1st March 2009, Sunday
To cross or not to cross over?
We started the day late after a long yesterday in Hong Kong. The chilly weather did not help to ease the stiffness in both my legs. I am glad I didn’t get any blisters with the obscene amount of walking! Thanks to my old trusty Reebok which has been traveling with me for the past 2 years.
We had some simple breakfast of toast and noodles beside our hotel before heading for Coloane. From our hotel, we took bus no. 26 to Coloane. Price of bus ticket is MOP5 for each person. Other buses no. are 26A, 21A, 15 and 25. You stop at Villa de Coloane, overlooking a small town square where a little cupid could be found.
Lord Stow’s fantabulous Portuguese egg tarts!
Coloane is a small fishing village, situated about a 20 minutes bus ride away from town. The moment we got off the bus, I was greeted by smell of freshly baked egg tarts. I signaled the gang to this Lord Stow’s café, just opposite the bus stop for another round of morning breakfast. One Portuguese egg tart is NEVER enough! Even we just had breakfast an hour ago, we stuffed our face again with two egg tarts each and washed it all down with a cup of café latte or expresso, whichever we fancy. We also had tiramisu (and they really use generous amount of liquor in it!) and the pumpkin dessert with steamy hot, creamy pumpkin pudding inside! Their breakfast set of freshly baked croissant and also salads looked mouth watering too! Too bad, we were a little stuffed with all the food we had earlier on.
We then proceeded to walk to the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier’s. It’s a colorful chapel in yellow, red, green and blue. At the square, I read from the internet that you could have some authentic Portuguese food. We didn’t try because we were already stuffed silly with so much food earlier on.
Benches for the tired and worn out
We walked by and charmed by the quiet, sleepy town with old benches and colorful houses overlooking the sea line. At the end of the short road, where a small light house is, there is a temple called Tam Kung temple. We loitered around for awhile, taking pictures before turning back and headed towards the old ferry pier – Ponte Cais de Coloane.
There, we saw a huge crowd by the pier, standing and walking around, looking at the water. Curiosity got the better of us, so we went to find out. Apparently, there were some monks blessing and praying for visitors and it was a good day to “fong sang”. There were pails with live fishes inside and the believers went to let go at the sea, near the pier.
Beside the pier, there was a shop selling all kinds of salted fish and other fish produce. This place reminds me of Tanjung Sepat. The only difference is probably the chilly weather and it was much, much quieter compared to Tanjung Sepat on weekends, even with bus loads of visitors made way to the pier for blessing and some came to buy some fish produce. I was joking with my friends that, the moment all these deities let go of their fishes, the fishes would end right up here (pointing at the shop selling fish produce) - sunned and salted. An elderly lady who was standing near me laughed at my remark.
Crispy roast suckling piglet
On our way back to the town centre, we stopped by a quiet restaurant for a quick lunch. Here, we had the roasted suckling pig – presumably the most delicious in the small town of Coloane. It wasn’t too bad. The skin is crispy but the meat is a little bit too fatty for me. Other dishes were fresh lalas, some vegetables and fried fish finger.
Passion of Christ
Before we go back to town center to watch the Procession of Passion of Christ from the Cathedral, we stopped by at Lord Stow’s bakery again and purchased 12 egg tarts for MOP80! We took the same bus, no. 26 back to town center and got off at Senado Square. We visited Lou Kao Mansion before going to Cathedral to watch the procession at 3.30 pm.
Actually, I did a blunder. I wanted to book our trip to coincide with the Awal Muharam holiday which is on 9th march but I checked the wrong calendar and booked a week earlier instead. However, this blunder did come as blessing in disguise that, we get to watch this once a year event!
Cute chick at Lou Kao Mansion
After the procession, we walked along the alley back to Senado Square and tried the beef offal, situated right in front of the Lou Kao Mansion. It’s something like a steamboat but the soup base is much better! It consists of beef and curries from India and Myanmar, according to the owner. We ordered the yummies one bowl after another and even ta pao-ed some back to the hotel to eat. It was that good! So people, if you fellas are there, please remember to drop by in front of Lou Kao Mansion to try this beef offal. You may opt for spicier taste by adding more spoonfuls of chilies!
The best beef offal… ever!
We made our way back to the hotel to freshen up before we go to the casinos at night. We took a bus to the ferry terminal again and hopped onto the free shuttle bus to Venetian. Venetian is so beautifully decorated! I think one do not need to even travel to Italy to get the European feel. They have gondola rides as well and if you go in the afternoon, say 2.30 pm, there will be a carnival of performers walking on stilts, fire eaters and clowns.
The very cliche, nevertheless beautiful Venetian
We went to the Sands after that and walked across to Babylon Casino. Here, they have a mini version of Rome. I think I had enough walking for the day, so some of us sat at the picnic benches along the many mini fountains while waiting for the rest to take pictures. It was a cool and windy night, with vermilion and crimson colored skies, reflected from the many neon lights along the street. Everything just felt wonderfully right. I wished the night would never end.
We went back to Senado Square and walked towards Rua de Felicidade to have another round of tong sui and had late supper, before we reluctantly went to bed.