We departed Singapore early by bus at the 'Golden Mile Complex', the coach was lovely, tonnes of legroom and TV's and cheap too, result! We had to be stamped out of Singapore then went into some sort of 'Limbo land' before being stamped in with the Malaysian officials, most confusing! A film was then shown, after the driver's helper had put back our seats and closed the curtains before we were dumped miles away from anything on the side of the road by a Ford garage, well I say dumped, we knew we would be dropped there, but were still surprised at not being anywhere near a bus terminal or anything, and it was at this point that Joey and I realised that, ah, things may be getting more complicated from here on in! 'Luckally' we got a taxi into the centre of town, he seemed confused at the name of our guest house as it was pretty new but we were fairly convinced that as it was on a very long road that certainly isn't new, he would be able to take us to the correct place, no such luck, round and round we went into various parts of Melaka and he asked many people if they knew of this place as it was on 'this road', it wasn't! We had crossed a river that didn't need crossing and were certainly not on the correct road, but no amount of pointing at the correct place on the map could convey that he may have gone wrong! Eventually after many more circles and an explanation that we needed to turn around to ascending numbers rather than descending we arrived at our guest house feeling rather flustered! Luckily the accommodation was really lovely, so we soon felt a little better about the situation! 'Old Town Guest House' is run by Christophe and his Malaysian wife and they live there with their little girl who is oh so cute! They have renovated the entire building into dorms, doubles and twins and its such a lovely large open space with tea and breakfast all day and loads of films to choose from, such a relaxing place, we could have easily spent a while there! There were also a lovely crowd staying there at the same time as us, even a couple, Nat and Dave, who lived in Lee until they came away travelling (and went to uni in Canters), funny hoe many times you end us saying 'Small World'!
Melaka, after we had got over the journey and looked at it with fresh eyes, is a lovely place. We walked around China Town and Jonker street taking in the temples, restaurants and shops along the way on the first afternoon and eyed up a restaurant called the 'Geographer' for dinner that night. The town really comes alive in the evening with all of the riverside and churches and temples being lit up, we decided to make the most of this by going on a boat trip along the river! We passed by traditional Malay houses, which are traditionally built on stilts along the river along with various fair ground rides and bizarrely, coloured lights going from 1-100 on one side and a-z on the other! When we returned they stopped the boat by some fountains dancing about with coloured lights in between, pretty cool!
The following day was spent walking up to Bukit St. Paul to see the ruins of an old church up on the hill and to get an amazing view over Melaka, apparently school children all over the world can be irritating in big groups, they took great delight in saying 'hello lady how are you' to great amusement to their classmates, apparently there are no clothes that you can wear as two 'blondies' walking about town to merge in and not warrant unwanted attention!! All good fun and the views were worth it!! There was a chap up there playing (and 'singing') old Ronan 'classics', lord help us!
We then viewed Porta de Santiago (more school children!) and the Proclamation of Independence Memorial, we went in later in the afternoon when we were after some air con, not the best decision, board after board of text, I wasn't taking much in, indeed at one point of trying to look interested but really not being Joey caught me staring at a board written in Malaysian, clearly it was time to leave! After a naughty MacDonald's 'cool me down please' ice cream we head onto the Maritime Museum, which was really cool. Its held in a large ship and houses loads of replicas and mementos of the time of Portuguese and British power to the present day, a really impressive structure and pretty interesting too, not bad for RM2 (50P!)
After an afternoon's chilling at the guesthouse whilst waiting for the daily afternoon's rain to clear we went to see a monument for the Japanese occupation during the second world war and a temple with Hang Li Poh's Well attached, not the most impressive thing we have ever seen, before sitting down to sort out a plan of action for the next week or so. It quickly became apparent that Lonely Planet fibbed to us and we cant fly from Penang to Koh Samui, so Penang is now off the agenda and were therefore going to the islands a few days early, which is a shame but never mind. That evening was then spent watching Slumdog and eating pineapple biscuits, thanks for the tip Rachel, they are lovely!