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Seeking Illumination In Macau

Back In Asia Again.

sunny

Saint Paul's.

Saint Paul's.

We have been back in Hong Kong for just over two weeks since our five week trip to Europe. Since we have come back, I have done the following things: battled jetlag, scrubbed all the mould off our flat, restocked supplies in our larder, settled outstanding bills, got my plants back from the friend who was looking after them, finished off sorting out banks after the theft of my bank cards, met up with a friend who helps verify that Peter is still alive to satisfy the department in charge of his pension, applied for the new octopus replacement for the over sixties for Peter and met up with friends who are here on holiday. It has rained almost constantly and the rain has come along with thunder and lightning storms and, unbelievable as it may sound, even hailstones. Almost every day has been pitch black and miserable.

Our swimming pool, which closed early for renovation, naturally has not reopened, as it's still undergoing renovation. I feel very tempted to stop paying the monthly fees for that non-service. Peter has hardly been out of the house and is going backwards health-wise, plus the nonstop terrible weather and being stuck indoors has led to us bickering constantly about .... well, pretty much everything. Eventually we decided to do something about this neverending gloom and doom and booked ourselves into the Sofitel, Macau to cheer ourselves up.

Of course, Macau has pretty much the same weather as Hong Kong, so it was a bit of a risk, but miraculously the weather kind of brightened up a bit from the moment we arrived.

We travelled to Macau by taking a bus across the HZMB bridge on Monday 6th of May. There wasn't much of a view. The sea was covered in a dense fog for the entire journey. Peter is having problems with eczema and was itchy and irritable the whole way. I wasn't in the best of moods either. Would Macau sort us out or were we doomed to a life of constant fighting?

The shuttle bus for the Sofitel appeared very shortly after we arrived at the HZMB arrivals area in Macau. I was pleased that we took the longer route to the hotel via the Outer Harbour. It's a bit like getting a mini tour on the way in.

On the hotel shuttle bus.

On the hotel shuttle bus.

Passing a bridge to Taipa.

Passing a bridge to Taipa.

Passing a bridge to Taipa.

Passing a bridge to Taipa.

I managed to get a decent shot of the Guan Yin, goddess of mercy, statue jutting out into the sea. We used to stay in a hotel near here every time we came to Macau, so we have been to visit this statue many times.

This Guan Yin statue is twenty metres tall and was designed by Portuguese architect Cristina Rocha Leiria. Guan Yin is standing on top of a seven metre tall lotus flower which actually encloses an ecumenical centre, containing artefacts and books. There's always relaxing meditative music playing inside here.

Guan Yin on top of her lotus.

Guan Yin on top of her lotus.

Nearly at the hotel.

Nearly at the hotel.

At the hotel we were remembered and welcomed back. We had a new room with a slightly different view. This one overlooked the river, but not the swimming pool. I liked the view, but I also like to be able to see the pool, so that I can tell how busy it is before we go down.

Our new room.

Our new room.

Welcoming gift.

Welcoming gift.

View from our window.

View from our window.

View from the room.

View from the room.

We started our stay with the usual afternoon tea, served on an Eiffel Tower cake stand, which was just as good as ever. I took lots of pictures from the window of the club lounge as the view was pretty clear. It's often very hazy.

Still enjoying The Eiffel Tower.

Still enjoying The Eiffel Tower.

View over Macau from the club lounge.

View over Macau from the club lounge.

A closed view of The Monte Fortress and Saint Paul's.

A closed view of The Monte Fortress and Saint Paul's.

Looking towards the Lisboa Grand Hotel.

Looking towards the Lisboa Grand Hotel.

View over Macau.

View over Macau.

The Macau Tower.

The Macau Tower.

Then we headed down to the pool. The water wasn't cold at all and there were quite a few people swimming. I got chatting to an Australian/Chinese/Portuguese guy called Richard. He told me he had come to Macau from Australia without realising that last week was Golden Week when the whole of China goes on holiday. He said the crowds everywhere were unbelievable and they had all still headed out despite torrential rain. It didn't sound like fun.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the jacuzzi.

