*for some reason I can’t attatch pictures at the moment, but as soon as I can I will update this post*
I have been having so much trouble finding time to write, not that I’ve been super busy, unless you consider cultivating a tan as a legitimate activity in which case I’ve been working my butt off for the last 3 weeks solid. Moo has turned into a remarkable underwater swimmer, she still can’t swim on top of the water, but sub-aqua she does indeed swim like a fish. Sadly she can’t breathe like a fish.
We are still waiting for our ‘clubhouse’ cards for the apartment pool, so we have been travelling to the other end of the island by bus every other day to our favourite pool at Hac Sa beach in Coloane. Much as I enjoy the trip it will be much easier when we can just go downstairs and join all the people we have been watching longingly from our apartment window everyday.
On most other days we have been taking trips to Macau island to discover more of what ‘over the water’ holds.
We had the first disappointing ‘visitor experience’ of our time in Macau when we were enticed by the publicity to go to ‘Fisherman’s wharf’ which is billed as an attraction for children and adults to enjoy wandering around in ‘themed’ landscapes.
Hmm. For the most part the theme was the deserted city, with a hint of promise in the ‘coming soon’ posters and banners that flapped limply in the hint of a breeze we were enjoying that morning. But not even the bizarre architecture, mini coliseum shopping mall next to an inactive volcano housing an equally as inactive rollercoaster, could make up for the ¾ empty parades of shops and no ‘attractions’ whatsoever.
A much more satisfactory trip was to the Guia lighthouse built on the highest, natural, point in Macau and surrounded by the magnificent Flora gardens. What an incredible view of the city from the short but very exciting cable car ride to the top, Moo handled her first trip in a cable car very well with only a little yelp when we first ‘took off’’. At the top of the hill it was a short but sweaty climb to the oldest lighthouse in China and we were richly rewarded with the stunning flora and fauna along the way. The dazzling red hibiscus and vibrant yellow, heavenly scented, jasmine intertwined with the centuries old banyan trees whose far reaching roots are as much a part of the walls as the bricks themselves.
The lighthouse and adjacent chapel have recently, and lovingly, refurbished and the original 17th century frescos are glorious.
During a welcome ice-cream stop at the café there was a slightly bizarre moment when all I could hear was the faint strains of ‘hotel California’ drifting up from the city below. How very Macau.
We have also been to the shopper’s paradise that is Zhuhai city Plaza. Now to get to Zhuhai takes a little determination and organization because it is on Mainland China and therefore requires a border crossing, a visa and yet another different currency. But as with just about everything here, if you have the sufficient cash, it’s not a problem.
We rocked up to the border with what seemed like half the population and headed to the visa office, handed over some cash, had our pictures taken and our passports stamped and it was off to border control to go through the formalities. That done we exited into China and were instantly confronted with Zhuhai plaza.
It’s quite hard to describe the place, but taking photographs is forbidden so I’ll do my best.
If you can imagine an indoor market hall with all its little ‘cubby-hole’ shops and stalls crammed into oddly shaped spaces, each stall piled high with a bizarre and eclectic mix of goods for sale. Got that, good, now multiply the size by around about a thousand and you will get some idea of the scale.
The shopping is ferocious but there are bargains to be had and even more if you are versed in the art of ‘haggle’. After much wandering about and trying on (of shoes in particular), we came away laden with goods ranging from new trainers for hubs to a scooter for Moo and a whole stack of DVD’s for very little cash.
Now I’m not saying that everything in Zhuhai is ‘moody’ but it’s almost certainly all a little grumpy at the very least, when I was on my handbag quest I was taken into a ‘secret’ room with the special stock which may or may not have fallen of the back of a Prada lorry on its way past, but even the haggled down price was still a little high for my taste, but there were at least 2 dozen other outlets ready and willing to part me from my cash and unite me with a lovely bag. You will all be pleased to know that I did manage to find a lovely purple leather number and matching wallet.
A few hours of this intensive shopping was quite enough for us and we headed back across the border with our booty. It is not for the weak-willed, but I would recommend it as a day trip for the determined bargain hunter.
So not altogether busy, but with days taken up entertaining small one and evenings spent doing normal things like snuggling up and falling asleep with hubs on the sofa, there hasn’t been much time left for writing, but thankfully Moo has finally fallen into the magical world of Harry Potter so I anticipate at least a couple of hours of ‘free’ time one or two days a week, so hopefully I will get back into the swing of things.
A Bientot, or as they say in Macau, Bai Bai!