American materialism and anitquity unite

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
Trip End Aug 16, 2010

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Flag of China  ,
Saturday, July 10, 2010

OMG. I just realized that I have not even begun this entry. The headline should be indicative of what this small island nation was like, however, because I have time, I will extrapolate.

A brief background: Macau is a small island to the east of China. Although it is very close to the mainland, it has its own borders and nationality. From shore, it looks no different than Las Vegas. It is only the curious, inquisitive traveler that makes it past the high rises and casinos. That is what a small branch of the group decided to do. We called ourselves the "antiquity seekers."

You see, we knew there was antiquity; it was just hidden. The island was ruled for many years by the Portugese who used the acropolis as a fortress to protect their wealth. We were determined to find the heart of their once vast empire.

The map was not exactly helpful. You see, the streets had not changed much from earlier times. They were lined with cobblestones and were cut according to the conteurs of the land. After nearly five unsuccessful turns, (led by the girls) I asked to navigate. We experienced immediate success! I found several iglesias (churches), museums and convents. The highlight was the acropolis located in the heart of Macau. Perched atop the acropolis was a well fortified fortress with the facade of an ancient church. I learned that while most of the church burned to the ground in a fire in the early 20th century, the front still remained! It was quite a site.

Unfortunately, we could not explore its inner depths as it closed for viewing literally 5 minutes before we arrived. DAMN IT! Ugh, maybe another time.

At least I had the opportunity to sit atop a canon and envision myself blowing up the high rises and casinos nearly 1000 meters away. Gosh, I'm so dogmatic about modern times!

We finished the day with a cheap and satisfying Chinese meal at the dock. Tomorrow, I start teaching! :)

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