Peter in the jacuzzi.

View over the river.

View over the river.

View over the river.

View over the river.

We had a very pleasant swim then went back up to our room to get ready for dinner. I wanted to iron my dress and found the ironing board but couldn't find the iron. I was convinced it was normally attached to the board, so I went to complain. A lady from housekeeping was sent to our room, opened the wardrobe, moved the clothes I had hung up and pointed to the iron attached to the wall. I was getting my hotels mixed up. I swear sometimes I think I am losing my mind. Naturally, I had to apologise to everyone i.e. reception staff and housekeeping, who were really nice about it, while probably secretly thinking: "What a total a***h*** that woman is."

We had a lovely dinner with German sausages, Thai minced pork, fried rice, noodles, peas with sliced almonds. I was sensible only drinking two small beers, then spoiled it by ordering a margarita, which I hated, and which gave me a headache. Neither of us like cocktails, but there's just something so tempting about them being free. I should compel the staff here to just slap me every time I ask for one. It never ends well. This time I wasn't drunk, but the margarita certainly made me feel ill.

Peter at dinner.

Peter at dinner.

View from the club lounge at night.

View from the club lounge at night.

I had considered getting a bus to the Cotai Strip and re-exploring The Venetian after dinner, but I really didn't feel like doing this, so I changed my plans to - 'Go out, wander around, find places that are beautifully illuminated, photograph them, come home.' In fact this turned out to be great fun.

Due to constant roadworks the green man crossing outside the hotel is still not working, so just like last time, I had to cross the road via the pedestrian bridge which leads very quickly to The Rua da Felicidade, Street of Happiness and former red light district. I've already photographed this both by day and night, but I took a few shots here nonetheless.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Rua da Felicidade.

Then, I climbed up the hill past the former red light district to Saint Augustine's Square where Saint Augustine's Church and Saint Joseph's Seminary are and took a couple of shots here.

Saint Augustine's Church.

Saint Augustine's Church.

Entrance to Saint Joseph's Seminary.

Entrance to Saint Joseph's Seminary.

The Virgin Mary at Saint Joseph's Seminary.

The Virgin Mary at Saint Joseph's Seminary.

I've done many buildings in this area by night before, so I just came back down to Senado Square. It always looks beautiful both by day and by night. There are no festivals taking place at the moment, so the square wasn't decorated, but it was still lovely.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

Senado Square at night.

However, I didn't want to just visit places I had already been to at night, I wanted to see some other places, too, so I headed off to Macau Cathedral. The cathedral itself wasn't that brightly lit, but the buildings around it were, so it was all quite pretty.

Fountain on the way to Cathedral Square.

Fountain on the way to Cathedral Square.

Masked pig outside restaurant near Cathedral Square.

Masked pig outside restaurant near Cathedral Square.

Macau Cathedral.

Macau Cathedral.

Cathedral Square.

Cathedral Square.

Buildings on Cathedral Square.

Buildings on Cathedral Square.

I decided to wander down to the Monte Fortress, because I thought there might be good nighttime views over Macau from here. To get there I passed Saint Dominic's Church and The Ruins of Saint Paul's. I also passed lots of shops, food stalls and restaurants.

Saint Dominic's Church.

Saint Dominic's Church.

Stall on street famous for food.

Stall on street famous for food.

Food shop.

Food shop.

Food shop.

Food shop.

Food shop.

Food shop.

Food shop.

Food shop.

I had wondered if the fortress would be too lonely to visit at night, but it wasn't. There were walkers and joggers and people sitting outside eating and drinking. The main problem was some areas were very dark. At one point I tripped on a step I couldn't see in the dark, but managed to correct myself before hitting the ground and wasn't injured.

I photographed the fortress itself, some nighttime views from it and some of the many cats that live here.

Monte Fortress.

Monte Fortress.

Monte Fortress.

Monte Fortress.

View towards our hotel from the fortress.

View towards our hotel from the fortress.

View from the fortress.

View from the fortress.

View from the fortress.

View from the fortress.

Night view of Saint Paul's from the fortress.

Night view of Saint Paul's from the fortress.

