Jacob and I got up very early and headed to the train station to transfer to a ferry at Central. We got some breakfast in the building, then rushed up to grab a ticket for the 9am ferry. We had to ride First Class on the way over or wait two hours, so we rode in style. That really just means our seats awkwardly faced another couple with a table between us, and we got complimentary drinks and a box of cookies. The ride was about an hour to the west across the sea. It was only a little choppy and we felt bad for the small boats of fisherman getting hit by our wake and we cruised across towards Macau.
On the other side, we got off the boat and passed through customs to the curb where we hailed a taxi. Taxis in Macau are dirt cheap, but they’re really difficult to find. We were also expecting to use Portuguese to get around, but we found people didn’t speak Portuguese or English really. When we got off of the taxi, we started in the A-Ma village. We looped back around by Barra Hill then returned to the ancient temple of A-Ma. There were people praying and incense burning everywhere. There were smaller incense sticks people would wave in their hands, plus large, decorative ones burning where they were stuck into the ground. In some roofed buildings, there were incense coils slowly burning, hanging from the ceiling like mobiles. The temple was hundreds of years old and was built slowly since about 1488 and is one of the old Taoist temples in Macau.
From A-Ma, we ascended Penha Hill towards the Lady of Penha Chapel. From the church, we could see the Macau tower and several bridges. There was a wedding shoot happening on one side of the hill, so we dodged it and went towards the Saint Augustine church and D. Pedro V theatre. It’s evident how much influence Portugal had based on the architecture (and, plus, all of the Portuguese on the signs). We left next for Largo do Senado. That square had a classic white and black Portuguese style tiling. There were also tons of Christmas decorations up for the holidays. We walked around a little, then stopped at a shop right at the front of the square to eat classic egg tarts. Then we walked around to find yet another Fodor recommendation closed on our trip. We finally settled for some dim sum in a restaurant that was so crowded, it kept sending us up a floor until one of its sections had the space. We also had some Macau beer.
We rushed back to the square after lunch to see what we were most exited for: The Ruins of Sao Paulo. It was literally just the facade of an old church, but it was up on a hillside and looked really cool. The market on the way was so crowded that my phone got knocked out of my hand and broken (the screen only partially works now so it’s basically worthless). We left the ruins to visit Monte Fort at the Macau Museum. From there, we decided we needed to return to Taipa island to catch our ferry. We ran down several streets and were beginning to panic when we finally dodged in front of a cab with an empty backseat, pulled open the door, jumped in, and asked the driver to take us very quickly to the ferry. He did just that and so we tipped him well and rushed in to our ferry line, this time riding in the economy section.
Our ferry was another hour back, then we transferred from Central to the Tsim Sha Tsui exit on the other side of the Bay. We met up with our team at the hotel and headed over towards our games. This time, we beat Sweden then Jacob and I got Starbucks with some of the guys and left to find food in the Miromar Tower. We had no luck getting what we want, so I grabbed some fries and a Taro Pie and rushed back to the game to beat Hong Kong yet again. We headed back for showers and went straight to bed yet again – a really long day!