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To the City Of Dreams!

CHINA | Sunday, 27 March 2011 | Views [470]

Took an early taxi to the pier and after boarding the TurboJet (and being upgraded from economy to deluxe seats), we enjoyed a fast 1 hour trip across the sea to Macau. Got a bit lost in finding our way out of the place and eventually walked to our 4 star hotel. Turned out they had a shuttle bus (without a designated bay or stand at the pier). I think the hotel was graded 4 star in the 60's and hadn't changed at all since then but our room was spacious and above the views of a dirty, littered carpark behind an adjacent casino, we could see the water, albeit hazy. We had forgotten that our hotel had a 2 story casino - though I think every hotel here has some form of gambling available. Took a local bus into a central area and follwed tourist street signs around the hilly centre enjoying the portugese architecture that frequently beautified the quaint 1 way streets and cobblestone alleyways. Gave Mum a workout by climbing to the top of Penha Hill to see it's sights and views of the island and ocean surrounds. Very little in English here as street signs etc are in Spanish and CHinese therefore it was a little harder to work out transport and our way around but it is manageable - well, we didn;t get lost - much. On this day we saw: St Augustines Church, Dom Pedro Theatre, Church of Our Lady of Penha, Penha Cathedral, St Lawrence's Church, Senado Square (with it's array of lovely buildings), Ruins of St Paul's and more. We basically had no plan (as we couldn't follow the pooorly marked tourist map - few street names) but stumbled across a feast for the eyes. It was a beaituful half day walk and one of our favourite buildings was the mansion of Lou Kan - a pity it can't be furnished to bring the dwelling to life though. Ate at our hotel - a little lack of atmosphere as we were the only ones in the large restaurant but the casino was busy with life. Had forgotten how revolting it is to be in large smoky areas so we tried to find some pokies with no smokers nearby and lost a few dollars each. The decor was over the top golden, Chinese, 70's style with lots of browns thrown in. The clientel were all locals and CHinese who were spending quite big bucks around the tables. Were a bit disappointed with our taste of the East's Vegas but had plans to try somewhere with a better name the next evening - so went to bed.

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