As I walked out of the border building, Macau’s sea breeze gently kissed my left cheek before flowing across my face like a river and catapulting off of my right cheek. Even though it was the middle of June, the weather was pleasant because the humid air blended with the scorching sunlight, creating a serene and calm atmosphere. My first stop was at the Ruins of St. Paul’s. The cathedral was only a light brown stone wall with most ornaments still attached. The curves and edges of the ruins have not been effaced by time, only slightly stained from multiple attempts by time to demolish them. After I took pictures, the shadow of the edifice pointed me to my next destination.
â–º Quarter Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
The view of the blue sky was never obstructed during the taxi ride to the MGM Grand. The buildings were not skyscrapers that pierced and blocked the sky; instead, they were pillars to a ceiling, buttressing the heavens. When I finally arrived at the MGM Grand, I expected the “hustle and bustle” of its Las Vegas counterpart, but I only found the silence and tranquility of a religious temple. The hotel was built next to the sea, standing firm against the strong winds that skimmed the water. Inside, the lobby was painted an ocean blue by the reflected sunlight. Although the MGM was also a casino, natural light penetrated an indoor garden. The area had fresh air because of the lush green vegetation. As I walked around the outside of the hotel, the sea breeze was relentless. The breeze brought natural air to the city and acted like an air conditioner.
Outside the MGM, a bridge stretched for several miles across the open water. The bridge rested its many legs on the seafloor while cars traversed its back. Traveling over the bridge, I saw the vastness of the water as it flowed into the horizon where it was absorbed by the sun. On the other island, the Macau Tower stood boldly. It was juxtaposed against the blue sky which made the tower taller and grander, representing the vastness and glamour. However, I did not have time to stop. My next destination was The Venetian.
As the taxi drove past the main entrance of The Venetian, I saw many small buildings which were designed to mimic Venice. The imitation was so complete that it took several minutes before the myriad of colors and buildings finally led to the main hotel. Inside, the walls and carpet were light gold in color, reflecting the light from the chandeliers to make the room sparkle. Deeper inside the hotel, I found a larger imitation of Venice. The ceiling imitated the Venetian sky, and the stores mimicked Venetian architecture. Although the “city” looked like Venice, complete with an artificial canal and gondolas, it also had the upscale and brand name stores of America. Unfortunately, I could not explore a city in one day. That goes for both Macau and “Venice”.
I only spent one day in Macau, but the trip taught me a valuable lesson. Unlike many cities, Macau was calm. Macau worked with its history and Mother Nature. Even though Macau was in Asia, there were worldwide influences. St. Paul’s was influenced by the Portuguese, while many other buildings were influenced by the Chinese. I learned that the best things come in moderation. Macau is neither a large city like Tokyo nor a small village. It did not eliminate the natural environment or reject technology and modernization. Most importantly, I found that the best things in life came from nature.
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