Monday, March 18, 2013

More Melaka/Malacca

So in between our trips to Melaka's beaches, my friend Hammie and I spent some time seeing the sights of the city.

Steeped in historic cycles of conquest and rebirth, the city of Malacca has been under the control of Arab sultans, Portuguese, Dutch and British colonizers, as well as a few bands of local Malay fishing tribes. There are some beautiful and interesting old churches, mosques, stores and forts to be explored, and despite the ever-present heat and humidity, Hammie and I soldiered on for hours, determined to conquer it all.

Here's proof.

More of the river walk, which looked happy and green in the daytime.
Hammie, posing by these cool red archways. It should be noted that he is wearing an official Petronas work shirt. 
Christ Church, built in 1753. Still being used for weekly worship. We went inside and Hammie found an engraved brass plate in the floor with an exact replica of the Barisa Nasional's symbol, the set of scales. Weird.

These characteristically wacky bicycle rickshaws are seen all over Melaka. Decorated to the extreme with parasols, silk flowers, flashing lights, and often blasting music from rear-mounted speakers, these whimsical buggies represent the ultimate form of transport. But they kind of scare me.
The Stadthuys, an old Dutch building painted in the signature red color of historic Melakan architecture. Though no one can recall how this tradition came to be, and several colorful legends are told, most likely the red color was adopted to simplify maintenance. But even if the reasoning is boring, the color is gorgeous.
Major building crush going on here. 
My friend, Merey Fitz, carried around little bags of kitty litter to feed the stray cats of Malaysia. But it looks like he is not the only person who has a heart for hungry kitties.

Hello, cute black cat.
Saint Paul's Church, more elegantly known as Our Lady of the Hill
Ancient stones, perfectly proportioned arches, rich colors and textures. I loved it.
Originally a small chapel, later expanded to a full-size church, the site eventually became a burial ground and hosts some amazing gravestones.
My skull and crossbones look.
Saint Paul's was originally surrounded by fortress walls upon which opened four gates. One of those gates remains today, seen here from the hilltop. 
A Famosa, was the name of the ancient fortress. This small gate is all that remains of it today. 
Hammie mans the cannon, and will blow any wannabe European colonizers right back to where they came from.

After our long and satisfying day of touring, Hammie and I headed back to his house. We stopped at a hot spa in Negri Sembilan to soothe our sore feet in the healing waters. It was a relaxing end to a happy day.

Thanks, Hammie!

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More stories about a giant hamster named Kama Zaid, coming right up:

Kama Zaid Is A Pussycat

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To find all the stories of my amazing adventures in southeast Asia, go here:

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