We were up and out early today as we moved onto Macau. We trudged over to the ferry and bought a ticket for the next boat which was in 10 minutes. We rushed through check-in, customs and immigration and were on the boat with 2 seconds to spare. The ride over was in a catamaran which was a bit choppy at times - not good for me as I am the worlds worst sailor. We arrived in Macau and caught a bus to our hotel.
After settling in, we then set off to do a bit of exploring (via a cake shop as Macau is famous for its pastries). We went up to the Guia fortress - an old light house which overlooks the city. The town is split by this hill into the new part - mainly on reclaimed land - with all the casinos on it and the old city. The lighthouse was good but incredibly hot as there was no shade. We made our way down to the new part of town and had a look at some of the casinos (air conditioned thank goodness) - some were quite plush and some were downright tacky - but all were doing a brisk trade. I dread to think what it is like here on the weekends when the place is supposed to be overrun with mainland and Hong Kong Chinese. We went into the largest casino - Sands - which is vast with literally hundreds of gaming tables, shows, and 3 restaurants. The tackiest place had to be Fisherman's wharf - which consisted of poor copies of various buildings (ranging from the Coliseum to New Orleans) all in concrete that looked like fibre glass - anything to bring the punters in.
The next day we saw the other side of Macau - having seen the slightly tacky side we were going to walk round the old 'heritage' sites. The day did not start too well as we went to eat our breakfast in the hotel and found there was nothing left there worth eating - a few dried out noodles, some sweet corn and some aubergine - a strange mix even for a Chinese breakfast. So it was a quick stop at the pastry shop before onto the first park to eat it.The heritage walk was very good - it took us through various churches and squares. The churches were in the pastel colours like Portugal with the squares beautifully tiled and covered in flowers. All of this made you think you were back in Europe - apart from the Chinese signs and people all around you. The day certainly was in contrast with the casinos of yesterday but Macau clearly earns it's money from gambling these days - it's supposed to take as much money as Las Vegas and you could see why.
Diner was in the old town in a Portuguese restaurant - good seafood and knives and forks!