Monday 1 January 2024

Post-Festive Pot Pourri (6)

 But First Of All ...

If you are a passenger, may all your buses and trains run on time (some hope!) and if you are a manager, may Government advice and financial help be useful long term (some hope!).

And How's Your Vexillology?

It is the flag of here ...
... and it's not a graphic for a SciFi movie, it is a real place. As all of our readership will have guessed immediately, it is Macau.

Somewhere in the depths of fbb's aged cerebral cortex, two names floated haltingly up from the foetid swamp of unreliable memory. One was China and the other was Portugal.
Macau is a tiny red dot at the point of the pink arrow on the south coast of the Chinese mainland. And here is an fbb expurgation of Wikipedia's helpful history!

Macau, officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China is a city and special administrative region of China in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. With a population of about 680,000 and an area of 12.7 square miles, it is the most densely populated region in the world.

Formerly a Portuguese colony, the territory of Portuguese Macau was first leased to Portugal as a trading post by the Ming dynasty in 1557. Portugal paid an annual rent and administered the territory under Chinese sovereignty until 1887. Portugal later gained "perpetual" colonial rights in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking. The colony remained under Portuguese rule until 1999, when it was transferred to China.

So, to put it simply, instead of reading UK and Hong Kong, read Portugal and Macau.

The "territory" consists of two chunks; the northern bit labelled Macau itself which is joined to the Chinese mainland ...
... and the southern bit, originally Taipa island, with a number of named communities plus an airport with its runway in the sea. Everything is linked together by a series of bridges, three join north to south ...
... with a fourth to be opened next year (that's 2025!). One bridge links Taipa direct with the mainland.

There are no railways running to and from Macau (boo hiss) but Macau has the beginnings of an LRT system (hooray) the first line of which was extended on 8th December last year (that's 2023!). Indeed the territory did not get anything on rails until 2019 - of which more tomorrow.

Until 2019 you could ride a taxi ...
... or a rickshaw ...
... or a bus.
Two bus operators serve Macau. On is TCM with a web site in Chinese ...
... but some smart buses ...
... including these intriguing motors.
fbb struggled with his (failed) attempt to find a timetable for the 73 ...
... possibly due to a language problem! There ware English and Portuguese translations but, frankly they weren't much help.
 The other operator is Transmac ...
... with similar linguistic problems and similarly smart buses.
But the best ride ever must be a bus across the sea between Macau and Hong Kong.
Yep, you guessed it, there is a bridge, ,34 miles long!
Actually it is two bridges and a runnel (for the shipping lanes). You plunge into a tunnel between two artificial islands.
A double deck shuttle bus operates ...
... at a remarkable frequency and for the full 24 hours between Hong Kong and Macau ...
... and an identical frequency between Hong Kong and Zhuhai.

So take a ride from Hong Kong. The bus journey time is approx 40 min, but the video, showing connections to the "ports" is a modest 10 minutes. That's longer than a normal fbb download but, hey, it's New Year's Day and the telly is rubbish!
Tomorrow we do meet tracked travel on Taipa.

Greetings For Today!
Blind displays from First Bus in South Yorkshire. It's a reasonable thought in Sheffield where the company is running a much reduced (but subsidised) service.
But a bit of a hollow thought for First's customers in Rotherham and Doncaster where nothing runs. Stagecoach (who either didn't win any tendered work ot didn't bother to tender) will bring no omnibological seasonal joy in Sheffield, Barnsley and Doncaster - zilch Stagecoach buses run today!

For the record, First Sheffield, on their web site for today, tell us they will be running buses on Boxing Day. It should read (mayhap) "the same service as on Boxing Day".

Light Work At fbb Mansions
It seemed a good idea at the time. Fix the three main display elements into a frame made of garden canes. Suspend it from the front bedrooms of fbb mansions and thus provide a spectacular (?) display.
There was the simple nativity scene, the star which attracted and guided the Magi and the Cross which (with his resurrection) fulfilled Jesus' purpose.

All very simple but very much CHRISTmas lights!

But ...

 Next Macau (Pot Pourri) blog  : Tuesday 2nd January 

1 comment:

  1. A far cry from when Bristol's finest plied the streets of Macao. There was a Lodekka too.