Grand Lisboa from the fortress.

Grand Lisboa from the fortress.

Cat.

Cat.

I then headed back to The Ruins of Saint Paul. This is always a popular place for photography both by day and at night.

Saint Paul's from the bottom of its hill.

Saint Paul's from the bottom of its hill.

Saint Paul's.

Saint Paul's.

Saint Paul's from behind.

Saint Paul's from behind.

View from the ruins of Saint Paul's.

View from the ruins of Saint Paul's.

I took some pictures of the small Na Tcha Temple located right next to it.

Na Tcha Temple .

Na Tcha Temple .

Near the Na Tcha Temple.

Near the Na Tcha Temple.

At the Na Tcha Temple .

At the Na Tcha Temple .

Then I headed onto what's supposed to be Macau's most romantic street the Travessa da Paixão or Street of Passion which is lined with colourful old buildings and looks towards the Ruins of Saint Paul's. I've been here before in the daytime, but not at night.

Looking down on the Travessa da Paixão.

Looking down on the Travessa da Paixão.

Looking up towards Saint Paul's.

Looking up towards Saint Paul's.

Travessa da Paixão.

Travessa da Paixão.

Doorways on the Travessa da Paixão.

Doorways on the Travessa da Paixão.

I could have headed back to areas I knew from here, but I was feeling more adventurous than that, so I just headed off into the surrounding streets to see what I could find. I actually found loads: street art, restaurants, art works, strings of lights. It was fun just to wander aimlessly and I knew that even if I got lost I would eventually arrive somewhere I recognised.

There were some attractive looking restaurants.

Restaurant.

Restaurant.

I headed off down a colourful stairway. (Later when I was researching something else, I discovered this is reputed to be the most haunted place in Macau. I got no bad vibes from it at all. In fact I loved it, but apparently locals nickname it Cannibal Street and there's a gruesome story attached to it.)

Illuminated stairway.

Illuminated stairway.

Exploring with no idea where I am going.

Exploring with no idea where I am going.

Portuguese street.

Portuguese street.

I came to a brightly lit street with a cat sculpture and some artwork.

Cat sculpture.

Cat sculpture.

Lit up street.

Lit up street.

Lit up street.

Lit up street.

Buddha art.

Buddha art.

I passed a little shrine and some interesting back alleyways.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Back alley.

Back alley.

Further down I came to another brightly lit street with a coca-cola dragon on it

Coca-Cola dragon.

Coca-Cola dragon.

Coca-Cola dragon.

Coca-Cola dragon.

Lit up street.

Lit up street.

There was a larger street with colourful houses at the bottom of the hill.

Colourful buildings.

Colourful buildings.

Colourful buildings.

Colourful buildings.

Then I came to a small side street lined with artwork and, of course, there were motorbikes everywhere.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Motorbikes.

Motorbikes.

I wandered onto a larger street with restaurants and shops then suddenly recognised the building at the end of the street. From here I was quickly back onto the Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro, the main street in Old Macau. The humidity and my own tiredness were getting to me and I decided to head home.

Shop and post box.

Shop and post box.

At the end of the street. I know that tall building.

At the end of the street. I know that tall building.

Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro.

Avenida de Almeida Ribeiro.

Near the hotel.

Near the hotel.

It had been a fun day and I could sense that both Peter and I felt better for it.

Night view from our room.

Night view from our room.

Posted by irenevt 03:16 Archived in Macau

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Comments

Good to see you getting back to life as normal. I love the Portuguese tiles in Macau.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, there are quite a few nice examples of Portuguese tiles here. They are always so colourful. Yes it feels good to start getting back to normal a bit more. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

What a lovely idea to photograph illuminated buildings - and I’m glad you’re back to being adventurous again. Peter looks so happy to be swimming again too. The weather looks perfect.

by Catherine

Hi Catherine, the weather was very humid, but at least it didn't rain constantly. It was good to be active again.

by irenevt

You certainly kept busy after the trip! Loving the pictures!

by Ils1976

Hi Ils, glad you are enjoying them. I like taking night shots.

by irenevt

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