and was hoping we could get onto the more important sights. But, we weren’t going anywhere for the time being, so I had to satisfy myself…WHOA. ..I did it by taking more pictures.
And then I got this one…
I was intrigued by the church in this photo, so I went about trying to discover what or which one it was. It turns out that it is the Our Lady of Penha Church. The story behind it is that the church was founded in 1622 by the crew and passengers of a ship which had narrowly escaped capture by the Dutch. The chapel served as a point of pilgrimage for sailors embarking on a hazardous voyage. It is now the site of the Bishop’s Palace. Although it is listed as a PREMIER ATTRACTION by the Macau Tourism Board, because of time constraints we were not going to visit it. It will definitely be on the itinerary of our next visit to this great little island.
It was getting late and some in the group had to get to the Ferry Terminal, soon, so they wouldn’t miss their connections home in Hong Kong – so we were rushed to our last stop.
This is our second significant and historic CHURCH in Macau. And, it’s part of another UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.
It is the oldest and most famous Temple in Macau having been built in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in honour of Mazu (Matsu), the sacred sea goddess of seafarers and fishermen. This is the A-Ma Temple
It is reported that when the Portuguese landed on the beach near the temple, they asked the local inhabitants the name of the land, but the locals misunderstood, thinking that they were asking for the name of the temple. The locals answered ‘Ma Ge’. The Portuguese translated the name into ‘Macau’ and used it to refer to the land.
In 2006 the A-Ma Temple was named as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Historic Centre of Macau.
The trip here would certainly not be complete without a visit to the Koi Kei Bakery. It is a mandatory stop because they allow you to try the various types of ‘cookies’ they offer for sale before you buy them. There are literally 50 or 60 different varieties. The shop is tucked in on a small, narrow street just off Barra Square and the A-Ma Temple.
“Me want cookie! Me eat cookie!”…
This place would be heaven on earth for Cookie Monster.
As we mentioned they offer some of the best ‘cookies’ and baked products I have ever eaten and they even produce their own beef jerky which is fantastic…here’s a look at some of the ‘product’.
So while SWMbO is at Koi Kei I walk about the area to see whatever I can see…the square (Barra Square) is interesting, I sit under the shade of a gnarled old tree and watch the world go by…
And just across the square is the Macau Maritime Museum, which is well worth a visit, but again we were being given the “last call” and had to hustle so our friends from Bangalore could get their ferry back to HK and their flight home…wonder if they were on time for that?
It was getting close to 6:30 PM and we had planned to take a later ferry back to Kowloon so that we could explore some more on our own…but it was still raining so we decided to take the first available ferry back to base and hope that we could return to Macau in the not too distant future.
It was an early night for both of us, since we were heading home in the morning… come on back in a few days for the conclusion of our adventure in China! See you soon.
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