Lighthouse, churches, casinos

I took a short trip to Macao in March.

Although Macao is famous for its gambling industry it was its small town atmosphere that we sought. The former Portuguese colony has also done a good job of preserving historical buildings intact. Were those buildings in Hong Kong, they would likely be gutted and stuffed with designer boutiques and Soho-esque restaurants incongruous with the historical setting. Or, they may be torn down and rebuilt in some disneyfied form.

One highlight of the trip was the Guia Fort and Lighthouse, situated on the highest point in Macao Peninsula. The tranquil walk around the fortress was a great way to start the day. The air was super fresh and the chilly morning breeze was invigorating.

 

We also liked the display of real typhoon signals:

We then followed the signs to the cable car terminal. On the way, I spotted this man in a rather funny T-shirt:

The cable car ride turned out to be rather short, probably less than three minutes. We wondered if it has sufficient revenue to fund its maintenance as the fare was super cheap at MOP3 per round trip, and even so there weren’t many passengers. The whole facility also looked old, with paint chipped off in many places. Still, we decided to take our chances. Well this is Macao. Even when you’re not in a casino, you gamble.

We then took a bus to Bishop Hill, to see Our Lady of Penha Church. On clear days the location offers a sweeping panorama of the sea. Unfortunately we visited on a foggy day. Still I enjoyed the dreamy view with the buildings half-shrouded in the mist:

On one side of the large courtyard is a marble statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary facing the border of China, as if praying for that land.

Nowadays it is the gamblers that receive her blessings:

Also memorable was our Portuguese dinner at Pérola, Sands (yes we did go to casinos after all). The lobster rice was superb!

Some other photos from the trip:

  

 

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