Friday, July 22, 2011

Old Macau

Old Macau is a little bit of the Mediterranean on the South China Sea.  It's a cultural mix of Chinese, Portuguese, and Macanese, which has its own dialect called patua.  The official checking our passports when we arrived was called Pedro Lam!!  Trade was the most important activity in the early years, but Macau also became a center of Christianity in Asia, because of the priests and missionaries who came on the Portuguese ships.
Largo do Senado, or Senado Square.  Love the stripes!!

I don't know what this is, but l like the pastel colors of the buildings and all the fancy trim!

Built in 1860, it was the first western style theater in China.

This organization was responsible for establishing the first westernized type medical clinic in  Macau.

St. Dominic's Church  There is a real mix of religions in Macau, because of the various influences of the  different cultures.
Ruins of St. Paul's   This was a Jesuit church built in the early 17th century.  It was designed by an Italian Jesuit and completed by early Japanese Christian exiles and Chinese craftsmen in 1602.  The Jesuits were expelled in 1762 and it was taken over by  a military battalion.  A fire in 1835 destroyed everything but the front wall and stone steps.  What is left has been described as a "sermon in stone" or a "Bible to the poor" because of the many illustrations of the Bible carved into the stone.

Looking down from the old church facade into the business area.  There is a Dairy Queen in that yellow building on the left!!

 They had a water cube building like Beijing, but l don't know what it actually was used for.  It was rather pretty as the colors and patterns kept changing.

 I'm not sure what this was, but it was rather interesting and looked old!!  I don't think it was though!

Some of these next few pictures are of the same buildings taken at night.

 A neat little street off the main plaza.

 Isn't this a cool looking courtyard?

I really liked the old Mediterranean style buildings, and plaza.  I tried a Pasteis de nata, or warm egg-custard tart, and it was really good.  They are also know for dried meats, like jerky, but we didn't have the nerve to try them.

Back to the modern world!!  Macau Tower and Convention Center.

Look up, way up!!.. and then go walk around outside on that outer ring!!

 On the inside there is a walkway that has glass floors, and l couldn't make myself walk over them, let alone walk outside.
 If jumping is too scary, you can harness up and walk on the open air walkway all around the perimeter of the tower.
 Just looking down made me want to grab the nearest thing to hang on to!

We saw four people do the jump and this girl was a cool as a cucumber.  Some were obviously nervous, but you have to admire their nerve.  If you watched from this level all you saw was the person go off the edge of the platform sticking out, but if you went down a couple floors to the indoor observation deck you saw the body go flying past you just out the window.  That was sort of freaky even though you knew they were harnessed in, it still looked like someone falling to their death off the tower!

Here is a motto for you live by!!  There is no way on earth you'd get me to jump off this or anything else, but if you're into it, l guess it would be quite the thrill.  Coming to live here is as close as l'll ever be to jumping into the unknown, and that's quite enough!!

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